October 16th – The inaugural Straddie Salute was held last Sunday 12th October on beautiful North Stradbroke Island, Queensland.
The event was billed as “an adventure in nature’s playground” and with a course that offered surf, sand, bush, kangaroos and even a whale sighting the 110 competitors who took up the challenge were not disappointed.
After several days of unseasonal rain on the island the skies cleared to deliver perfect race conditions. As the competitors lined up on Home Beach to face the 600m swim leg the excitement and nervous tension about what lay ahead was palpable.
Battling light seas and temperate water conditions it was Brisbane woman, Chelsea Ingwerson who put one over the boys by emerging first from the water.
Dave Brown from Mt Gravatt got on his bike in third position but quickly powered his way to the front on the 18km mountain bike section. By the time he hit transition two Brown had opened up a 4 minute lead on the rest of the pack.
Jacqui Kelly also showed her strength on the bike leg, leading the womens field into the final 9km run leg. After negotiating a small creek section, watched closely by some resident kangaroos, competitors ran along Main Beach before linking with what is considered one of the most scenic coastal trails in Queensland. While one competitor reported seeing the breach of a passing humpback at Point Lookout, leading competitor Dave Brown was a little more focused on the task at hand.
After tackling almost 30 km of surf, bush and sand Brown took the inaugural honours, crossing the line in 1 hour 28 minutes, almost 5 minutes ahead of the next competitor. Looking surprisingly fresh Brown praised the event saying “the course was challenging but great fun, particularly the run section which was absolute bliss”.
Jacqui Kelly continued her domination of the womens field coming home first in 1 hour 42 minutes. Kelly, a first timer to North Stradbroke Island said that the location was spectacular and the race a perfect hit-out before the X-terra World Championships in Hawaii in two weeks time. She also left no doubt as to her intentions for next year’s Straddie Salute “I’m already looking forward to coming back”! she said.
Overall & Category Results from the inaugural Straddie Salute:
John Guise, Event Director
Weekend Warrior Events
Mbl. 0449 253 173