Tourism Minister Kate Jones today announced $25,000 in funding to support the Hamilton Island Triathlon and Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim Weekend.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones today announced $25,000 in funding to support the Hamilton Island Triathlon and Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim Weekend.

READY, SET, GO: Race in paradise secures cash splash

A CASH splash for Hamilton Island’s premier racing weekend will give both seasoned triathletes and rookie racers entering the running scene courtesy of COVID an extra spring in their step.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones today announced $25,000 in funding to support the Hamilton Island Triathlon and Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim Weekend.

Both events are set to go ahead on the weekend of November 21 and 22 and race director Steve Jackson said the funding would go towards spreading the message across the state that the race is “good to go”.

“The triathlon scene is littered with hundreds of events across the country and we all like to think our race is the most important,” he said.

“This funding will allow us to spread the world a little bit further and a little bit stronger to the triathlon and swimming community.

“It’s really important that we can showcase Hamilton Island as a destination not only for triathlons, but for a holiday, as a ‘race-cation’.”

Triathlete Emma Hogan during the 2019 Hamilton Island Event.
Triathlete Emma Hogan during the 2019 Hamilton Island Event.

The triathlon is capped at 240 competitors and 60 teams, making it one of the smaller events on athlete’s calendars.

However, Mr Jackson said the smaller size was one of the event’s biggest draws as it was more personalised, and now easier to manage with coronavirus restrictions.

He also said coronavirus could work in favour of the event as many people had taken to getting fit during restrictions and encouraged “weekend warriors” to sign up.

The course includes a 750m swim in Catseye Bay, a 20km three-loop course of the southern part of Hamilton Island including the airport runway and a 5km run around the marina and resort sides of the island.

Competitors race on the airport runway during the triathlon.
Competitors race on the airport runway during the triathlon.

The Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim has changed location this year and will instead take place on Catseye Beach.

Competitors can choose from a 2km or a 750m swim and there is a 350m race for the under 13s.

Mr Jackson expected numbers for this year’s race weekend would be strong despite border restrictions, especially as several other events had been cancelled across the state.

He hoped between events, athletes would make the most of all the activities on offer across the island and the wider Whitsunday region.

“We’re really keen to welcome people to the event,” he said.

“It lets people know the Whitsundays are open, they’re open for visitors and events like this and we would love for people to come and support the islands at the greater Whitsundays community.”

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Funding for the event came from the government’s Queensland Destination Events Program which Ms Jones said would help boost the region’s economy.

“This funding will help ensure these events get back up and running and continue to pump thousands of dollars into our economy and support local jobs,” she said.

“We all want to see this great local event continue – it would be absolutely devastating to see them fail.

“This will help to ensure their future in the Whitsundays.”


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