Saturday marks the first time the Triathlon NSW Club Championships have been hosted west of the Blue Mountains, considering his troops will boast a huge home course advantage Orange Cycle and Triathlon Club president Michael Lockyer labelled the Piranhas “a real shout” to take out a number of titles.
The Piranhas’ new home at Gosling Creek Reservoir will host the 2017 edition of the tournament and although the club has only been there for a few short months, Lockyer said their knowledge of the course will be invaluable.
“We do know the course better than most, particularly the cycle leg,” he said.
“Anyone who has done any substantial amount of cycling around this area knows that track very well, I think that will be a big advantage.
“But it’s not just that. It’s also the fact we don’t have to travel, normally we’re driving several hours for this event and the chance to be able to race here, sleep in our beds and that sort of thing, that will make a big difference.”
After finishing 13th last year the Piranhas have dropped down to division two for this weekend’s competition.
“Clubs are graded into divisions based on competing members, clubs will more than 200 go in the top division and we’ve fallen just under that, so we’ll be in division two,” Lockyer said.
We want to prove we’re one of the best regional clubs in the state, if not the best.OCTC president Michael Lockyer
“I think we’re a real shout there, as we are in the juniors, but we’ve got our eye on the Country Championship title.
“We want to prove we’re one of the best regional clubs in the state, if not the best.”
Lockyer said with a huge contingent set to race the Piranhas are in good shape to achieve that mantle, particularly with the championships’ unique, club-oriented scoring system.
“I actually love the scoring system in place, it rewards both performance and participation,” Lockyer said.
“The way it works, everyone who competes earns one point and volunteers also earn a point.
“Then, there is the performance-based aspect. Points are awarded to the athletes who finish first down to 25th, the winner gets 30 then second 29 down to six points for 25th.
“But here’s the big point, only one competitor from each club can earn performance points. So if an Orange athlete wins and we also have the second and third-placed finishers, only the winner will get those points.
“But the second and third points are blocked by the other Orange competitors, so no one else can earn them.
“So a club may win every division, but not win any overall trophies. You need to be a bit more strategic, for instance we’re looking to have competitive athletes in every division because of that scoring system.
“We’ll have a pretty good representation across all the different age groups, although there is no individual awards in this competition.”
Registrations start from 7.30am on Saturday morning, with junior racing to start at 8.30am. Senior registrations start at 10am, with racing kicking off at 12.30pm.