Nathan Dunkley was back in the mix shortly after his Bateman’s Bay race for the Triathlon New South Wales club championships. The following is a race report in his own words:
For the 2nd year running the NSW club champs was held at Forster on the central coast. A great spot with significant triathlon heritage it being the original IM Aus location back in the 90's. This is purely team event with a point score system for placing, attending, marshalling etc Competition between clubs is surprisingly fierce with many drafting pro's for the day meaning you get a strong field at the top end with a total field of 700+. It's a club distance event (1,30,8) which I've grown to like as a comfortable middle ground, not crazy fast like sprint and not quite as long as OD which would put a lot of people off racing.
The swim was super fast being held in a sheltered lake, the top guys coming out in 12's, I cruised a 14:22 on the back off a reasonable pack. For some benign reason they had my wave 30-34 going off last therefore we had to swim over and bike round everyone else’s dregs… The ride was flattish, bad seal, 2 lap course. 700 people over 15K lap obviously meant the usual traffic, bad riding and drafting… Ideal course for me really, I came off the bike first in my wave with a cat fasting 47, top boys were doing 46's but their wave went out first therefore that's where I'll say I dropped my min. The run was a XC and road mix so pretty slow; obviously this is where you really get to some of the young pro's show their colours. My club (Coogee Tri) had x3 of the NSW junior dev squad racing all coming in at 31's, I got pulled out for undoing my helmet 2s before racking my bike by a fascist TA exerting his will power.. I had a OK run at 32 getting run down by some of the usual suspects finishing an eventual 5th in my cat. Honours for the day went Matilda Reynolds for the ladies from spots local squad with a 1.38 and Sam Appleton winning the men's in 1:26 surprisingly beating Michael Murphy in to 2nd who's won most of the OD and sprint racing in NSW this year. I came in 20th over all with a reasonable 1:33.
Clubs Champs is as much about the pissup as it is about the race so quickly after returning to camp all the clubs proceeded to start off season recovery procedure being excessive beer and general inebriation… Balmoral took the big club win this year, smashing all contenders (Hills and Cronulla), they seemed to have at least 2 strong contenders in pretty much every cat.. Coogee Tri took the medium sized club victory much to the pleasure of club president Matty Dymond. The victory meant additional recovery inebriation in to the small hrs of the morning and the chances of a 4hr ride the next day increasingly unlikely..