Point Waterfront sets triathlon venue standard

2010-02-06 00:00

THE inaugural City of Durban Triathlon doubled as the KZN Triathlon Championships from the new route based at the Durban Point Waterfront. Claude Eksteen and Dominique Donner emerged as KZN’s new Triathlon Champions for 2010.

Eksteen proved his running strength in taking the lead during the final 10 km run leg to win in a time of 2:00:44. SA’s top Ironman Raynard Tissink took second place in 2:02:51 while ever-consistent Donovan van Gelder claimed the final podium spot in 2:03:47.

Eksteen and Anton Storm, both excellent swimmers, were virtually together at the end of the 1500 m open-water surf swim held in choppy seas whipped up by a strong onshore wind, making it difficult for the field of just over 200 athletes to spot the marker buoys. Next to finish the swim were Glen Gore and Tissink going into the five-lap 40 km cycle which saw Tissink overtake Eksteen and Storm around the halfway mark and Van Gelder move into second place at the 30 km mark, with riders facing strong headwinds along parts of the course along the Durban Esplanade.

The front trio set off on the four-lap 10 km run led by Tissink with Van Gelder and Eksteen following, but Eksteen caught up with Van Gelder in the first kilometre and Eksteen 500 m later to go into the lead which he held until the end.

Donner performed to perfection to claim the women’s title ahead of a determined Helen Buley. Donner describes herself as a “specialist sea swimmer”, which was evident as she led the race out the water and never looked back, clocking a time of 2:20:29. Buley’s time of 2:25:59 placed her just over two minutes clear of Tayla Glover (20-24 age group) who claimed third in 2:27:45.

The event saw an increase of 25% in participants over the previous year and bodes well for the sport. This, combined with the great spectator value in the new venue, indicates the Durban Point Waterfront is going to start setting the standard for triathlon venues in Durban and could soon start taking over from Suncoast Casino as the major player in triathlons in KZN.

Record entry at Xterra Buffelsport

SA’s Pro Xterra Triathlete Dan Hugo (dghugo.com) showed he is in devastating form with his victory at Xterra Buffelsport last weekend. To top it, organisers were delighted to record their biggest ever field at an Xterra event in South Africa with over one thousand participants across the board.

In the rain-drenched Magaliesberg mountains, the competition was fierce among the leading men’s field. Defending Buffelsport Champion Kent Horner led home the battle for second place — eight minutes behind Hugo. Belgian athlete Rob Woestenborghs claimed third place some five minutes back. Justin Porteous and Charl Keet claimed fourth and fifth respectively. KZN athletes Andre Booyens and Ryan Redman were among the top contenders, finishing sixth and seventh respectively.

Some new faces in the women’s field saw Susan Sloan take the women’s honours ahead of Sylvia van Tromp and Riana de Lange.

With the bulk of the field competing in the Xterra Lite — families, friends and novices alike all slipping, sliding and negotiating the traumatised course — it was Craig Andrews and Ronel Booyens who emerged the men’s and women’s winners in the field of over 400.

In the words of race winner Hugo: “At the point of the course where I’d passed the schoolkids making out the last year (still one of my favourite racing moments) I was passing families doing the Xterra Lite as a unit. So precious and positively reflecting of the sports future. Kids as young as 10 years of age braving the mud, bridge crossings and thin air. Fair play. It was overwhelming, the sheer number of young, old and female entrants on the Xterra Lite course.”

SA Xterra Championships takes place later this month at Grabouw Country Club, Western Cape. For further details log on to www.stillwatersports.com

MOUNTAIN BIKING

The Holla Trails Golovane X-Plore 86km MTB race starts and finishes at Holla Trails in Ballito tomorrow morning. This is an ideal opportunity for sani2c teams to gauge their fitness as well as testing bikes, other equipment and team dynamics under race conditions. No late entries will be taken on the day.

Next weekend sees another opportunity for those in preparation for stage-racing to take on two events back to back. Next Saturday is the Wartburg Spar MTB Classic, which offers a 45 km Classic (plus add-on option for those wanting to go longer), a 19 km Intermediate ride and a 10 km fun ride/trail run. Registration is open from 5.30 to 8.30 and the racing starts from 8.30.

Tomorrow sees the inaugural Blythedale Coastal Resort MTB Classic. The event offers three races; the 40 km MTB Classic, the 19 km Family Ride and a 6 km Kids’ MTB Race, which doubles as a Trail Run or Walk. Just 40min north of Durban, this event will be well worth the drive to experience the beauty of Blythedale. The routes will encompass sections of the new Cane & Spoke MTB Trail Centre while taking in the beauty of the Blythedale Coastal Resort.

For further info and entries on the above events, log on to www.roag.co.za

MULTISPORT

The aQuelle Mudman Series gets under way today with the first event at Hermannsburg School this afternoon. This exciting series includes a 750 m swim or 4 km paddle (venue dependent), a 20 km mountain bike ride and a 5 km trail run through beautiful countryside. Athletes can compete as individuals or in teams of three. The series is primarily aimed as a fundraiser for the hosting schools, Hermannsburg, Cordwalles, Epworth and Durban Preparatory. Both junior and senior schools, as well as corporates, are encouraged to take up the challenge of the aQuellé Mudman. With great prizes up for grabs and a mudskipper event for the kiddies, this series promises to be a great day out for the whole family. Registration will be open from 10 am to 1pm today and will close 30 minutes before each event. The full distance race starts at 2 pm, followed by the half-distance event at 12.30. For more info, log on to www.mudmansa.co.za

ROAD CYCLING

The KZN Road and Time Trial Championships take place this weekend. Time trial specialists will be testing themselves over the Van der Merwe circuit at Camperdown from 8 am today. The road championships take place tomorrow on the Richmond, Eston, Camperdown loop. For further info, log on to www.kzncycling.co.za

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