FREEPORT, Grand Bahama — Expect fireworks this year at Grand Bahama’s internationally-famed Conchman Triathlon.
The event will be celebrating its 30th year on Guy Fawkes Day, November 5 – and will be doing it in style with an all-day into-the-evening series of events culminating in a Junkanoo rush-out, a bonfire on the beach and a big firework display.
There will also be a number of innovations which committee members hope will boost the number of participants, individual and team members, to 500. This includes inter-school and inter-company competitions, and possibly a competition to find the best triathlete in the whole of the Bahamas.
It will once more be based at Taino Beach, the third venue in its illustrious history, but in addition to the usual sprint triathlon event and the Iron Kids competition this year will also feature a competition over the Olympic distances for the really fit – a one and a half km swim, a 40km bike ride and a 10km run.
Organisers have been working on plans for the event for some weeks now. “We want to make it a truly memorable occasion with more competitors and many more spectators than ever before,” said new Conchman chairman, and winner of a number of category events over the years, Christopher Baker.
“The Conchman Triathlon has had a really illustrious history over the decades and the committee want to build on that excellent legacy by creating a larger, more varied event with appeal to various sectors in the community and a range of extra prizes to match.”
More than 160 people competed in the first event and since then it has been truly established in the international athletic calendar with thousands of competitors traveling to take from as far away as Europe and the west coast of the United States. The event objectives have remained the same from the start – to stage a positive community event which would also contribute to the island’s charitable organisations – and this mission will continue.
The organisers are liaising with the Ministry of Tourism and the Grand Bahama Tourism Board to get the Conchman publicised as widely as possible around the globe and to arrange special accommodation and travel packages to help entrants from far afield.
Baker continued: “We want this to be a big community event on Grand Bahama whether people are competing or not. The BASRA Swim on Coral Beach has become a major diary date on the island for hundreds of people with lots of fun for everyone. We want to surpass that if we can to mark this special year for us.”
Guy Fawkes Day – which marks the Gun Powder Plot of 1605 when a group of old-style terrorists, led by Fawkes tried to blow up the English Parliament – is marked by people on various islands through the Caribbean, including Grand Bahama. “It provides us with a theme for our own big bang celebration and we shall want people to come along and join in the fun,” said Baker.