Impressive Performances at Devonport
10 December 2006
Impressive Performances at Devonport National Series Race
Second win for
Sheldrake; local star first woman home
Crowds at Auckland's Devonport Beach today saw Stephen Sheldrake take out the second Contact Energy New Zealand Cup men's race in the first ever National Triathlon Series.
208 competitors started today's race, which included a 750km from Devonport Beach; a 20km three-lap cycle and a 5km three-lap run course along King Edward Parade.
The win is Sheldrake's second in the series, following on from a spectacular win in the first race at New Plymouth on 11 November
At the end of the race Sheldrake,  finished just five seconds ahead of his nearest rival, coming across the finish line with a final time of 58.05.
The Sheldrake name is synonymous with Triathlon in New Zealand, with father Terry having a long history in the sport - he is the only New Zealand representative on the board of the International Triathlon Union and is event director of the National Triathlon Series.
Stephen, fresh from a 16th
placing at the Long Distance World Championships in Canberra
last month, said it was great to have another success at
today's Contact Energy New Zealand Cup race.
"I had no expectations for today's race after a two-week break from training so it was great to come in first again.
"The National Series is great for developing athletes in New Zealand. It's a great stepping stone to international competition for some of our young up-and-coming athletes."
Tony Dodds  of Wanaka came in second with a time of 58.58, and Martin van Barneveld  of Wellington finished third in 59.04.
In the women's race, local ex-Rangitoto College head girl Anna Hamilton  of Albany was the first to reach the finish line, with a time of 1.06.14, more than two minutes ahead of second place-getter Jacqui Seeold  from Kohimarama, Auckland, with a time of 1.08.16. Julia Grant  from Christchurch finished third with a time of 1.09.09.
Anna Hamilton said it was great to come in first in today's race and she's looking forward to taking part in further National Series races this season.
"The National Series is an amazing concept that Triathlon New Zealand has come up with to support New Zealand's up-and-coming athletes," Anna said.
A group of competitors aged 13 years and over completed the Tri My Sport participation race which featured a 300m swim from Devonport Beach; a 13km two-lap cycle; and a four kilometre two-lap run along King Edward Parade.
Nick Molcisi took out the men's field, finishing in 43.34, and the first woman home was 13 year-old North Shore local Maddie Dillon, who finished with a time of 47.34.
Triathlon New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Dave Beeche said it was fantastic to see so many competitors on the start line again at the second race in the first ever National Triathlon Series.
"It was great to see a wide range of participants taking part again today," Dave said.
"As a sport, Triathlon in New Zealand is growing in popularity and the National Series means that now a wider range of people can take part.
"Many triathlon events are targeted at specific age groups or are only run in the main centres whereas the National Series will span the length and breadth of the country."
Sponsored by Contact Energy, the National Series is a nationwide series of nine events open to all New Zealanders over the age of 13. The series is being held over the summer months from November 2006 to March 2007.
Future events will be held in Nelson, Christchurch, Rotorua, Kinloch, Whangamata, Napier and Wellington.
"Each venue will host two races - a Tri My Sport participation race and a Contact Energy New Zealand Cup race," Dave said.
The Tri My Sport participation race caters to the first time competitor, and the Contact Energy New Zealand Cup race is a medium to advanced level competition open to anyone over the age of 18.
Participants in this race will compete for prizes and also accumulate points, with the Contact Energy New Zealand Cup being awarded to the major point holder at the completion of the series.
To register for a National Series event in a town near you visit www.triathlon.org.nz
The National Series comprises eight
o Nelson 16 December 2006
o Christchurch 13 January 2007
o Rotorua 28 January 2007
o Kinloch 4 February 2007
o Napier 17 February 2007
o Whangamata 17 March 2007
o Wellington 31 March 2007