IRONMAN has confirmed that the Cairns Airport IRONMAN Cairns triathlon has been named the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship for the next three years.
It has been a busy time for IRONMAN. Its ownership by Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group was confirmed this week, and an array of initiatives have been unveiled in a matter of days, including:
- An expanded sponsor partnership in North America with Clif Bar;
- Confirmation that the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship will be held in Western Sydney;
- An international expansion for IRONMANSTORE.com; and
- An extension of the Regional TriClub Championship Series at IRONMAN 70.3 Puerto Rico 2016.
The confirmation of Cairns as the destination for IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship overcomes challenges faced in Melbourne, where a scheduling clash with the Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix next March forced a cancellation of the Melbourne event.
The IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship Cairns will take place slightly later next year on 12 June 2016.
Cairns in tropical North Queensland, Australia will become one of five IRONMAN Regional Championship races, joining the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN North American Championship Texas, USA; IRONMAN South American Championship Brazil; IRONMAN European Championship Frankfurt and the Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship South Africa.
“Announcing Cairns as the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship venue for the next three years enhances Queensland’s reputation as the home of triathlon in Australia,” IRONMAN Asia Pacific CEO Geoff Meyer said. “Cairns is a first-class city, fully qualified and well-equipped to deliver an exceptional event, and we look forward to providing our athletes with an unforgettable championship race experience.”
The Championship features ‘one of the most spectacular bike courses in the world’. Competitors will ride along the Captain Cook Highway, which hugs the coastline from Cairns to Port Douglas.
Cairns will have the distinction of hosting the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship after a successful run in Melbourne from 2012 to 2015.
“During its time in Melbourne the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship became a sought-after title for professionals and age groupers alike. We believe the event will continue to grow in both profile and reputation in Cairns,” Meyer added.
In addition, the Cairns Airport Adventure Festival, a week long build-up to the IRONMAN event, will continue for an additional three years. At the festival, events include Cairns Airport IRONMAN Cairns, IRONMAN 70.3 Cairns, Coral Coast Triathlon, RRR Mountain Bike Challenge, Great Barrier Reef Ocean Challenge, Quicksilver Reef Swim – Green Island, The Cairns Post Bright Night Run and McDonalds IRONKIDS Cairns.
“I am delighted that the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship will become an extension to the highly successful Cairns Airport Adventure Festival for the next three years,” said Kate Jones, Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Commonwealth Games.
“The IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship is expected to grow the economic impact of the Cairns Adventure Festival beyond the AU$10 million it generated earlier this year – a significant enhancement for the event, Cairns and Queensland tourism. We are looking forward to hosting IRONMAN athletes and having them experience the best destination on earth.”
The 2016 Cairns Airport IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship will offer a US$150,000 professional prize purse and 75 age-group qualifying slots for the 2016 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona Hawai’i.