Last weekend saw the return of one of the biggest events in the Jersey calendar, the RBC Super League Triathlon.
It may only be in its second year on the island, but the event organisers have already secured SLT firmly on the Jersey events scene, drawing huge crowds from the island and around the globe.
If you haven’t already caught up on the results from the weekend, visit the Super League Triathlon website here.
I enjoyed the event so much last year that I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in every part of it. Here are my highlights from this year’s epic entertainment.
Meeting The Super League Triathlon Athletes
Richard Murray from South African and Sarah Alexander from USA gave a truly inspiring interview in the days before the main event, explaining their gruelling training regime and how they manage with being away from their families for so long.
The standout thing amongst all the athletes for me, was their calmness. I had expected them to be tenser about the upcoming race, but despite being individual competitors, their team spirit and camaraderie seemed to put them all at ease. It was a great atmosphere to be a part of.
Friday evening kicked off the competitions with the RBC Race for the Kids, followed by the Corporate Mix Draw at The Bar.
The RBC Race for the Kids provided a fantastic opportunity for more people to be involved in the event. Children and families of all abilities took part, alongside some of the pro-athletes, providing inspiration and a great wellbeing opportunity for our islands young athletes.
Watching the Corporate Mix Draw after at The Bar, we enjoyed an evening packed with hopeful corporate mix teams all desperate to draw the ‘favourites’ as their team’s athletes, such an excited, buzzy atmosphere.
A Boost For Jersey & Tourism
There’s no doubt that SLT is helping to put Jersey on the map from a sporting perspective and enticing more visitors to the island. The viewing numbers are still being collated, but if the subsequent coverage on social media and online is anything to go by, I think it’s safe to say they will be suitably impressive.
Crowds appeared in their thousands for the main event, lining every space available at the Waterfront and enjoying the JT Fanzone Area in-between races. It’s brilliant to see the States of Jersey and Economic Development getting behind the event and supporting Visit Jersey in their quest to entice more people to the island.
The Fast-Paced Format
Saturday packed a punch with no less than 7 races throughout the day, with Sunday also delivering an impressive 4 races.
This fast-paced format is possible thanks to the innovative race structure introduced at RBC Super League Triathlon. Rather than continually following the standard swim, bike, run format, the Triple Mix mixes it up (see what I did there?!).
Athletes start with the traditional format for the first race; however, the second and third races swap around the disciplines, meaning the athletes start on a different one each time, with a 10 minute break between races. This format creates a fairer race environment for all, as those with swimming as their strongest discipline cannot gain a lead advantage from the start of each race. It also adds to the excitement for us as spectators!
In Triple Mix, anyone who falls 90-seconds behind the race leader at each transition is cut from competition. The format really is intense and relentless!
The Enduro format on day two is quite simply brutal! Athletes complete a 300m swim, 5k bike and 2k run, three times over in the same order, without a break in-between. This format saw even world champions dropping out this time around, those who completed the whole race, all deserved a medal in my eyes!
Local Talent To Be Proud Of
I was truly impressed with our homegrown talent over the weekend, and the stamina they showed, getting involved in all the RBC Super League Triathlon had to offer.
Gemma Dawkins, aged 26, is already an Island Games gold medallist in 200m and 400m, she also manages local running club, Born to Run. Gemma took part in the RBC Race for the Kids, the Age Group Races and the Corporate Mix and was the only person to take part in all three. Well done Gemma for representing Jersey so positively!
Ollie Turner, aged 19, became the absolute pride of Jersey when he secured a golden ticket, through sheer grit and determination in the Men’s Enduro race. Ollie’s golden ticket gives him a pass to the rest of the Super League Triathlon Series and he will now go on to race in Malta, Mallorca and Singapore. I had the chance to meet Ollie at the event, he’s such a lovely guy and I’m sure Jersey will be behind him all the way.
Well, it wouldn’t be a Jersey Girl blog if there wasn’t food and drink involved now, would it!?
I had the absolute pleasure of being hosted in the hospitality section at Tiffin on the Saturday, courtesy of The Refinery team. Tiffin has long been one of my favourite establishments, especially the Waterfront venue, the team are just so incredibly friendly, and the space is amazing.
I was also lucky enough to experience a hospitality day at the Radisson on the Sunday, which benefits from having prime viewing over the finish line and the transition area. We finished up with the awards dinner on the Sunday evening, hosted at the Royal Yacht, which was a great opportunity to hear from the athletes about their experiences.
Despite not being at the finish line, I can honestly say that my favourite part of the weekend was spent watching the action from Tiffin, Prosecco and tasty treats included! The relaxed atmosphere on their terrace, coupled with the crazy action on the other side, was just a great combo!
Education, Enthusiasm & Excitement
As well as creating opportunities for the community to get involved with the race itself, the Super League Triathlon team went one step further and incorporated educational visits into their programme.
Pro-athletes took time out of their training regime to visit Jersey’s schools and educate our young minds on the importance of physical education and what triathlon means to them. They also spent time working with our future champions at the Jersey Tri Club, an experience I am sure the club will never forget.
On top of providing educational opportunities, building community spirit and opening up doors for Jersey on the global stage, I think the overall excitement and enthusiasm this event has instilled in the island was exactly what was needed in our island events scene and I cannot wait to be involved in it even more so next year (if that’s possible!).
In fact, I’m not sure I can even wait that long! Anyone fancy taking me to Malta for the next event in the series?!
Note: Some photography is courtesy of Super League Triathlon and their official photographers. Please visit the SLT Website for original shots and individual credits.