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 hours 52 minutes and 55 seconds.
Last year’s winner, Nathan Stewart (Pelican) ended up in fifth place after his paddle broke in the river during the kayak leg.
After 25 years of 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 hours 54 minutes and 55 seconds.
Third place was Nigel Hoschke (Dee Why) in 2 hours 55 minutes and 55 seconds.
The first team to 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 hours 40 minutes and 26 seconds. In second, was team 401, Jason Pearce (Singleton), John Gruhn (Singleton) and John Watson (Singleton) crossing the line in 3 hours 9 minutes and 5 seconds. Less then a minutes later, the team 414, Grant Webster (Tea Gardens), Jared Wait (Blackhead) and Rhett Pattison (Taree) crossed the line in 3 hours 10 minutes.
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 hours 47 minutes and 16 seconds, followed by Jacalyn Tebb (Kincumber) in 4 hours 19 minutes and 17 seconds, with Wendy Smith (Fairlight) placing third in 4 hours 43 minutes and 50 seconds.
Junior male division had two competitors, with Benjamin Doran (Dudley) taking first in 4 hours 12 minutes and 45 seconds and Andrew Hughes (Gloucester) finishing in 4 hours 27 minutes and 7 seconds.
The only junior female to compete was Isabella Bakewell-Doran, finishing in 5 hours and 34 seconds.
In the open women’s team division, Gloucester’s Margo Cameron, Kim Hascheck and Lauren Cowley were the only competitors, finishing in 4 hours 16 minutes and 1 second.
Open mixed team results saw team 611, Damien Enderby (Valentine), Craig Elliott (Valentine) and Jennifer Enderby (Valentine) finish first in 2 hours 58 minutes and 10 seconds, followed by team 601, Andrew Lloyd (Barnsley), Elizabeth Praclica (Singleton) and Sean Cadman (Muswellbrook) in 3 hours 11 minutes and 20 seconds. Hot on their heels was team 600, Brendan Clark (Mirrabooka), Clarence Hines (Cooranbong) and Lynita Clark (Mirrabooka) finishing seconds later in 3 hours 11 minutes and 38 seconds.
The only junior male team was Gloucester High School students, Cadel Beard, Hamish McClure and Jacob Moulds, finishing in 4 hours 40 minutes.
The tandem team division had two teams competing, with John Barnes and Mardi Barnes finishing in 4 hours 4 minutes and 20 seconds, followed by Richard Barnes and Linden Barnes crossing the line after 5 hours 10 minutes and 16 seconds.
For full local results click here