Roger Matheson leaves his bike behind as he heads for the swim course at Rabbit Island. Photo: Janice Coyle.

Tri Minus One draws strong field

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An enthusiastic field of competitors aged from 10 to 72 took part in a new event at Rabbit Island on Sunday.

The sport of triathlon has spawned many offshoots over the years.

Duathlon incorporates bike and run and was initially called biathlon, but had a name change to stop it being confused with the Olympic sport combining skiing and shooting.

Aquathlon came along later, offering swim and run legs, and more recently aquabike combined swim and bike.

Sunday’s event at Rabbit Island required competitors to choose one of these options and 76 competitors fronted up for Tri Minus One, supported by the Interislander Big Tahuna, the national ocean swim race that comes to Nelson at Easter.

With short or long options, there were six events starting simultaneously, but it didn’t take long for the fields to spread out.

Hayden Squance led the runners over the opening 2km, followed by Connor Guillemot.

The pair went their separate ways in the second stage, with Squance on his bike building a commanding lead over the duathlon field in a 10km bike ride, while Guillemot took to the water for the 1km swim as part of the aquathlon.

Roger Matheson and Christina Harris formed a tidy partnership in the opening 5km ride in the aquabike.

Both handy swimmers, they left the rest of the field behind over their next stage, the 1km swim.

First to cross the finish line was Squance, winning the duathlon with a handy margin over Ed Kerly, Wayne Leighton and Luke Clatworthy, while Meg Bichard led Hannah Barnsley in the women’s duathlon.

Jon Linyard came in narrowly ahead of Guillemot in the aquathlon, with Fran Harris and Karen Price leading the women in the swim/run combination.

Matheson and Harris wrapped up the aquabike with a solid bike ride, ahead of Finn Mckenzie, Kate Kempthorne, Hannah Price and Martin Thompson.

Finn and Steve Bryant won the short aquabike from Fiona Young.

Lilly Greenwood was a narrow winner in the short aquathlon from Eddy Connolly, while Neve Mckenzie took the short duathlon from Quin Viney and the Boustridge brothers Conrad and Daniel.

The Nelson Tri Club’s next event is the Proper Crisps Team Triathlon on February 11.

For full information, results and photos head to nelsontriclub.co.nz