Copeland comes home strong in Tri

HARD WORK: Gillian Backhouse won the open women's division at the Kingscliff Triathlon.
HARD WORK: Gillian Backhouse won the open women's division at the Kingscliff Triathlon. Warren Lynam

HOME favourite Brandon Copeland and professional triathlete Gillian Backhouse won the Kingscliff Triathlon with about 1200 competitors at the event.

Backhouse, originally from Armidale won a bronze medal at the World Triathlon Series last year and will represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next year.

She finished in a time of two hours, one minute and 16 seconds ahead of former Far North Coast resident Courtney Gillfillan.

Gillfillan now lives on the Gold Coast coast and finished the race in two hours, four minutes and 20 seconds.

The race includes a 1.5km swim, 40km ride and 10km run.

Meanwhile, Copeland came in at one hour, 52 minutes and 24 seconds while Tweed paratriathlete Bill Chaffey finished with the second overall fastest time on the day.

Despite worries earlier in the week about potential wet weather, the race went start to finish without rain and athletes enjoyed good race conditions.

"Talking to the athletes, many of the them have come to Kingscliff for the first time because of the event and have now become now loyal visitors throughout the year,” race director Michael Crawley said.

"Athletes love the location, the vibe in the village, and the variety of cafes and shops along Marine Parade.”

It is projected over $10,000 will be raised for local charities, community groups, and the local youth.

The event's official charity is the Cudgen Headlands Surf Life Saving Club and organisers also helped raise funds for a number of other community groups including Tweed South Rotary, Pottsville and District Mens Shed, Currumbin Dragon Boaters; Tweed Raiders Junior Rugby League Club; Tweed Valley Tri Club; and, Murwillumbah Venturer Scouts.