After 10 years of competing, Lachlan Bakewell, from Merewether, crossed the finish line first in the 27th annual Gloucester Mountain Man Tri Challenge.
Lachlan started coming to the challenge when he was 12 years old and on Sunday, September 10, he won the open men’s individual in 2:52.55.
Last year’s winner, Nathan Stewart (Pelican) ended with a fifth after his paddle broke in the river during the kayak leg.
After 25 years competing, Nathan gracefully handed over the title, saying: “A new star is born.”
The kayak leg caused a few issues, with the water levels being so low, but Lachlan persevered only getting out of the boat three times.
“I knew the best way to win was to stay in the boat,” he said.
And it worked. Other competitors suffered broken paddles in the river and some had flat tyres on the mountain bike leg.
Darren Morton (Cooranbong) placed second with a time of 2:54.55
Third place was Nigel Hoschke (Dee Why) in 2:55. 55.
The first team crossed the finish line not long after the first few individual competitors.
What makes this an extraordinary feat, is that the teams began the race 30 minutes after the singles, meaning team 405 gained time during the race; just over 12 minutes.
“That’s never happened before,” event volunteer Peter Markey said.
Team 405, Liam McGurie (Redhead), Murray Davies (Caves Beach) and Jacob Davies (Caves Beach), finished in 2:40.26 seconds. In second, was team 401, Jason Pearce (Singleton), John Gruhn (Singleton) and John Watson (Singleton) crossing the line in 3:9.5. Less then a minutes later, the team 414, Grant Webster (Tea Gardens), Jared Wait (Blackhead) and Rhett Pattison (Taree) crossed the line in 3:10.
In open women’s individual, Darleen Cheney (Port Macquarie) managed to cross the finish line first, despite nursing a flat tyre on the bike leg.
“I just put all my weight on the back tyre and kept riding,” she laughed.
She finished in 3:47.16 seconds, followed by Jacalyn Tebb (Kincumber) in 4:19.17, with Wendy Smith (Fairlight) placing third in 4:43.50 seconds.
Junior male division had two competitors, with Benjamin Doran (Dudley) taking first in 4:12.45 seconds and Andrew Hughes (Gloucester) finishing in 4:27.7 seconds.
The only junior female to compete was Isabella Bakewell-Doran, finishing in 5:34.
In the open women’s team division, Gloucester’s Margo Cameron, Kim Hascheck and Lauren Cowley were the only competitors, finishing in 4:6.1.
Open mixed team results saw team 611, Damien Enderby (Valentine), Craig Elliott (Valentine) and Jennifer Enderby (Valentine) finish first in 2:58.10 seconds, followed by team 601, Andrew Lloyd (Barnsley), Elizabeth Praclica (Singleton) and Sean Cadman (Muswellbrook) in 3:11.20 seconds. Hot on their heels was team 600, Brendan Clark (Mirrabooka), Clarence Hines (Cooranbong) and Lynita Clark (Mirrabooka) finishing seconds later in 3:11.38.
The only junior male team was Gloucester High School students, Cadel Beard, Hamish McClure and Jacob Moulds, finishing in 4:40.
The tandem team division had two teams competing, with John Barnes and Mardi Barnes finishing in 4:4.20 seconds, followed by Richard Barnes and Linden Barnes crossing the line after 5:10.16 seconds.
For full local results click here