The organising team at Challenge Wanaka has announce the expansion of the event’s ‘Festival of Triathlon’ as it hosts the New Zealand National AquaBike Championship on Saturday 17 February 2018. The race, which consists of a 3km swim and a 120km bike, will be a selection race for the World AquaBike Championships in Denmark.
Competitors will swim two laps in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Wanaka and cycle two laps amongst the alpine scenery between Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea.
The Challenge Wanaka team added that regular Challenge Wanaka athlete and benefactor – Garth Barfoot – is very generously supporting this event to enable a New Zealand team to travel and compete in the ITU World Championships in Denmark 2018.
Race Director Bill Roxburgh, said “The AquaBike is an exciting new event to come to the Challenge Wanaka Festival of Triathlon. It is not only tailored to those triathletes that prefer to swim and bike rather than run, but is also a great introduction to athletes preparing to enter the triathlon scene. The AquaBike is a great fit into our Saturday programme alongside our Challenge Wanaka Full and Half competitors and will be an exciting new addition for our spectators.”
Furthering the expansion and diversity of the Festival of Triathlon has been a key focus for Challenge Wanaka. The 2018 festival programme marks the 10th anniversary of the Puzzling World Junior Challenge Wanaka, an event that now attracts over 900 primary school aged children.
In addition, in 2018, will be the Challenge Secondary Schools event on Thursday 15 February sponsored by Mitre 10 Wanaka. Whilst open to all secondary school ages to enter, this new event will also play host to the Otago championships.
Strong local Wanaka support has enabled the attraction of two New Zealand Championship events for 2018. These inclusions are expected to bring with a further boost of visitors to the area with an estimated 3000 competitors in the Wanaka region for the duration of the week-long festival.
Tom Pryde, Chairman of the Challenge Wanaka Sports Trust, added “I am thrilled that Wanaka has been awarded the right to stage the official 2018 Triathlon NZ AquaBike Championships. This is a huge vote of confidence by TriNZ in the Wanaka community, which for many years has been truly outstanding in the way that it has embraced and supported the significant growth and success of all of the local triathlon festival events.”
Challenge Wanaka will take place on Saturday 17 February 2018.