Crowdy Bay's future to be decided mid-year

FORSTER Triathlon Club will make a decision mid-year on whether to resurrect the Crowdy Bay Triathlon in 2019.

The club confirmed last week the Crowdy race, conducted since 2013, would not go ahead on the proposed date of  this Sunday January 28. Among the reasons was because race director, Rhett Pattison, stepped aside after five years in the role and his position wasn’t filled.

Pattison told the Times it was his ‘gut feeling’ that the triathlon wouldn’t be held again. Forster Tri Club switched the January event from Cundletown to Crowdy in 2013. At the time the club’s committee had a strong representation of members from the Manning Valley area. However, that’s not now the case. When the club started the race at Cundletown in 2008, Richard Sewell from Cundle was the president.

Forster Tri president Dave Fitzhardinge said a decision would be made by the club’s  committee after the next annual meeting.

“So I would say we’d make the call about 2019 in about June,’’ he said.

However, Fitzhardinge said logistically running the event at Crowdy is difficult, especially with the growing popularity of the club’s girls only triathlon at Forster, also run in January.

“Last year (Crowdy) was a nightmare,’’ he said.

“The two races were only a week apart and we had to pick everything up from our base at Forster Keys after the girls only race and take it out to Crowdy. That’s a big ask for volunteers.’’

The girls triathlon was run this year attracted a capacity field despite poor weather.

“Crowdy is also an odd location,’’ Fitzhardinge added.

“The course is great. But there’s no infrastructure there – not like running a race at Port Macquarie, Forster or Nelson Bay.’’

The travel involved for the club members involved in the running of the event is another factor.

“Okay, it's not a huge trip to Crowdy Head from Forster. But we have all our gear out here and we have put it in a trailer and transport it there in time for a 7am start.

"All that for a race that only gets around 100 entrants.’’

He agreed there has been a shift in the composition of the club's committee, which now has a majority of members from the Great Lakes.