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Record turnout for annual women’s tri

Monday 15 March 2010 | Published in Regional


The 5th Annual Island Car & Bike Hire Women’s Triathlon held on Saturday was a resounding success with record numbers.

Each year this event has grown and it is pleasing to see so many women taking part in the sport of triathlon, which is the reason behind having a women’s triathlon – to promote women in sport.

Rarotonga turned on fantastic weather as 25 individual women and 18 teams took part in the 400m swim, 16km bike and 4km run course.

Once again, Vanessa Palmer took the honours this year, keeping rival and fellow triathlete Kelly Pick behind her and winning in a time of 51.19, just 26 seconds ahead of Pick.

Serena Hunter then came third in a time of 57.56, looking lean and showing she is back in the sport of triathlon once again, edging out Jennie George who had to settle for fourth place in a time of 58.45.

Fifth place in the individuals went to Esther Honey vet Sula Young in 1.00.38 – who had a fantastic race considering she was riding a Budget Rentals hire bike, complete with basket! Paddler Paulina Beddoes took out sixth place, with local ladies Melanie Wilson, Apii Napa, Bernie Raffe and Pare Tangata rounding up the top 10 respectively.

First team home was Sky 1 made up of Rangi Apera and Tai Cummings in a time of 59.54, with the HiTech Snails team of Jo Head, Louise Wittwer and Ray Rous in their pink t-shirts taking out second team in 1.07.01.

Slow & Furious’s Jo Weir, Jenny Greenland and Roberta Lugli were the third team in 1.08.15 with the CINews News Babes team of Rachel Reeves, Edith Nicholas and Sheeny Teariki coming home in fourth place in a time of 1.08.38.

However, the placing really didn’t matter as it was a fun event and everyone who took part had a fantastic time and really got into the spirit of the day.

A New Zealand contingent of five women all with the NZ High Commission party along with Julie Affleck and Karen Kirkham as the GI Janes, dressed in matching yellow shirts and bandanas – and most of them completing their first ever triathlon.

We also had a junior team, Huffin Puffins, made up of Emily Barltrop, India Lambeth and Ruby Fletcher-Vea who did very well with everyone pleased to see our young girls taking part and having fun.

There were prizes galore, with all individuals and first teams home receiving a finisher’s pearl shell medallion from Richard Vinsen of Island Car & Bike Hire.

Everyone else received spot prizes, along with extra fun prizes for those who had interesting tales to tell!

All in all, it was a huge success with untold cheers, smiles and laughter.

CITAI would like to thank our major sponsor, Richard and Karyn Vinsen of Island Car & Bike Hire, along with our minor sponsors, John Koteka Electrical, The Bond, Tivaevae Collectables, Top Shape Gym, Puaikura Reef Lodges, VIP Hair Studio in Takuvaine, Polynesian Duty Free, The Computer Man, Cafe Salsa, Rarotonga Backpackers, Dockside Gourmet Takeaways, Tukis Pareu, CI Motor Centre, Aquarius Pacific Hotel, My Hair & Beauty, Global Consultants and Vaima Water.

Without their generosity, events like this could not be so successful. Meitaki Maata.