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Port Taranaki Throws Support Behind Itu Triathlon World Cup

14 January 2014

For immediate release from Port Taranaki New Plymouth ITU World Cup Triathlon

Port Taranaki Throws Support Behind Itu Triathlon World Cup

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Javier Gomez (ESP) and Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) battle the last time an ITU World Cup was hosted in New Plymouth in 2008, Gomez winning on the day. Credit: Simon Grimmett

It is full steam ahead for the ITU World Cup Sprint Triathlon in New Plymouth next March, with news today that the Port Taranaki has joined forces as naming rights partner to this significant international sporting event.

The event sees World Cup Triathlon return to the city for the first time since 2008, with the ITU hosting rounds of the World Cup circuit in New Plymouth in 2005, 2006 and in 2008.

Event Director and Oceania Triathlon Union President Terry Sheldrake says the sport is abuzz with an event of true international significance returning to New Plymouth.

“The support of Port Taranaki is a hugely significant step forward for what will be a great event, one that will profile New Plymouth to the world. Port Taranaki was a great and valued partner to this event previously and has again stepped up to the mark as one of the city’s leading employers and most well known brands.”

Port Taranaki CEO Roy Weaver is delighted an event of this significance is once again being hosted in New Plymouth.

“We are delighted to pick up naming rights for this event, held right in our backyard, it is something we have worked very hard on, to work in with community events – it can be quite an exercise at times for such a busy operational Port as ours. We have to close roads and reroute traffic but these events are so well appreciated by the community that we find it important to be a part of them.

“All round this is good for the community, Taranaki is one of the provinces in New Zealand that punches well above its weight and size, I think we generate something like twice as much GDP per capita as other regions, this is largely under the radar. This sort of profile is great for the region and the community.

“Health and safety is a prime consideration as to how we do business every day; this also applies to events like this mixing a busy operational port and recreation, health and safety will be a great priority.”

The New Plymouth event sits perfectly in the calendar, coming two weeks prior to the Barfoot & Thompson ITU World Tri Series event in Auckland, which is also Tri NZ’s National standard distance Championships. This offers further incentive for the elite athletes to travel to New Zealand, race in the Sprint World Cup in New Plymouth and then on to Auckland.

The event already enjoys the support of Venture Taranaki and TSB Trust as major partners with Sheldrake buoyant about the likely depth and quality of an international field of triathletes set to thrill the city on March 23rd and the best part is the entertainment for spectators will be absolutely free!

“There is already considerable buzz around this event within the global triathlon community,” said Sheldrake. “We expect to have a full field of 75 elite men and close to that for the elite women. Since the event was confirmed we have had significant enquiries from teams and athletes including those from Russia, Britain, Brazil, Australia and of course a New Zealand presence.

“New Zealand is increasingly a popular destination for northern hemisphere athletes during their off-season, this will only strengthen the case to come down and train in our summer, knowing there is a growing calendar of quality international events in which to race and earn ITU ranking points as well.”

Racing will be centred on Ngamotu Beach with opportunities for everyone from the corporate and business community to beginners to social and serious age group triathletes and of course the elites. The ITU World Cup race is over the sprint distance (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) and that pattern will flow through all other events meaning short, fast and exciting racing whether you are participating or watching.

The city will be abuzz with triathlon activity throughout the week as international athletes arrive but racing is focused on Sunday March 23rd with the Corporate and Age Group events starting from 7.30am on one lap courses (bike and run) while the elite women start at midday and the elite men at 2.30 on multi-lap courses designed for great viewing by spectators. The same swim course will be used in all sprint distance races.

Port Taranaki New Plymouth ITU World Cup Triathlon
New Plymouth
Sunday March 23
7.30am           Corporate and Age Group racing starts
Midday           Elite Women, ITU World Cup
2.30pm           Elite Men, ITU World Cup


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