Airpower Hook or by Crook Triathlon
The BMW 2018 triathlon national series served up some fantastic races around the country none better than the much-awaited return to the national series of the Airpower Hook or by Crook sprint race. With Martin Condon at the helm as race director and ably assisted by his team most notably by his assistant David McConnell, the race was a tremendous success with over 600 triathletes taking part. Clubs like Belpark, Kilkenny, Clonmel and Piranha TCs among many other clubs provided huge numbers on a beautiful sunny June day in Dunmore East.
Both the men and women’s races had entries from most of the country’s top performers on the TI circuit in what was a hotly contested race. Ellen Murphy of Belpark TC continued to prove what a top triathlete she is taking 1st Place in the women’s race with 36 seconds to spare over her club mate Maeve Maher-McWilliams and Piranha TC’s Becky Woods storming home in 3rd place. Congratulations to Ellen, Maeve & Becky.
The Waterford News & Star, June 2018 Sports Star of the Month, Kieran Jackson of Waterford TC quietly rolled up to the start of the men’s race. The ‘iron fist in a velvet glove’ came to mind however, when the bell went, as Kieran was explosive and put the foot down from start to finish to take 1st Place by a massive 4 minutes over the outstanding Donncha Kiely, Cork TC in 2nd and Waterford’s own Paul Ogle in 3rd Place. Congratulations to Kieran, Donncha & Paul.
In the women’s race a big well done to Julie Hayden, 5th Place in AG and Jennifer Hennebry and Liz Lyons, 10th in their respective AG. Jennifer put in a number of great performances over the sprint distance this season, proving that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree! No doubt 2019 will prove to be even better for these women.
In the Junior men’s race AG16-17, Waterford TC’s highflying Conor McDonagh was unfortunately injured leading up to the race and unable to take part. That said all three podium spots were taken by Club members, Luke Doyle, Jack Flynn and Michael O’Sullivan. Congratulations Luke, Jack and Michael on your achievement. Along with Conor, you will soon be on the heels of Kieran and Eoin Lyons!!
In all 32 members of the club competed in the 2018 edition of the Airpower Hook or by Crook race with great results all round by the members. Well done to all members!
The Airpower Hook or by Crook 2018 has been shortlisted as Race of the Year by Triathlon Ireland, which is a great honour for the Club and a fine personal achievement for Race Director Martin Condon. Congratulations Martin!
The 2018 Super Series was fantastic for the Club this year. The TI Super Series pits the elite Male and Female Triathletes in the country against each other in 5 draft-legal races over the season. The triathlete’s best 3 results are used to calculate their overall score in the Super series. The Club has been fortunate to have two qualified athletes, Kieran Jackson and Eoin Lyons competing in the Super Series since 2015. Eoin, who has shone in the series in the past, came 3rd Overall in both 2015 and 2016 but did not compete in the series this year.
Kieran didn’t finish the series in previous years for various reasons including going on international duty with Triathlon Team Ireland. 2018 was different however, and Kieran went all out for the Series win with high level consistent performances at home in his chosen races along with competing for Ireland in Europe and dealing with the adversity of some injuries.
First up was the Two Provinces Super Series in July and Kieran came home second by a mere 4 seconds! in an Uber competitive race with another international, Darren Dunne.
In September, Piranha TC held the massive Dublin City Triathlon. This race acted as both the Irish Sprint National Championship and a Super Series race. The competition was fierce as an Irish National title was at stake. Kieran overcame a minor injury leading into the race to sprint finish into the Silver medal position behind winner Chris Mintern of Cork TC and gained valuable bonus points in the process.
Round 4 of the Series was held in Castlewellan, Co. Down but Kieran didn’t compete in that race. This meant that he had to win the 5th and final round of the Super Series in Pulse TC’s Port Beach Triathlon in Clogherhead, Co. Louth on 22nd September. He was a winner on this course in 2016 and he certainly needed a repeat result. On the day of the race the terrible weather on the South coast did not extend up to Clogherhead and the triathletes thankfully had a clear and fresh morning for their race. Kieran lived up to expectations and put in a stellar performance on the day coming across the finish line in 1st Place with 1min30sec to spare.
