ON Saturday, Callala Beach hosted Elite Energy’s Callala Triathlon Festival – which marked the 30th running of the event.
Competing on Saturday was Mick Maroney an esteemed triathlete and brother of highly acclaimed ocean swimmer Susie Maroney.
Maroney won the very first Callala Triathlon in 1988 and proved that he still has what it takes 30 years later, winning his age category and coming fifth overall in the sprint distance triathlon.
In total, close to 700 participants made their way to Callala, where there were three different triathlons on offer.
A race for those just starting out in the sport called the super sprint (200m swim, 8km bike and 2km run), the sprint distance (750m swim, 20km bike and a 5km run) and a longer race known as the standard (1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run).
In years gone past, mixed conditions have greeted athletes however this year participants welcome near perfect weather for racing.
“Callala Triathlon festival seems to get bigger and bigger every year,” CEO of Elite Energy Mark Emerton said.
“The white sand beaches, the crystal clear water, the great family friendly atmosphere all contribute to make this one of our favourite events on our companies 28 event calendar.
“In addition to this, the South Coast being only a short drive from Sydney makes this event extremely accessible to those triathletes based out of the metropolitan regions bringing tourism to the Shoalhaven before peak season.”
The key event of the day was the sprint distance where a number of international athletes made use of the Callala event, making the most of their Southern Hemisphere training camps.
In the men’s race, Frenchman Vincent Fazari ended any hope of back-to-back victories for Sussex Inlet’s Troy Whittington.
Whittington and the Frenchman coming out of the water together before Fazari took a one minute and eight second lead on the bike, later going onto narrowly hold off a fast finishing Whittington on the 5km run.
The pair are both well known to each other having raced at an international level around the world.
Fazari finishing the sprint distance in a time of 1.01.04 with Whittington six seconds behind and third placed Brodie Talbot, of Narrabeen, a further 17 seconds behind to round out the minor placings.
In the women’s sprint distance race, it was Towradgi's Grace Musgrove that dominated the race, with an impressive two minute 19 seconds lead out of the water – extending that lead on the bike before taking out the fastest women’s run time of the day, to win by four minutes 43 seconds over Orange’s Laura Wolfson and Heathcote’s Jennifer McDonald in third.
This race being just one of the number of podium finishes that Musgrove has had early in the season, showing her competition that she is a force to be reckoned with.