Forager Sydney Triathlon League 1 – ICL03 Preview
The Forager Sydney Triathlon League 1 calendar for ICL03 has been locked in and Round 1 will be quickly upon us.
Last season saw the Warringah Waves and Concord take the top two spots and gain promotion to the Sydney Triathlon Premier League, with Warringah going up as Champions.
No clubs were relegated last season in an executive decision made due to a Covid enforced early ending meaning that seven clubs will do battle over 10 events to crown a new Sydney Triathlon League 1 champion.
This season, the top two clubs will once again be promoted to the Sydney Triathlon Premier League with the bottom two clubs being relegated to Sydney Triathlon League 2 for ICL04.
The two new clubs in Sydney Triathlon League 1 for ICL03 are Rozelle Pulse and the Eastern Suburbs Swans. Both had great seasons last year with Rozelle Pulse being promoted as champions from Sydney Triathlon League 2, with the Swans not too far behind in 2nd.
ICL03 is shaping up to be a great season with the Sydney triathlon League 1 looking like it will be one of the most closely fought Leagues. It really is anyone’s for the taking with no standout main contender.
The Brighton Baths Polar Bears finished 3rd last season so they will have high hopes for the year ahead, despite being the smallest club in the competition. As will the Coogee Comets who started very slowly last season but managed to find form after Christmas and were primed for a strong finish before the season was derailed.
The Engadine Dingoes were not too dissimilar from the Comets. A slow start to the season and then red-hot form after the Christmas break. This seems to their MO with events to their liking falling January onward. Expect to see similar this season.
The Bondi Brats and Australian Chinese Dragons were saved from relegation last season by the early finish and both will hope to rebound this season.
Momentum is building for the once largest club in NSW, Brats, so maybe ICL03 will be the season that we see a return to glory for the Eastern Suburbs club.
For the Dragons, it was a drop off last season after an encouraging ICL01. They will be hoping that ICL02 was just a blip and for this season, they will be back to the force that they were during the inaugural season.
With no Duathlons slated for this season, Round 1 won’t be until the rescheduled Club Champs event from last season. It will be a double point round in Forster on September 19th which should separate the pack from the off.
The absence of Duathlons for ICL03 and the later start in the calendar year may well suit both the Coogee Comets and the Engadine Dingoes, two clubs who missed out early last season but finished strong.
The Coogee Comets and Bondi Brats will start as favourites for Round 1 victory, with both Eastern Suburb based clubs renowned for their Club Champs performances historically.
Round 2 is another rescheduled event, with the Wollongong Triathlon set for October 17th. The standard will be the Performance Point earning distance. This could be a chance for both newbies to make their presence knows. Watch out for Rozelle Pulse and the Eastern Suburbs Swans.
It is a short turn around for Round 3, with the much-loved Nepean Triathlon in Penrith at the Sydney International Regatta Centre coming just a week later. With no West Sydney based clubs in the competition this season, it is another tough round to call. Come the end of Nepean, it should be clear who the championship contenders are and who the relegation candidates are.
Round 4 is Kurnell #1 on November 14th. All seven clubs being based not too far away from the iconic event should mean that it is well attended and hotly contested. The last event on the calendar in 2020 before a break so clubs will be looking to end the year on a high and carry some momentum into 2021.
Round 5 in early January is the return leg at Kurnell for K2. Often a chance for those who made the most of the Christmas holidays to get the extra KM’s in to shine.
Round 6 is the Richie Walker Aquathlon at Gunnamatta Bay in Cronulla in early February. A terrific atmosphere will greet all travelling clubs and athletes with the Aquathlon State Championship honours also on the line. The Brighton Baths Polar Bears have done well here in the past so they will hope a similar result this time around.
Round 7 is set for February 21st and the Standard distance State Champs at the Sparke Helmore triathlon in Newcastle. An event that is growing in prestige season after season will make its Interclub debut. Watch out for the Australian Chinese Dragons in this one, this event could be very much to their liking.
Round 8 signals the business end of the season. The Big Husky Triathlon festival. One of the great weekends of the year. The Long Course distance is the Performance Points earning race and this again, is a hard event to predict. The Eastern Suburbs Swans have a good record here previously, so expect a similar result this season.
Round 9 is the penultimate round in Wollongong on April 18th, but this time, the sprint distance will be the Performance Point earning race. With double points available again in the final round, nothing is likely to be decided in Wollongong, however, a slip here and relegation could all but sealed for some clubs whilst others might see their championship aspirations fade.
Round 10. The final round. Club Champs, Forster, 22nd May 2021. Double points up for grabs. We will have a good idea of how the final standings will look but nothing is likely to be guaranteed before this event. Will we the Coogee Comets crowned Forager Sydney Triathlon League 1 Champions in Forster or will their neighbours the Bondi Brats be back on top, where they so often were in the 90s and early 00s? Will a dark horse have emerged to sweep past the two favourites, Rozelle Pulse maybe or a reenergised Australian Chinese Dragons? Will the Brighton Baths Polar Bears crash back down to earth in ICL03 and have their relegation confirmed at Club Champs? All questions will be answered at Club Champs in 2021.