This victory on the last day of the season for Kieran secured him 1st Place Overall in the 2018 BMW Triathlon Ireland Super Series. A fantastic result overall and a fantastic achievement representing himself, his family and his club. As always, all members of Waterford TC are very proud of Kieran and his achievements both on the domestic circuit and in the colours of Ireland on the international stage. Congratulations Kieran!!
Duathlon & Aquathlon
There were a small number of participants from the Club in the Duathlon Series this season. The Duathlon National Championship took place in March in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Nigel O’Sullivan all put in a fine performance on the day in a tough race. Elsewhere, Neil Griffin had good results in Ballinspittle and Naas, Eric Denmead raced well in Clonakilty and Philip O’Reilly raced in Phoenix Park.
The Aquathlon National Championship, organised by Pulse TC was held in May in Clontarf in Dublin. Waterford TC’s sole representative was Aubrey Storey who was getting his fine season off to a flying start and kept the Club flag flying in Dollymount Strand. Aubrey came 26th overall and 6th in his AG in the men’s race. Well done Aubrey!
Triathlon Irish National Championships
First up this year was the Harbourman Standard Distance National Championship Race held in early July in Wicklow town by Wicklow TC and B2R. On arguably the hottest day of the Summer, Waterford TC was well represented by, Kieran, Eoin, Aubrey, Shane Scadding, Maggie Murphy, Philip O’Reilly, Richie Daly, David Devine and Greg Holden.
The Championship was won by Con Doherty with Kieran Jackson in 2nd place, for the first of his two Silvers in the 2018 national championships. Eoin Lyons came 3rd Overall with the ‘middle distance maestro’ putting in a top class performance to reach the podium. This was an excellent achievement by Eoin as he had secured 4th Place Overall in both 2016 and 2017 and his hard work paid dividends in 2018 when he took his well-deserved Bronze. Congratulations to both Kieran and Eoin!
Shane Scadding proved to be a class apart in his AgeGroup on the day romping home 25th Overall and 1st in his AG with about 9 minutes to spare thus regaining his Age Group Irish National Champion status after coming second last season. Congratulations Shane!
Well done to Maggie Murphy coming 14th in her AG and to Aubrey with 13th in his highly competitive AG.
Next up was Piranha TC’s Dublin City Triathlon Sprint Distance National Championship. As mentioned earlier, Kieran Jackson came home with his second Silver in the 2018 Irish National Championships. Julie Hayden and Greg Holden made up the Club contingent on the day. It was a brilliant race for all competitors on the day and Julie, who was racing well over the season, had a fantastic race finishing 5th in her AG in the National Champs. Well done Julie!
Shane Scadding, Aubrey Storey and Michael Foley represented Waterford TC when they took on the might of the Lost Sheep in the Middle Distance National Championship in Kenmare on September 1st. One of the country’s most iconic races is both challenging and exhilarating and is a must do in many a triathlete’s career. Shane is one best in Kenmare every year he races there and this year was no different. Once again he put in a stylish performance and finished 16th overall and 1st in his AG thus retaining his Age Group national title over the Middle distance. Congratulations Shane! Aubrey and Michael well experienced men on this course put in excellent times also, with Aubrey’s consistency all season coming to the fore finishing 37th overall and 9th in his AG.
BMW Triathlon National Series
In the Junior national series, Luke Doyle, Jack Flynn and Michael O’Sullivan all competed in the Hook or by Crook race in Dunmore East and were on the Junior podium in fine style. Not to be content with that result, Luke went to Pulse TC's Port Beach Tri in September and put a smashing performance on the day and came 3rd in AG16-17. These valuable points helped Luke to 4th place in AG16-17 and 7th Overall in the Junior National Series for 2018. Congratulations Luke, a fantastic season's work and no doubt we will see more from Luke and the boys next season.
