After successfully staging the 30th Annual GBPA Conchman Triathlon a mere four weeks after the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in October, the Conchman committee and title sponsor, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, are already preparing for a spectacular event in 2017.
As the triathlon is held yearly on the first Saturday in November, this year’s event will take place on November 4 and will feature a number of segments that made their debut last year.
“The Corporate Challenge Cup (CCC) and the Secondary Schools Competition (SSC) were very popular additions to the 2016 competition,” said Conchman Committee Chairman Christopher Baker. “We had nine companies take part in the CCC and 16 teams from five schools participated in the SSC. The students were all very enthusiastic and the teachers have told me that they will be back this year with more teams.”
The incorporation of an Olympic distance event – 1500m swim, 40K bike, 10K run – was also well-received last year, but due to the shortage of hotel rooms at the time, many of the Florida-based athletes who registered could not attend.
“I have written to each of them and they have all confirmed that they will take part this year,” Mr. Baker explained.
In total, just over 100 participants took part in the 2016 triathlon, including several Florida residents and about nine athletes from Nassau.
An especially popular addition to last year’s event was hosting the awards presentation and after-party on Taino Beach immediately following the triathlon and Iron Kids races.
Colourful medals and the traditional hand-blown glass trophies were awarded to the various winners in the individual and team categories. The presentation was followed by a lively Junkanoo performance.
Electronic chip timing, provided by P.R.O.M.P.T. out of Nassau, enabled athletes to know their placement shortly after they crossed the finish line, thus contributing to the festive party atmosphere on the beach.
Participants can expect this to continue moving forward.
Conchman purists will appreciate that the 2017 bike course will once again go over the Casuarina Bridge and to the first circle for a distance of 25K as it used to do.
“Crossing over the Grand Lucayan Waterway is a feature unique to Grand Bahama and many people commented that they missed the challenge of the bridge when we shortened the bike course last year,” Mr. Baker revealed. “So they will be happy to know we have reinstated that segment.”
Online and in-person registration will open shortly. Complete information on the race as well as travel information for visitors is available on the website www.ConchmanTriathlon.com or on Facebook.
By Bahamas Ministry of Tourism – Grand Bahama
The month of November rolled in with a wave of excitement as triathlon enthusiasts from near and far converged for a time of high-spirited competition in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Conchman Triathlon, held on Saturday, November 5th, 2016.
With sun-kissed ocean views and tropical weather conditions, the stage was set for the start of the early morning sporting event.
The initial fear of organizers and participants towards the event’s continuation, in light of the environmental damage due to the passage of Hurricane Matthew, was short-lived, as the island was able to regroup in time, signifying the relaunch of tourism activity on Grand Bahama Island.
Betty Bethel, Director for the Ministry of Tourism, commended the organizers for quickly mobilizing themselves to host a successful event, given only four weeks post Matthew.
She added that, “The Ministry of Tourism is very grateful to the organizing team, led by Mr. Christopher Baker, and we are looking forward to an even bigger participation next year from the international participants”.
This year’s event attracted some 150 participants, inclusive of thirteen domestic contenders from New Providence and Abaco, along with a contingent of eight US competitors and spectators that travelled from San Francisco.
US participant-Stephen Laursen, who has competed in the event since 1997 said, “It is sad to see what has happened [to the island] but it is good to see the island is still alive and well”.
When asked about his motivation for competing each year, Laursen spoke to the amazing job that the organizers were doing in keeping the event alive. He said, “This event is so incredible, with all of the other triathlon events being so commercialized, this is the one that still has that early spirit of triathlon”.
Laursen secured the overall win in the men’s category, for the twelfth year, and Elizabeth Shadock, of New Providence, captured the win in the female category for the third year.
Jay Philippe, Assistant Manager of Sports Tourism for the Ministry of Tourism, said that, “There were a lot more persons that were preparing to attend but were unable to due to the unavailability of hotel rooms”.
Philippe added that the Sports Tourism team is excited about what the remainder of 2016 will bring to the athletic community of Grand Bahama, the surrounding islands and the South Florida sporting community.
