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4 for Palmer

Monday 26 March 2012 | Published in Regional


Vanessa Palmer has taken the top honours in the weekend’s women’s triathlon for the fourth year in a row, posting the best times in the water, on bike and on foot along the way.

Palmer lead from the very beginning of the race and never let another triathlete into the race.

First out of the water with swim of six minutes, 11 seconds over 400 metres, Palmer dominated all day.

During the 16 kilometre bike ride, Palmer again beat the competition, completing that leg of the race in 30 minutes, 25 seconds.

All that was left then was four kilometres on foot and 18 minutes, 27 seconds between her and the finishing line.

The weather could not have been better on Saturday for the Seventh Annual Island Car & Bike Hire Women’s Triathlon, held at the Tikioki triathlon site.

Calm seas, sunny skies and minimal wind made for near perfect conditions for the 54 women who tackled the 400m swim, 16km cycle and 4km run course.

Of the 54 women, 20 of them did the course in its entirety, while 13 teams of two or three women completed the distances.

It was all on after the swimmers took to the lagoon for the 400m swim, with Vanessa Palmer coming out first and a group made up of Sherid Carter, Apii Napa, Rangi Apera, Rachael Aitken and Jennie George not too far behind.

The 16km cycle course had to be changed slightly due to tree trimming, with cyclists heading 4km toward YWAM, turning around and coming back past the tri site, much to the delight of the 70 plus spectators, and out through Muri to Kia Orana Store and back.

Vanessa Palmer had the race in the bag from the outset, with a good lead on the rest of the field, but there was a slight battle between Rangi Apera, Apii Napa and Jennie George with Jennie having a good cycle and getting herself into second place after the bike, and Apii Napa coming in next, with Rangi hot on her heels.

Other notable cycle times were for Annie Sutherland and Sharon McGeown who clawed back a few places after their swim, to rack up the fifth and sixth fastest bike times of the day.

The run saw many changes in positions too, again the spectators were treated to a great event with runners going out 1km and back past the tri site for and other 1km out and back to finish.

Vanessa Palmer took the title again for the fourth consecutive time in a time of 55.03, with Jennie George again taking out second place in 58.42.

Rangi Apera overtook Apii Napa on the run to take out third in 1.01.54.

The first team over the line was The Computer Women, made up of Sherid Carter and Karlene Pynenberg in a time of 1.09.00.

We Tri-Ed Again took out second place in 1.10.52, made up of Janine Fiebig, Gail Townsend and Danielle Cochrane.

Third team home was DMCK chicks in 1.12.48, consisting of Krissy Tatam, Hareta Tiraa and Sieni Tiraa.

Fouth team went to The F sisters, Sue Fletcher-Vea, Diane Fletcher and Karyn Vinsen in 1.13.45 with the Youngsters taking out fifth team place just four seconds behind in 1.13.49.

This young team was made up of Ruby Vea, Brianna Steens and Lotu Vea.

A fantastic day overall with congratulations well deserved for all women who took place and completed the event. For some this was the first time they had ever taken part in a triathlon, and for others it was the longest distance they had ever done.

A tremendous and exhilarating feeling for most, which was evident in the smiles that emerged as each athlete crossed the finish line.

Prize giving followed, with a huge array of terrific prizes on offers with something for everyone. In the end, everyone received a prize and were all extremely pleased with their efforts.

CITAI would like to thank main sponsors Richard and Karyn Vinsen of Island Car & Bike Hire, who instigated the first women’s triathlon in 2006 and have been supporting it ever since.

They provided some fantastic prizes in helmets, cycle gloves, goggles and finisher medals to name a few.

There was also a great supply of wine prizes and dinner vouchers sponsored by the Triathlon Association, including a great range of prizes from The Edgewater Resort & Spa with Island Night, Spaghetti House & Spa vouchers, as well as bottles, caps and drink holders.

Thank you also to Marcel and Madeline Sword of Vaima Water for the supply of the water for the day and to ANZ Bank and Westpac Bank for their continued tremendous support.

Special thanks also goes to all our helpers on the day from our timers, cycle and run marshals, safety kayakers, swim course markers, water stop kids to the sausage sizzler.

Not forgetting all our spectators who came along and cheered for all our girls out there. Without all of this support, this would not be the fun and successful event that it is. Meitaki Maata.