STG Giants come up big as commercial racing returns to NSW
Commercial racing is back!
The Nepean Triathlon returned with yet another fantastic edition, all be it under Covid restrictions, but that didn’t stop the smiles or the top-class racing on the day. The weather wasn’t great, but no one cared as the athletes were back to doing what they love best.
Not only was Nepean the greatly anticipated return to commercial racing in NSW, it was also the curtain raiser of the Triathlon NSW – Forager Interclub Leagues for the 2020/2021 season. Affectionately termed, Forager Interclub 03. 2020/2021 will see eight competitions run across the state with eight champions due to be crowned in mid-2021.
At Nepean we saw all the Sydney clubs return to Interclub action as the Forager Sydney Triathlon Premier League, Forager Sydney Triathlon League 1 and Forager Sydney Triathlon League 2 all commenced their seasons.
Forager Sydney Triathlon Premier League
In the Premier League, all eyes were on reigning champs, the Hills Red Army and hometown favourites, the Penrith Panthers.
Turns out all eyes should have been on the STG Giants who continue to improve season after season and the newly promoted powerhouse, the Warringah Waves.
It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to anyone, however.
The STG Giants thoroughly deserve being considered as one of the top Premier Triathlon Club in Sydney with a recent CV featuring a Club Champs Division 3 title, a Sydney South East ICL 01 title and a third place finish in the inaugural Forager Sydney Triathlon Premier League last season.
Under President, Steve Ellis and Head Coach, Sam Douglas, the STG Giants have made inroads on the historically successful clubs of Sydney to deserve their place at the big table.
The Giants maxed out at Nepean and took 25 precious points home to the Eastern Suburbs. Biles, Donovan, Hayes, Larkman and Miller leading the way for the Giants with age group victories.
The Giants managed a further nine Top-10s on the day to keep the Performance Points rolling in. They will now turn their attention to Forster and Club Champs as they seek to lay further early season foundations to their Premier League title aspirations.
The Warringah Waves came second on the day as they enjoyed their first race in the Premier League after gaining promotion from the Forager Sydney Triathlon League 1 last season.
The Waves picked up no fewer than eleven Top-10 finishes to ensure that they left Penrith with plenty to be happy about.
The Waves will be delighted with their Nepean efforts and with Club Champs next on the calendar for the Forager Sydney Triathlon Premier League, an event in which Warringah historically fare very well at, the Waves should be very well placed after the first 2 rounds. A title push is on the cards for the Waves.
The reigning Champs, the Hills Red Army were third on the day and head to round 2 in the unusual position of looking up. Howle, McArthur, McEwan, Bernand and Sendt the big point winners for the Red Army as they all claimed age group wins.
The Red Army will make the trip north to Forster and Club Champs, an event that they have dominated for the past few seasons, with extra motivation this time around as they wont want to lose any further ground in the race for the Premier League title.
The Panthers of Penrith finished fourth on the day with an excellent 17 points. Luksich and Hughes brought in max performance points thanks to their age group victories.
A strong Balance Bolt contingent raced at Nepean as they picked up 12 points and a fifth placed finish.
The Cronulla Sharks and Macarthur tied for sixth, both on 10.5 points.
For the Sharks, this is a solid start to their Premier League campaign. They haven’t fared well in previous editions in Sydney’s West so they will be happy with their efforts this time around as they seek to go one better on the runners up spot last season and claim their first Premier League title.
Macarthur will also be pleased after Round 1. Close to relegation last season, Macarthur needed a fast start to the season to ensure they don’t end up in another battle. Their athletes at Nepean delivered exactly this.
It was a slow start for the Balmoral Purple Thunder who picked up six points on the day to finish seventh. Balmoral performed well at Nepean last year and looked like title contenders before falling away after the Christmas Break. They will look to bounce back at Club Champs.
Concord rounded out the group in the Premier League debut after securing promotion last season. They would have hoped for a better start but there is still plenty of racing to be done.
Sydney Triathlon League 1
Pulse were the story of last season. The inner west club struggled during ICL01 before storming home to the League 2 title in in ICL02.
Well, they showed no signs of slowing down, even in their new division after promotion last season, as they cruised to a Forager Sydney Triathlon League 1 victory at Nepean.
12 precious points sees Pulse on top of the ladder after Round 1. James Olsen-Keating starred winning his age group.
The Bondi BRATS were runners up as they put in a fine Nepean display to start their season with a bang. Paul McClarnon winning his age group to pick up 2 valuable Performance Points on the day.
The other newly promoted club, the Eastern Suburbs Swan finished third at Nepean. Sally Taggart winning her age group to aid the Swans cause.
The Coogee Comets secured fourth on the day thanks to Andrew Gibietis finishing tenth in his group to secure 0.5 points for the Eastern Suburbs club.
The Engadine Dingoes, the Australian Chinese Dragons and the Brighton Polar Bears did not feature on the day.
Sydney Triathlon League 2
In League 2 it was a first Interclub victory for the LAPD Lightning, thanks largely to a c age group victory.
The Lightning would love some silverware and this victory could provide them with the motivation they need to launch an assault on League 2 this season.
The Northern Suburb Mighty Mites, who just missed out on promotion last season, claimed second place at Nepean, just half a point behind the Lightning.
NSTC started the season as favourites for the League 2 title and that is still the case after Nepean.
T4, FilOz and Lion Island did not feature at Nepean.