He said, “We are looking forward to hosting the first X-Treme 13.2 Intracoastal Challenge in a few short weeks [December 3rd], and we will continue to place our efforts behind this to ensure that Grand Bahama receives the exposure that it deserves”.
The 30th Annual Conchman Triathlon event climaxed with a Junkanoo rush featuring the winners of this year’s Junkanoo Summer Festival, the Platinum Knights, who were costumed to commemorate Guy Fawkes Day.
The Grand Bahama Conchman Triathlon has been one of the premiere events on the island for 30 years now.
The triathlon has tested the will and strength of young people and adults over the years and the trend is expected to continue in one of the more entertaining events.
Set to take place at Taino Beach on November 5, over 100 swimmers, bikers and runners are expected to once again see who will come out on top in the tri-sport event.
Start time is set for 8:00 a.m.
Organizers and sponsors, the Grand Bahama Port Authority and Ministry of Tourism: Grand Bahama, met this past Tuesday at the host venue site to continue selling the hype of the triathlon’s 30th anniversary. Christopher Baker, Chairman of the Conchman Triathlon committee said the milestone was occasion enough to make the event a “special” one and have added new events to the upcoming race.
“Besides the sprint distance that we’ve had every year and the Ironkids and the team relays, we have family relays; we’ve added a few things. We’ve added an Olympic distance in order to attract those athletes that are really keen on taking part and it will stretch them a bit further,” he explained to members of the local media, “It’s double the distance of the sprint. So it really challenges them.”
“We’ve also added the corporate challenge cup. In order to get more people to participate locally, we’ve invited businesses besides just sponsoring us that they can put in a team of three people; one will swim, one will bike and one will run. We have got a special cup that will be presented to the winning company. We hope this will be a big attraction to see who is the fittest company in Grand Bahama.”
Baker further introduced that there will be a schools competition to get the high school students involved as well. According to Baker, Bll of the secondary schools were contacted and he expects some of them to participate. The school teams will produce teams of three people to swim, bike and run.
Registration is ongoing and forms can be downloaded from the triathlon’s website; www.conchmantriathlon.com or they can be picked up from Cafferata Corporate Services on Poinciana and West Mall Drive. Registration fees can also be paid at the establishment.
“It should be possible for people to get registered before the event. There is no registration on the day at all, except for the Ironkids. The Ironkids can register on the day at Taino Beach.”
For the sprint portion of the event, the swim will be 750 meters, the bike ride will be a 20K, and the run will be a 5K. For the Olympic participants, the swim will be a 1.5K, a 40K bike ride and a 10K run. The Ironkids event will include a 200m swim, a 2.5K bike ride and a 800m run.
Director for the MOTGB, Betty Bethel said the event is something they have always sup- ported. With this being the 30th anniversary of the race, she fur- thered it prompted them to go “above and beyond” in helping out. Bethel also stated that 15 international athletes are con- firmed and they expect more to come on stream.
“We know that the Conchman Triathlon does attract visitors to our island and that’s our primary reason we like to support these type of events. Of course considering we’re just coming out of a major hurricane this event is even more significant than ever before because it’s going to the first event that we would have held since Hurricane Matthew.
“We’re still relying on our domestic travel out of the Abacos and Nassau who will be attending. That being the case it also sends a message that Grand Bahama is definitely on the restoration path and we are in shape to hold an event as early as November 5.”
Cash prizes, trophies and specially made medals will be given out to the winners and participants that afternoon at Taino Beach. They will end the day with a beach party, Junkanoo, bonfire and fireworks.
It will take more than a category 4 hurricane to knock out Grand Bahama’s biggest multi-discipline sporting event, particularly during an anniversary year.
Hurricane Matthew may have devastated much of the island, but the Grand Bahama Port Authority Conchman Triathlon will still celebrate its 30th annual event on November 5, 2016.
