ttswimwurtelebattle

Canadian Heather Wurtele (center) fends off Aussie Ellie Salthouse (right) during the opening day TT swim.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In its second running, the Island House Triathlon aimed to pit the world’s best short, middle and long-distance triathletes against one another.

Beyond adding a Fittest CEO Challenge for the first time, the grand plan for the new pro race format was to equalize the event for the athletes, making a short race benefits for the long-course races. So the event went to non-drafting this year.

And they added a twist: Friday and Saturday’s racing are hyper-important; only the top 10 male and female athletes after two days of cumulative timed events (the swim, bike and run time trials and today’s Enduro race) will move on.

So too will the venue. Racing Friday and Saturday takes place in Nassau, but the Sunday finale takes fans and media on ferryboats (and athletes on seaplanes) to the small island of Highbourne Cay for the event’s grand finale sprint race, with time-staggered starts based on the previous day’s finishes. Beyond that, the top five athletes will receive an automatic invite to next year race, as will the overall swim split, bike split and run split champs, as well as each of the three stage’s winners… meaning Lawrence and Royle are already on the list for next year’s invitational.

Things kicked off Friday with the opening salve: three timed events: a solo 750m swim, a solo 20k time trial and a solo 5k run. And it gave organizers what it hoped for: zero predictability. After Day One times were tabulated, it was Australian ITU pro Aaron Royle and reigning Ironman 70.3 World Champion Holly Lawrence who assume the race lead of the three-day invitational stage race.

ttlawrencerun

A balanced effort netted Lawrence the overall race lead through Day One.

WOMEN

At Clifton Beach, athletes dove in from a beach start and pawed through the light chop in aquamarine Caribben waters. There, Spanish ITU pro Carolina Routier bested American swim ace Lauren Brandon and 2016 ITU Series champ Flora Duffy of Bermuda.

The flat, fast but windy non-drafting 20k bike down a road beset on either side by trees bowed or snapped following last month’s Hurricane Matthew saw some power from the long-course athletes. Canadian Ironman pro Heather Wurtele had the day’s fastest bike in 28:30. And on the 5k run, it was Rio Olympic gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen who set the quickest time (and was the only athlete to run under 17 minutes in 16:50.

On the strength of balanced attack, it was 70.3 champ Lawrence to took the top spot Friday, with ITU aces Flora Duffy (33 seconds back) and Jorgensen (47 seconds behind) sitting in second and third, respectively.

storygwen

American Gwen Jorgensen holds down third place through the first day of racing at the Island House Triathlon

MEN

The lean Aussie Royle fairly smoked the field in the swim time trial, splitting 9:37 and among just two other athletes (Spain’s Mario Mola and American Eric Lagerstrom) who swam under 10 minutes. The bike saw a Kiwi Ironman champ Terenzo Bozzone outclass a field of short-course gunners to earn the day’s second-fastest 20k bike (behind Canadian powerhouse Lionel Sanders) in 20:52. The run saw South African ITU pro Richard Murray split the quickest 5k in 53:12.

By day’s end, Royle held down third, with Murray in third. But it was Bozzone who seemed the most happy with his race, beset on either end by ITU pros, just a few days removed from winning Ironman 70.3 Miami.

storyroylerun

Royle’s day-quick swim TT was backed by strong bike and run time trials that helped him cement the race lead through Stage One.

“I love this format, the fairness and competitiveness, and you can tell by the smile on my face, I’m pretty rapt,” Bozzone told LAVA. “A lot of emphasis in my training is on recovery so hopefully that’ll help me out. We’ll see tomorrow.”

American hopeful Ben Hoffmann suffered a flat tire, and even more bad luck befell German bike powerhouse Andreas Drietz when his rear derailleur tore off his bike. Drietz was very matter of fact. “That takes me out of a chance for Sunday racing—but that’s racing.”

Saturday’s action in Nassau features the final race-in for the Sunday finale with an enduro: a consecutive swim/run/bike/swim/run. Check in here for post-race reports and galleries.

storysandersbike

Canadian Lionel Sanders recorded the opening day’s fastest bike split in Nassau.

