The annual event will see about 100 local and international competitors battling it out in the individual and teams event, which comprises a 1.5 kilometre swim, 41km cycle and 10km run.
Six individuals and 15 teams of two or three athletes have registered for this year’s event.
Thomas Henderson is the only local ever to have won the competition. Thomas, son of veteran runner Kevin, is now based in Rarotonga but is not competing in this year’s event.
Neururer, who has retained the local Tinman triathlon title (distances 1200/31/10) for the last eight years on the trot, is Rarotonga’s best chance for the main title.
He has been the first local man home in the Air New Zealand Rarotonga Triathlon over the past six years and will be hard to beat.
Neururer holds the local race record of 2:12:50 hours, set in 2013, and has one second and two third places overall in this race.
Amongst the women competing, there is a good lineup of local athletes vying for the title.
Going on recent race form, Harriett Browning will be the favourite for this year, with an impressive win in the recent Tinman race. She was also the first female home in Thursday’s Boiler Swim.
Not far behind Browning are Adrianna Skurosz, Lucy McDonald and Alyce Edwards, and Tanya Savage, who will all be hoping to claim the title.
“It will be an interesting battle with some impressive individuals who are competing in the race,” said Neururer. “We have some young boys in the mid-20s and other strong competitors from overseas, plus the local ones chasing for the win.
“There is also a strong field of competitors in the female category which will surely spice up the competition. Looking at the strength of the locals in the female category, there could be a local female winner – we never know.”
The race will commence with an irregular-shaped, one-lap 1.5km swim in Tikioki lagoon. This will be a ‘deep water’ start in waist-deep water.
The course is described as a 310-metre leg out toward the reef to marker number one, a right turn onto the second leg of 300 metres, followed by shorter legs each turning slightly right back to marker number one, and after turning there, straight back to the beach on the final 310-metre leg.
The cycle leg measures 41km, being an “out and back course” covering much of the main road on Rarotonga.
The run leg is a flat, T-shaped course, starting from the transition at Tikioki. The roadway has been marked at all relevant points.
The total finish time records are – Men: Bryan Rhodes (NZ) 1:58:18 (1998), Women: Debbie Tanner (NZ) 2:09:38 (2006); Local male: Roland Neururer 2:12:50 (2013), Local female: Kelly Pick 2:17:31 (2011); Veteran male: Stephen Farrell (NZ) 2.10:12 (2013), Veteran female: Sam Warriner (NZ) 2.09:48 (2015); Junior male: William Smith (NZ) 2.02.14 (1996), Junior female: Shanelle Barrett (NZ) 2.23.23 (1996). Open team record is 2:11:07, female team record is 2:24:58, veteran team record is 2:24:07.