Harry Jones crosses the line to win the Coffs Harbour Triathlon last month.
Harry Jones crosses the line to win the Coffs Harbour Triathlon last month. Brad Greenshields

Games spin-off in Byron Bay triathlon

A QUALITY field including some Far North Coast hopefuls will contest the 23rd annual Byron Bay Triathlon next month.

Suffolk Park triathlete Matt Slee will hope to go one better after finishing runner-up behind professional Josh Amberger last year.

Slee has since turned professional and competed in a number events at home and overseas.

He can expect strong competition from Harry Jones, who took out the Coffs Harbour Triathlon last month.

FNC competitors have won the event in the past with Alstonville professional Clayton Fettell prevailing in 2015 and 2016.

Training partner and Lennox Head triathlete Joe Lampe won in 2013

Tweed Heads competitor Jack Orr is in the mix this year while Redcliffe's Holly Grice is back to defend the open women's title.

She will be challenged by former Tuntable Creek resident Courtney Gillfillan, who now lives on the Gold Coast.

A field of more than 1000 is expected, competing in sprint and Olympic distances.

They will be joined by 100 juniors.

The course, which includes a revised cycle leg and a run in the shadows of the Byron Lighthouse, provides a unique setting for athletes of all abilities.

"The triathlon in Byron Bay is a celebration of the local area,” race director Mike Crawley said.

"Athletes are able to relax in the morning, have a midday kick-off, and celebrate into the night along the beautiful Byron beachside.

"It is the perfect end to the triathlon season.

"We are also excited to see so much enthusiasm from local businesses, offering promotions and incentives to athletes to welcome them to the community and increase economic benefits throughout town.”

Accommodation at Byron Bay is already seeing increased bookings and event organisers predict an increase in registrations off the back of the Commonwealth Games.

Water safety is again being managed by the Byron Bay Surf Lifesaving Club, with money being raised for the Byron Bay Scouts and Byron Bay Cycle Club.

The event organisers are thanking local residents for their support of the road closures from 11am to 3.30pm towards Suffolk Park and until 4.30pm in the middle of town.

The triathlon will be held on May 12.

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