The race will begin and end at Taino Beach and competitors will be able to choose between Olympic and Sprint distances. The difference between the two is that runners may have to travel a bit further to the Transition Area. There will also be special sub-competitions for local company teams, as well as high school teams.
At lunchtime the Iron Kids event will take place, followed by the awards ceremony. A series of special events is also scheduled to take place later that day once all other athletic events are completed. The event will close out with a junkanoo beach party and fireworks at sunset.
“Triathletes are noted for their dogged determination and even a massive hurricane was not going to stop us celebrating this important milestone in the Conchman’s history,” Conchman Chairman Christopher Baker said.
“We are hoping that competitors from home and abroad will flock to the event in record numbers to show their loyalty and support, but also to reflect the huge wave of community spirit which has marked Grand Bahama since the storm passed.”
Baker and the GBPA Conchman team have been working diligently to get everything ready for this year’s event, despite many people having to repair their homes. He believes it is important for Grand Bahama to experience some form of normalcy as soon as possible.
“I hope that many of you overseas triathletes, who have registered, will still plan on coming to compete. Power and water have been restored to the Lucaya area and I will give updates to the situation with all the hotels listed on our website where people can stay,” said Baker.
He encourages all triathletes to remain focused, continue to prepare and if they haven’t done so already, go online and register www.conchmantriathlon.com.
The organisers of the 30th Annual Conchman Triathlon have seen a huge boost in registrants with the news that The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) has stepped forward as a major sponsor for the historic event.
The GBPA has recognised the competition’s significance not just at home but abroad by becoming the first Conchman sponsor since the island’s premier sporting event launched in 1986.
It was the right time for us to take this event on,” GBPA Chairman Sarah St. George said. “We have always been strong supporters.”
Moving forward, the event will be known as the GBPA Conchman Triathlon.
“We are absolutely delighted that the GBPA has recognised the importance of this event by becoming the first really major sponsor,” Conchman Chairman Christopher Baker said. “This is something that touches so many people on the island and worldwide. We are proud to have their support.”
In addition to this sponsorship milestone, Conchman organisers have enjoyed an increase in early registrants, a number of whom are US-based athletes. Mr Baker noted that, since its early years, the Conchman Triathlon has had an international reach with participants flying in from North America and Europe. This year, he said, the committee is pleased to see these competitors signing up almost two months ahead of the November 5th event.
“This is a major sports event not just for Grand Bahama but also further afield,” Mr Baker said. “The Conchman triathlon has an impeccable athletic reputation. This year, we want to take it to the community and provide a day of fun and entertainment for all the family.”
He said the organising committee has been hard at work to ensure that this year’s triathlon would be groundbreaking, not only to mark its 30th anniversary, but also celebrate Guy Fawkes Day, which also falls on November 5.
For the first time, competitors will be able to participate in Olympic-distance events: swimming – 1.5km, biking – 40km and running – 10km. There will also be separate categories for high school teams and companies.
The sporting event will last all day with a transition into family entertainment during the evening at Taino Beach – the event’s traditional start point and finish point. The event will culminate with a Junkanoo rush-out, a bonfire on the beach and a big firework display.
Registration is now open for all areas of the event.
Fitter employees can result in a more efficient company, and organisers of the Conchman Triathlon want to harness that fact to encourage local companies to get involved in this year’s 30th anniversary event on November 5th.
Pointing to a recent Harvard University study that found a direct correlation between physical fitness and mental firepower, the triathlon committee is promoting its corporate challenge as a means of improving physical health in the business community and increasing productivity in the workplace.
“Regular exercise improves your mood, makes you happier and makes you feel more fulfilled – all good things for workers, particularly those whose job involves interaction with the public,” Christopher Baker, Conchman chairman and veteran participant in all three event disciplines, said.
“We want to spark boss’ imaginations so they can see the dual opportunity here. There are publicity benefits, but also big productivity improvements to be gained. We are proposing that companies enter teams and encourage staff to get motivated into some physical exercise. The 30th Conchman Triathlon is the perfect opportunity to begin a fitness programme in every company on the island.”
