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1991 Port of Tauranga Half winner returns for Aquabike event

An exciting new multisport event at the Compressport Mount Festival of Multisport has lured back one of early winners of the Port of Tauranga Half.

The Höpt Soda AquaBike, is a new event which consists of a 1.3k swim, followed by a 45km bike. Festival director, Lauren Watson says – “The Höpt Soda AquaBike offers the perfect pathway to get involved in the sport of triathlon without the additional challenge of the run leg. It is perfect for first timers, triathlon veterans and everyone in between”

One triathlon veteran who has been attracted back to the Mount by the Höpt Soda AquaBike is the winner of the 1991 Port of Tauranga Half – Dave Bradding.

The 55 year from Auckland has fantastic memories of winning the second ever Port of Tauranga Half in a time of 4:04:45 saying – “it was a bit smaller than the event today, but already a popular and well run event in those days, with good crowds coming out to watch”.

He competed in the individual event again in 1995 before living in the UK for a long period, and knee injuries and several surgeries, led him to taking a break from the sport.

He returned to the Mount Maunganui event in 2009 & 2011 in a team capacity, taking part in the swimming leg.

His return to triathlon came 15 months ago when he decided to enter the 2017 Auckland World Masters Sprint Tri. He came fourth in his age group with limited biking, and even less running, and to his delight found that his knee caused no problems.

So, the passion for triathlon has returned with the current goal of getting to the World Age Group champs, which are being held on the Gold Coast this year. He is just getting back into his running, so when he heard about the new Höpt Soda AquaBike he was keen to participate.

Dave Bradding’s 1991 Port of Tauranga Half victory places him on the roll call of winners of the prestigious event, and now is part of a little more history in being part of the inaugural Höpt Soda AquaBike.

He will be on the start line of the Höpt Soda AquaBike at 8:25am on Saturday, 20 January, which starts after the Enduro and Port of Tauranga Half.


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