TRIATHLETES BATTLE IT OUT FOR 2021 ISLAND GAMES SELECTION

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The Isle of Wight Triathlon Team squad took part in a Team Tri Relay TT session on Saturday morning – part of the team selection for the forthcoming 2021 Guernsey Island Games Team Relay event.

Triathletes were set off in 30-second intervals according to swim times, to run into the sea to begin their 400m swim. The first wave consisted of female competitors plus 1 junior boy.

IOW Triathlon Club Junior Triathlete, 15-year-old Lottie Van Der Helstraete, was first off the line and she did this like a professional; taking it in her stride, with total confidence and no sign of nerves. Lottie showed her swim strength as she powered her way through the waves to the first turning point and completed the course in 8:08, achieving the fastest female swim split.

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She continued leading on the out and back 6.5km undulating bike loop, which turned back at  Bembridge Airport and entered T1 still ahead of the first senior female, Wight Tri member Natalie Lawrence. However, strong running by Natalie saw her run down Lottie on the 1.5km run, as Natalie posted the fastest female run split of 6:20 to finish in an overall time of 31:10, taking the fastest female place. (8:28/14:20/6:20)

Lottie Van Der Helstraete leading out of the swim

Meanwhile, 18-year-old Millie Williams, also of IOW Triathlon Club, was having a super race having started off as 3rd swimmer. She was holding similar pace to Natalie on both the swim and bike courses, but just could not stay with her on the run. She finished only 30 seconds behind Natalie to take 2nd female overall.

Veteran LIz Steward, of Portsmouth Triathlon Club, who has previously represented the IWIGA triathlon Team in both Gotland and Gibraltar, started off as the last swimmer in the wave, so was always trying to chase down the younger girls. As swimming is not her strongest discipline she lost between 60-90 secs to the younger girls, but posting the fastest bike split of 13:50 saw her claim back some time as she entered T2. Posting the 2nd fastest run split of 6:50, she finished 3rd female in 32:19, just 8 seconds ahead of Lottie, who finished in 32:27, 4th female overall and 1st Junior female.

14-year-old Eddie Johnson also went in this wave and was a surprise to all! He posted a super swim time of 8:28; bike 14:20 and a fantastic run of 6:25 to finish in 32:28, showing tremendous potential for such a young junior, whose main sport is football.

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The second wave was just as exciting and interesting with 16-year-old Thomas Horton of IOW Triathlon club putting himself up against the seniors from Team Spy and Wight Tri.

First off was Team Spy member, 17-year-old James Fletcher. James had a super fast swim, posting the fastest split of 6:55. However, Wight Tri member Andy Wheeler was hot on his heels with 7:16. With bike times of 11:46 and 12:18 respectively, James held the lead into T2. Even with strong running by Andy who had the fastest run split of 5:34, he could not catch James, who finished 1st senior Male in 25:54, with Andy 2nd in 26:28.

Third to finish was senior Darren Cole of IOW Triathlon Club, who has also previously represented the IWIGA Triathlon Team in Gibraltar. Darren had a solid race, with splits of 8:58/12:09/6:03 to finish in 28:35.

15-year-old Thomas finished in 4th Male position and 1st junior in 31:13 with times of 8:58/13:57/6:35 showing a solid all round performance in all disciplines.

Trevor McAlister finished 5th Male, having a bit of a disappointing swim (10:09) in navigating the swim course. However, in his ever determined way, he clawed back some time, with bike splits of 13:07 and the second fastest run of 5:48 to finish in 31:26. Eddie was the 6th Male(2nd junior) in 32:28.

In light of COVID-19, it is possible that the 2021 Guernsey Island Games will not go ahead, with the final decision being made very soon by the Island Games Association.

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