Thursday, August 24, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
The biggest professional triathlon field in the event’s history competed in the 2023 Coral Sea Marina Airlie Beach Triathlon festival last weekend with Kurt McDonald and Radka Kahlefeldt winning the men’s and women’s races.
Whitsunday Triathlon Club President Michael Kimpton said over 250 triathletes competed in the senior and juniors events over the two day festival which received rave reviews from the visiting professionals who all indicated they were keen to return in 2024 as the race weekend continues to grow.
The 24-year-old Victorian, McDonald led from start to finish to defeat a top-class male field in a time of 1 hour, 51 minutes, 36 seconds for the 1.5km swim, 40km ride and 10km run Olympic Distance event.
2XU champion Jarrod Osborne made up almost two minutes on the winner in the run leg to finish second in 1.52.56 while veteran professionals Tim Van Berkel and defending champion Caleb Noble tied for third place in 1.55.51.
Kahlefeldt blew away the female field with stunning swim and ride legs to open a big lead and cruised to victory in 2.02.58 ahead of Cairns Ironman 3rd place finisher Penny Slater in 2.06.38 and Chloe Hartnett 2.07.03.
In his first race as a professional triathlete rising Whitsundays star Dan McDonnell carded a top 5 finish showing he can make a quick impact in the top gun ranks.
Another rising start of the Whitsunday triathlon scene, Zane Devine, scored his maiden victory winning the male Sprint distance (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) event in an impressive time of 1.15.30 ahead of Jordy Staelen and John Thomas.
Maraa Luz Poblete took line honours in the female Sprint event blitzing the field in the swim leg to lead from the gun in 1.11.37 ahead of Mala Brooks and Chloe White.
The Enticer event was won by Nick Beecroft (men’s) and Alicia McConaghy while the inaugural winner of the Stirling Edwards-Bland Perpetual Junior Encouragement Award was Tyrell McDowell for his determination and enthusiasm to get to the finish line at all costs.
Race director Kimpton said the weekend was capped off with a Champions Dinner at the Coral Sea Resort Ballroom on Sunday nigh twhere major sponsor and Coral Sea Marina Resort owner Paul Darrouzet confirmed they would renew their sponsorship of the event for 2024.
“These types of events do not happen without support from local business and this was the first year that Coral Sea Marina Resort became our naming sponsor,” said Kimpton.
“We had support from over 50 local businesses which has allowed the club provide amazing prizes for all events and we had amazing feedback on the quality of our race packs from all competitors.
“The aim of our small but dynamic Whitsunday Triathlon Club committee headed by Mark McConkey, Karen Maddock, Val Kimpton, Robyn Corrigan and Debra Childs is to continue to grow and expand the event to make it a highlight of the Queensland triathlon calendar.”
Photo Credit: Rachael Smith, Bronte Hodge and Korupt Vision