Noosa Multisport Triathlon Festival! It is just that! Kicking off on Wednesday 26th, the five-day event has everything! It’s a smorgasbord of ocean swim events, kids races, schools events, fun runs, golf, the Legends Relay, Subaru Crit races, the Asics Bolt, our very own Witsup Ride and Brunch AND all of that before the thousands of athletes dive into the ocean of Noosa Main beach for the World’s largest Olympic distance triathlon!
Text By Laura Siddall | Images By Witsup
The Noosa festival kicks off the start of the Southern Hemisphere season, but is always a cross over with the elite athletes returning from overseas competitions, The Olympics, ITU series and Kona, about to start their end of season breaks. Which means there’s always a fantastic atmosphere of fun and celebration.
However this doesn’t mean that it’s not serious racing out there. It’s fast paced and hardcore, right from the gun.
Noosa is also normally a bit of a battle ground for the short ITU/Olympic draft legal women against the long half and even full distance triathletes. This year however it’s very much the Olympic distance speedsters taking centre stage.
Coming off her win at Nepean last weekend, Ashleigh Gentle will head to Noosa as clear favourite going for her third title in a row and would be fourth in total. Which, if she wins, will put her just one title behind Emma Snowsill, a five-time Noosa Champion. Gentle has had a roller coaster of a year, emotionally and physically with the qualification for Rio and the Olympics itself (including her bike being damaged in transit), so she will be looking to finish her year on a high. With her strength on the bike, and with the race being non-drafting, it’ll make it hard to catch Gentle on the run.
In almost a re run of the race last weekend, Charlotte McShane, Nicky Samuels (New Zealand), Natalie Van Coevorden, will all be trying to sneak that win away from Gentle. Whilst McShane narrowly missed out on the Olympic selection, she’s had a fantastic year achieving her first ITU podium with a third at the World Triathlon Series Grand Final. McShane is definitely on the up and it’s exciting to see what the 2013 U23 World Champion can achieve in the coming years.
Emma Jackson is no stranger to winning in Noosa either, claiming the title in 2009, at the age of 18! If Jackson is firing, it’ll be a great battle at the front of the field.
Pocket rocket Barbara Riveros could be one to spoil the Australian party in Noosa. Riveros had a fantastic result just missing the podium in Rio, coming fifth, but is dangerous and could be one to watch at the weekend.
Representing the longer distance triathletes is Radka Vodickova, Kirralee Seidel and Sarah Crowley. Vodickova returns from her recent win at Ironman 70.3 Hefei, and a third at Challenge Kanchanaburi last week, with Crowley returning from her 15th place finish at the World Championships in Kona (and has finished second and third here at Noosa in previous years). Seidel has made a successful move up to half distance racing, winning Ironman 70.3 Gurye last month.
Because Noosa is a fun event, we thought we’d also preview the race in a slightly different way. OK so it may be really BAD, but hopefully you enjoy it and at least have a laugh at our expense!
The Ballad Of Noosa 2016
When ranking all triathlons,
There’s one that always rates,
It’s well known as the Noosa Tri,
It ranks among the greats.
The women’s pro field oozes class
There’s nothing they can’t do,
Athletes who’ve raced Ironman,
Right through to ITU.
Ashleigh Gentle she’s the fav,
There’s few who have done more,
A win would mean she’s won three straight,
In total, she’d have four.
Charlotte McShane is blessed with speed,
As well as grace and flare,
Her fiery racing temperament,
Is matched by her red hair.
Little Barb Riveros,
The wizard hails from Chile,
To says she’s not a winning chance,
Would be completely silly.
Emma Jackson, she’s won here,
Back when she was eighteen,
She could do it here again,
Now in two thousand sixteen.
Natalie Van Coevorden,
Or Natalie VC,
Was top two at Nepean last week,
And may well be top three.
Is now a middle distance queen,
But can she win on Sunday?
That remains to be seen.
The Kiwi, Nicky Samuels,
Is a consistent producer,
She’s keen to ply her trade,
And nail her race this week in Noosa.
Sarah Crowley raced at Kona,
Twice she’s top-three’d here,
It’s a big drop down from Ironman,
But could this be her year?
Whoever wins, it will be great,
And leave us on a high,
So here’s good luck to one and all,
Enjoy the Noosa Tri.
Noosa Tri 2016 Start List
|Katrina Von Elsner-Wellsteed||QLD|
|Natalie Van Coevorden||NSW|