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Sovereign Tri Series Puts Wanaka Back on the Calendar

24 September 2014

For immediate release from Triathlon New Zealand, for further information visit or


The announcement of the new-look and refreshed Sovereign Tri Series today is great news for Central Otago with Wanaka back on the calendar after a year’s absence with the lakeside town set to host the South Island Standard Distance Championships on Sunday January 18 this summer.

Tri NZ CEO Craig Waugh says with the move of Challenge Wanaka to mid-February, the opportunity to return to a location such as Wanaka during the holiday season was too good to turn down.

“Where else in the world would you rather be than Wanaka to take part in a triathlon? The location and surroundings are stunning and the timing is perfect with the race set to give Challenge Wanaka participants a rehearsal a month ahead of that fast growing event.

“But we did not just want to turn up with a run of the mill event, hence Tri NZ has given the Wanaka race South Island Championships status with medals on the line in all age groups, as well as the race being a secondary qualifier for the 2015 Age Group World Championships in Chicago in September.”

The timing of the event on Sunday 18th January also ties in with the Ruby Swim on the Saturday, enticing triathletes to make a weekend of it with the swim on theSaturday and triathlon on the Sunday.

Wanaka based world number five ranked elite athlete Nicky Samuels has long been an advocate for the region and while too early to say if she will participate herself, is right behind the event.

“It’s great to see the Sovereign Tri Series returning to Wanaka after a year off. I hope that people who usually plan their holidays at this time in Wanaka can use this as something to train for, get fit for or just enter over the Christmas period.

“Now that Challenge Wanaka has moved to February, this is perfect timing for those who are entered to come and have a pre-Challenge race hit out over the standard distance and for those in the South Island wanting to get to the Age Group World Champs this is your chance to book your spot.

“There will also be the ‘Ruby Island Swim’ on that weekend so it’s a great chance to do the double event, swim race on the Saturday and then triathlon on theSunday. A perfect weekend away for those out of town and a perfect goal event to motivate locals to get out there and do triathlon.”

Waugh says Tri NZ is continuing to work with local stakeholders to help create a great weekend that he hopes will become established on the calendar, attracting locals and visitors alike to fully immerse themselves in what Wanaka has to offer.

Waugh appreciates the support received from the business community, the council, Sport Central and the local clubs.

“We are a not-for-profit organisation that is not driven by profits, our focus is community participation and a platform for our World Champs selection. We have listened to the South Island triathlon community and are providing an opportunity for people to engage.

“After some initial confusion around available dates, we have looked to find a compromise that will benefit everyone, including organisers of the Ruby Swim event. I have no doubt that many of our triathlon participants will be keen to line up in the swim on the Saturday. We will promote the swim and Sovereign Tri as a collective opportunity for the public. This and the varied schedule of events in the Sovereign Wanaka Tri will help attract families and holidaymakers to the region for the entire weekend. We look forward to building that relationship again with local council, businesses, residents and event organisers.”

The events planned at Wanaka include:

• Ruby Island Swim on the Saturday (see web link below)

• Sovereign Tri Wanaka on the Sunday

• South Island Standard Distance Championships (secondary qualification event for NZ age group team to ITU World Championships)

• A standard distance on the Challenge Wanaka course

• An off-road ‘fat-tyre’ (mountain bike) event that takes in a trail ride and run

• A fun easy to achieve race option for beginners and children

• Team options in all events

Entries are live now for all events in the Sovereign Tri Series, including Sovereign Tri Wanaka, visit for more information.

For more information on Swim Ruby Island visit

© Scoop Media

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