In the BMW Triathlon National Series, 17 Women and 25 Men from the club competed in one or more National Series races in 2018. The Club's top scorer in the Women's series was Jennifer Hennebry. Having completed three NS sprint races Jennifer had 4th, 5th and 10th Place finishes in her AgeGroup marking a very accomplished season for her. Well done Jennifer! Clearly there are some good hereditary genes there so we would also like to say well done to Ann! The Club's top scorer in the Men's races was none other than Shane Scadding. Shane took 1st Place in the NS in his AgeGroup (though we are not saying what AG) and came a massive 17th Overall in the national series! Well done Shane!
In the Men’s Club Series, Waterford TC came a disappointing 15th. This primarily due to not having the required six man team. Shane Scadding, Aubrey Storey and Greg Holden competed in the mandatory four races each while Richie Waring and Philip O’Reilly garnered valuable points for the Club competing in the required one Standard and one Sprint distance races. Unfortunately without a sixth member, the team is at a distinct disadvantage to other clubs.
In the Women’s Club Series, the Club unfortunately was not competitive this year due to a shortage on numbers of triathletes competing on the circuit. If any member would like to compete in the national series in 2019 please contact the Club committee for the race calendar selection of good races to enter. Remember the all points you score are hard earned and highly valued by your Club.
Elsewhere in the national series women’s races, Maggie Murphy put a great show in the heat in the Harbourman Olympic race. Ann Hennebry, Norma Goggin and Caroline Russell raced superbly in the Fastnet triathlon and had a great weekend in Schull as well. Katie Jacob, a famous triathlete, is also known as a photographic model for World Triathlon Corporation’s IRONMAN brand, raced well in Hook or by Crook and was accompanied by, Helene Power, Gillian Lyons, Aoife Morrin, Zeta Dooley, Fiona Cullen, Liz Lyons, Deborah Forristal, Marion Fewer, Karen O’Sullivan and Grainne Walsh. Well done girls!
Elsewhere, in the Men’s division, there was a varied eclectic and able bunch of men wearing the club gear with pride. Of course that was a mix of old club gear and new club gear and a new club’s gear! However, this report is not opening that can of worms. That said many a male club member said this season that they like their curves! Referring to the old suit design of course. Peter Barry of Kilkenny TC (Ex Waterford TC!), now reliving his glory days in the Black and Amber, felt the new Waterford TC suit didn’t show off his fine physique enough and so had to leave. This resulted in Bernard Keane blowing up early in the season after Carlow Tri having upped his training too quickly from 2 hours to 3 hours per week. Bernard is training in Europe now for next season. John Paul Williamson put in another great performance in Carlow Tri also. David Devine decided the heat was too much in the Harbourman, so he walked off the course early, to get to the ice-cream van first. Another podium for David there. Like David, Richie Daly was another man who enjoyed the heat in Wicklow and enjoyed the ice-cream even more.
Aubrey Storey was model of consistency with excellent results all round this season, competing aquathlon, duathlon and sprint, standard & middle distance triathlon. Aubrey was the first of the Waterford TC men to escape from Spike Island in Cobh followed closely by Richie Waring, James Roche, David Power and Neil Griffin. Not a criminal record between them but they still managed to get their headshots done by Damien Jackson at the finish line.
Later in the season, Emmet Kelly retired early from Tri Limits middle distance race in Tyrone, due to a sniffle, a little bit of rain and wind and no wipers on his aero helmet and no headlights on his bike. Two per cent body fat does that to you. Preferring a little heat and humidity instead, he chose to go to Kona in October as his back up race. Emmet’s partner on the day, David McConnell came equipped with Toyota headlights on his all wheel drive bike and much greater than two per cent body fat. One hundred per cent all out effort was required, however, to get through the inclement weather so very well done to David.
In addition to their great showings in the Hook or by Crook, James Rourke flew the flag in the Two Provinces Tri in Lanesboro and Coilin Collins-Smyth and Eamonn Sheehan finished the season strongly in Pulse TC’s Port Beach Tri.
Declan Cunningham, Anthony Lavery, Paul Kelly, David Power, Ronan McDonagh, Gerry O’Donoghue, David Keating, Ciaran O’Connor, Cen Breathnach all put in titanic efforts into what was probably the race of the season…the Airpower Hook or by Crook!
Well done to all of the Club’s National Series Triathletes this season.
Sincere thanks to Damien Jackson and Helen Whyte for their many memorable photos.