Organisers expressed hopes of receiving a substantial number of registrants for the corporate challenge, noting that the winning team of three will not only earn a trophy, but also bragging rights for the entire year.
The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) has already committed to the event with a major sponsorship in the swimming discipline. “We shall be entering several teams this year,” GBPA Vice Chairperson Sarah St. George said. “We at the Port endorse the initiative of the corporate challenge to get more companies involved. We will also provide a team of volunteers to help on the day [of the event].”
Erika Gates of Garden of the Groves has also signed up and already started her training. She said, “It is a great incentive for me and my company team members to get fit.”
This year’s jubilee Conchman is being touted as a day of fitness and fun for the entire community to enjoy.
“It does not matter if the company is BTC or a small mall shop, workmates can come out to cheer on their team – and then stay to enjoy all the events we have planned,” Mr Baker said.
Participants in the Conchman Triathlon can choose to participate in all three disciplines – a 750-metre (m) swim, 20-kilometre (km) bike ride and 5km run – or join a three-person team and select one of the disciplines to complete.
Companies interested in competing for the Triathlon Corporate Challenge Cup can register an unlimited number of teams. Each team will be charged a $500 entry fee. In return, businesses will get an array of benefits, including the chance to have their teams decked out in the company livery – a sort of mobile advert for the business.
The corporate challenge is the latest segment to be unveiled as part of this year’s 30th Conchman Triathlon. A few months ago, the triathlon committee revealed the event would include a category for the island’s high schools, with cash prizes as well as a trophy for the winners. The event is expected to become a highlight in the island’s school sports calendar.
Like the corporate challenge, the objective of the high school competition is to increase the number of participants in the annual triathlon, but also place a sharp focus on the importance of fitness and health, and how they provide the foundation for a happy and long life.
The 30th Conchman Triathlon takes place on Guy Fawkes Day, November 5 at Taino Beach. The event will feature its usual sprint triathlon and Iron Kids competition in addition to an Olympic-distance triathlon, which comprises a 1.5km swim, a 40km bike ride and a 10km run.
The Conchman Triathlon will be an all-day event culminating in a Junkanoo rush-out and bonfire on the beach, complete with a firework display.
Organisers have been coordinating the event for a number of months now and will be partnering with the Ministry of Tourism and the Grand Bahama Tourism Board.
Registration is now open at www.active.com.
Seventeen athletes representing The Bahamas participated across three events in the inaugural Caribbean Triathlon and Duathlon Age Group Championships at Key Biscayne, Florida on May 15th 2016.
Competing against triathletes from Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, St Kitts & Nevis, St Maarten, Trinidad & Tobago and The Virgin Islands, The Bahamas’ team came away with 16 podium finishes including 11 first place awards.
The international distance race started things off with a 0.5-mile swim, 24.8-mile bike course and then a 6.2-mile run to the finish line. The sprint distance event, which covers half of the swim and run distances plus a 10-mile bike, shortly followed the duathlon race of run, bike, run. There was Bahamian representation in all three events.
Scott Fricks, the event race director, said, “A special congratulations to Bahamas Triathlon Association for not only fielding the biggest team but for flying their country colors with the most pride.”
Dorian Roach, president of the Bahamas Triathlon Association (BTA), added, “We are immensely proud of the 17 dedicated athletes who made the trip to represent our country and coming away with such exceptional results. After forming less than a year ago, the BTA is excited about our future prospects of competing on an international scale. We would like to thank our sponsors Think Simple, and we are looking for more companies to support us in developing and promoting the sport of triathlon here in The Bahamas.
