We asked WTC member and regular competitor at Club Champs, Dan Howitt, to give us some tips and a preview of what to expect on race day and out on the course this year.
Pre Race: With Rego opening at 10am at Forster Main Beach, I recommend those driving up to leave home by 6am ( better to arrive early and be relaxed). Find the club tent and its time to get your gear organised (including finding your wave start time). Prior to your start check surf conditions. There will be a high tide at 1:20pm, so there should be little current unless the surf is up. There's also little chance of a short swim.
Swim: There is a 99.12% chance of a wetsuit swim (so pack it!). The swim is a reverse P shape. When choosing your start position, look for areas where waves arent breaking, this will assist you getting out. Have a look where waves are breaking and line it up with a landmark to see where you may get a wave in. Self seed yourself in the swim! If your strength is on land, then don't put yourself on the front row ( it won't be ideal for you or the swimmers in your wave). Being high tide, it will be a shorter run up the beach, but it'll be soft sand, so pace yourself to avoid raising that HR. Hopefully, they'll have carpet in transition, the surface is like running on tacs!!!
Bike: 2 laps and undulating. The surface isnt great, but it's not terrible. Watch for the right turn at the golf course outbound (2-3km in) heading on to the beachfront, as it is off camber and can have lose gravel. (see image below) At the 5km mark, there is a long decent of around 1-1.3km, a bit of fun, until you climb it...twice on the return legs. Stay seated, its a long gradual climb. There are no bike aid stations, so ration your fluids for the 30k ride.
Run: 2 laps and flat except for the bridge. It is open and exposed and can get warm on course. There is two aid stations - one over the bridge and one at the far turn. Unfortunately the run turn for lap 2 is not near the club tents, so if you finish early, head the 200m to the turn near the bridge to cheer on the later waves.
Post Race: Be sure to stay back after your race, to cheer on your fellow club members. There will be food and beverages on hand at the tent post race for all members.....this is where the party starts!
Any other tips you can share with first timers to Club Champs? Add in the comments box please :-)