Terrific results at Hamo triathlon
MORE than 200 athletes took to the water, roads and airport runway at Hamilton Island on Saturday for the third annual Fujifilm Hamilton Island Triathlon.
The event kicked off with a 750m swim across Catseye Bay followed by a 20km cycle around the southern part of the island and airport runway, and finished with a 5km run around the marina and back to Catseye Beach.
Junior world champion Ashleigh Gentle finished the women's division of the event in a blistering time of one hour 12 minutes and 15 seconds ahead of her nearest rival Athens Olympian Maxine Seear.
Seear's brother James (Jimmy) Seear took the honours in the men's division with a time of one hour two minutes and 35 seconds, ahead of world circuit semi-professional Joshua Amberger.
Ironman and ocean swim champion Ky Hurst lead his team to victory in the team division of the event.
James Seear who was first over the line said he had never raced anywhere quite as scenic.
"It's a very unique race and something I think everyone should experience at least once," he said.
About 46 locals participated in the event including Cassie Carmen from Airlie Beach who said she was "just happy to finish".
"It's a very tough course and very technical, especially the bike," she said. "What gets you through is the crowd - everyone cheering and saying "Well done, keep going."
Local athletes and world champions alike expressed sincere thanks to Whitsunday Triathlon Club president Steve Jackson for his role in organising the event.
Jackson was instrumental in establishing the club about five years ago and with the growth of the triathlon scene saw the potential for hosting the event.
"We love where we live and we love our sport so to be able to share those things with a couple of hundred people is always nice," he said.
"For a race of this size, you won't find a more polished, professional feel."
Female - 1st Ashleigh Gentle, 2nd Maxine Seear, 3rd Elyse Foster
Male - 1st James Seear, 2nd Joshua Amberger, 3rd Peter Jacobs
Men's - 1st 'Brett's team' - Ky Hurst, Chris Osborne and Brett Childs, 2nd 'The Exec's' - Gary Kilby, Lindsey Palmer and Miles Stewart, 3rd 'Splash and Dash' - Martin Labert and John Sinclair
Women's - 1st 'Mod Squad' - Leigh Elliott, Bonnie Pressland and Jenny Buerckner, 2nd - 'Thirty Forty' - Belinda Sinclair, Liz Hindmarsh and Jodie Gardner
Mixed Teams - 1st 'Team Alexandy' - Craig Alexander and Karon Handy, 2nd 'Age Before Beauty' - Nadia Sciacca, Neil McDonald and Graham Lockett, 3rd 'CCG' - Graeme Railton and Nerida Alexander
Fastest female - Ashleigh Gentle in six minutes 36 seconds
Fastest male - James Seear five minutes 37 seconds