More information about The Bahamas Triathlon Association and the upcoming season schedule can be found on their website: http://www.bahamastriathlon.org
Full Results of Bahamian Placing At The Caribbean Championships
Male 25-29 Kordero St Cyr 1st Place 1:13:32
Male 35-39 Cameron Roach 1st Place 57:10
Male 40-44 Dorian Roach 2nd Place 1:07:54
Male 50-54 Marco Armbrister 5th Place 1:11:52
Male 55-59 Mark Davies 1st Place 1:03:32
Male 55-59 Mario Carey 2nd Place 1:06:48
Female 35-39 Sarah Kennedy 1st Place 1:04:54
Female 35-39 Elizabeth Shaddock 2nd Place 1:07:58
Female 40-44 Katherine Bowers 1st Place 1:12:57
Female 45-49 Lori Roach 1st Place 1:15:35
Male 35-39 Donovan Rolle 1st Place 1:04:10
Male 35-39 Gregory Michelier 1st Place 2:22:43
Male 40-44 Simone Bertoldo 1st Place 2:11:25
Male 50-54 Arturo Salas 2nd Place 2:25:47
Male 60-64 Jeff Robertson 2nd Place 3:01:12
Female 35-39 Anna Zywiolek 1st Place 2:22:50
Female 45-49 Julie Salas 1st Place 2:19:22
Local high schools will get a golden opportunity to claim they are top of the sporting class this fall. For the first time in its 30-year history, Grand Bahama’s internationally-famed Conchman Triathlon will have a category to identify the top schools in the event.
Conchman organisers are hoping that every senior school on the island will enter teams in the mixed-discipline competition and have even added incentive to encourage both private and government high schools to participate. In addition to school bragging rights being up for grabs, organisers have waived entry fees for student teams and will award cash prizes to schools with the highest placing teams.
As each school will be allowed to register an unlimited number of three-member teams, the school whose three teams place highest will receive $500. The school finishing in second place will receive $300 and the school that finishes third will receive $200. Participating schools must have at least three teams to be in contention for a cash prize.
The competition comprises three sprint distance events: a 750-metre swim, a 20-kilometre (km) bike ride and a 5km run. Each student will be asked to complete just one discipline.
“With this format, participating schools will be able to use their best track athletes and competitive swimmers on the same teams,” Conchman Chairman Christopher Baker said. “As a result, we are expecting some really impressive times to be set. We want to show what these youngsters can do athletically while giving them a chance to compete, have fun, and possibly gain some funding for theirs schools.”
The innovation is part of an effort to spread the appeal of the competition. As this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Conchman, the objective is to increase participation throughout the community, particularly among young people, while emphasising the importance of fitness and health in laying the foundation for a happy and long life.
Over the years, the Conchman has increased in popularity, attracting competitors who range in age from four years old to 79.
“A lot of people sign up year after year, and as they get older and enter the veteran classes, it becomes almost a matter of honour to keep going,” Mr Baker said. “This is great because that level of commitment helps people prepare for the race and keeps them focused on issues like their diets and general fitness levels.
“There is also a social dimension to the race. We have participants who travel to compete each year. These people have made friends through the triathlon and look forward to seeing them at the event. For students, it will be a similar experience. This will be a chance for them to meet with peers in a context outside the regular sports seasons.”
The 30th annual Conchman Triathlon takes place on Guy Fawkes Day, November 5. In addition to the usual sprint triathlon and Iron Kids competitions, this year’s event will feature Olympic-distance races for persons in top physical shape: a 1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run. The daylong series of events will culminate in a Junkanoo rush-out, bonfire and fireworks display.
Once again, the event will be based at Taino Beach, the third venue in its illustrious history.
Organisers have been planning the event for some months now and will be partnering with the Ministry of Tourism and the Grand Bahama Tourism Board. They have also engaged local companies in discussions about sponsorship and participation in the inter-company event, similar to the inter-school competition.
More than 160 people competed in the first event in 1986 and since then, the Conchman has been truly established in the international athletic calendar with thousands of competitors traveling from as far away as Europe and the west coast of the United States. The event’s objectives have remained the same from the start – to stage a positive community event that could contribute to the island’s charitable organisations – and this mission will continue.
“We want this event to have a significant community impact, whether residents and guests are competing or not,” Mr Baker said. “The BASRA Swim on Coral Beach has become a major event on the island for hundreds of people. We want the Conchman to surpass that, if we can, to mark this special year.”