SEA-SQUANCE: Hayden Squance was untroubled to race to a convincing win in the Nelson Triathlon Club sprint triathlon event at Rabbit Island on Sunday. Photos: Janice Coyle.

Squance too strong at tri


It was a perfect mother and son day for the Squance family in the Nelson Triathlon Club’s sprint triathlon at Rabbit Island on Sunday, as 19-year-old Hayden raced to a six-minute victory over some strong opposition, while Carolyn was the first woman home, taking out the honours in the F50-59 age group in the process.

A cold, cloudy morning kept the numbers down, but the sun came out just as the event started with a 750m swim.

The younger Squance left the water with a two-minute lead over Marlborough triathlete Mark Grammer, followed closely by Jon Linyard, Matt Newberry and Josh Barber.

Internationally, sprint triathlons for age groupers are now draft-legal on the bike, allowing competitors to ride in bunches and making for an exciting bike ride.

With next year’s world championships on the Gold Coast, many Nelson competitors are vying for spots in the national team and the first qualifying race is only two weeks away in Christchurch.

Accordingly, there were many people eager to practice their drafting skills.
There was no one capable of staying with Squance, as he stretched out his lead by another two minutes over the chasing groups, but Linyard, Grammer and Newberry did their best to limit the damage as they worked efficiently together.

With a new transition setup and run course in preparation for the national school race on this course in March, Squance added another two minutes to his lead on the five-lap 5km course, cruising home in 1 hour 3 minutes 33 seconds, ahead of Newberry (1.09.24), Linyard (1.10.05), Glenn Bathgate (1.10.10), Wayne Leighton (1.11.28) and Grammer (1.11.46).

Carolyn Squance finished 14th overall in 1hr 27min 30sec, ahead of Dawn Chalmers (1.28.29) and Kate Kempthorne (1.29.27).

In the short triathlon, under-16 competitors preparing for the national school event dominated, with Fergus Greer crossing the line in 29min 30sec, ahead of Josh Sheridan (30.13), Gus Marfell (32.52) and first female Hannah Price (41.15).

Anthony Mollo won the longer duathlon from Diane Grigg and Simon Biss, while Ian McNabb won the short duathlon from Ollie Whitaker and Nicki Alexander.

The club’s next triathlon incorporates multiple laps of swim, bike and run with options for team entries.

Information and results at