The Brad Richards Building Sea2Sky Challenge 2021 will boast a stellar line up this year with the top of Triathlon NZ High Performance (HP) Squad racing the iconic Christchurch classic on 14th March. The 2020 event fell victim to the first COVID-19 lockdown last year and was postponed till September, where it was one of the first events back on the sporting calendar. The race was redesigned to be a duathlon and had strict operational procedures around it to ensure the participants and supporters safety and was triumphed a great success and benchmark for other triathlon events moving forward.
The 2021 event will see Olympic hopefuls jostle for bragging rights, as well as over $5000 prize purse. Hayden Wilde, the rising star of triathlon has confirmed his entry, hot from his wins across New Zealand at the Suzuki Tri NZ Elite series this summer. The latest being at the Erin Baker Olympic Distance race this past weekend at the Kinloch Triathlon Festival. He has been battling it out over the domestic season with HP teammates Tayler Reid, Sam Ward and Saxon Morgan, as well as, up and coming Janus Staufenberg, who will all be joining him on the startline.
“The Sea2Sky is a real tough and technical with lots of hills so really looking forward to it in March,” said an excited Hayden Wilde.
Tayler Reid is also anticipating challenge, “I have never been to the race before but sounds like a hard course and I think it will be awesome.”
The women’s field will be equally stacked with Former U23 World Champion and TriNZ Suzuki Elite Series winner Rebecca Spence heading to the Garden City. Nicole Van der Kaay, Commonwealth Games medallist and currently 5th ranked in Oceania will be joining her. Ainsley Thorpe a young rising star of the elite triathlon scene, who came second in Kinloch and top 10 in last World Cup race in Mooloolaba before lockdown has entered. Plus Sophie Corbidge a formidable HP athlete who regularly comes in the top ten of World Cup circuit will be racing.
Race Director John Newsom commented, “It is amazing to be able to host the Sea2Sky with such an epic elite line up. We know our course can be challenging but that is why people love racing it. To see all these World Class athletes in action will be awesome and we hope that will inspire a whole new generation of triathletes to get out there and have a go.”
The Sea2Sky has an open water swim which can sometimes have surf for the participants to contend with. It also boasts a bike to the top of the Port Hills with a 6.5km climb and a run along some stunning trails.
The event was the brainchild of triathlon legend Dr John Hellemans and is now in its sixth year. Amongst the Sprint Distance event the HP athletes will be racing, there are events for all ages and abilities with a duathlon option, 17km run, Junior racing and kids Aquathon. One of the oldest competitors and a regular on the Christchurch triathlon scene, John Gordon, 81 years young will also be out there competing.
The event has the capacity to run at covid alert level 2 as was done with the postponed event last September.
For more information on how you can enter and the events on offer - www.sea2skychallenge.com.