Island House Triathlon

Day One: Swim, Bike and Run ITT

 

WOMEN

750M Swim            20K Bike            5K Run     Total

1 Holly Lawrence (GBR)            10:23            28:31            18:02            56:55

2 Flora Duffy (BER)            10:21            29:25            17:44             57:28

3 Gwen Jorgensen (USA)            10:25            30:28            16:50            57:42

4 Helle Frederiksen (DEN)            10:38            29:16            18:08            58:01

5 Lauren Goss (USA)            10:49            29:45            17:51            58:24

6 Ellie Salthouse (AUS)            10:58            29:31            18:15            58:42

7 Lisa Norden (SWE)            10:49            29:02            18:53            58:43

8 Rachel Klamer (NED)            10:24            30:31            18:03            58:57

9 Sarah True (USA)            10:23            30:43            17:56            59:01

10 Alicia Kaye (USA)            10:45            29:27            18:51            59:02

11 Katie Zaferes (USA)            10:34            30:27            18:27            59:27

12 Emma Moffatt (AUS)            10:31            30:47            18:15            59:32

13 Heather Wurtele (CAN)            11:48            28:30            19:19            59:36

14 Lauren Brandon (USA)            10:17            29:08            20:24            59:48

15 Magali Tisseyre (CAN)            11:39            29:56            18:36             1:00:10

16 Mirinda Carfrae (AUS)            12:05            30:06            18:30             1:00:39

17 Leanda Cave (GBR)            11:05            30:10            19:43             1:00:57

18 Carolina Routier (ESP) 10:07            32:46            18:47             1:01:38

 

MEN

750M Swim             20K Bike             5K Run             Total

1 Aaron Royle (AUS)            9:37            26:58            16:26            52:59

2 Terenzo Bozzone (NZL)            10:08            25:52            17:08            53:06

3 Richard Murray (RSA)            10:10            27:38            15:26            53:12

4 Mario Mola (ESP)            9:49            27:55            15:34            53:17

5 Joe Maloy (USA)            10:09            27:28            15:44            53:20

6 Cam Dye (USA)            10:01            26:11            17:19             53:30

7 Lionel Sanders (CAN)            12:10            25:22            16:10            53:41

8 Eric Lagerstrom (USA)            9:53            27:09            16:41            53:41

9 Brent McMahon (CAN)            10:20            27:11            16:13            53:43

10 Sebastian Kienle (GER)            10:52            26:15            16:39            53:45

11 Tim Reed (AUS)            10:41            26:57            16:26            54:03

12 Leon Griffin (AUS)            10:35            27:10            16:23            54:07

13 Jorik Van Egdom (NED)            10:48            27:00            16:24             54:10

14 Tim Don (GBR)            10:33            27:15            16:30            54:17

15 Tim O’Donnell (USA)            10:34            26:40            17:05            54:18

16 Trevor Wurtele (CAN)            11:39            26:49            16:57            55:24

17 Ben Hoffman (USA)            10:40            29:37            17:35            57:50

18 Barrett Brandon (USA)            10:13            29:10            18:42            58:04

19 Andreas Dreitz (GER)            10:58            42:13            18:43             1:11:53

 

CEO Challenge

375m Swim 20K Bike 5K Run Total

1 Brent De Jong            8:43            30:59            20:11            59:51

2 Shannon Horn            8:21            32:16            20:11             1:00:47

3 Anthony Sullivan            7:42            30:34            22:41            1:00:55

4 Jon McGowan            10:21            32:24            18:47            1:01:30

5 David Kimelberg            11:14            30:43            21:43            1:03:38

6 Jeff Runyan            8:30            33:54            21:22            1:03:44

7 Alain Villeneuve            12:52            33:10            21:28            1:07:28

8 Brad Webb            9:09            35:06            23:46            1:07:59

9 Andrew Palowitch            10:22             6:54            22:15            1:09:30