Piers Thomas takes on the West Wight pool.
TRIATHLONTHE West Wight Triathlon title has gone to the mainland, after holder Jack Grundy lost his crown to Borden’s Chris Birch.
And it was the bike leg which proved to be the difference between the men as they eventually finished just 63 seconds apart.
Birch completed the swim in 9.49, some two and a half minutes slower than Grundy. But his bike leg of 54.47 was five minutes quicker than the Islander and despite a quicker run from Grundy in the final leg, Birch had done enough.
He finished in 1.34.14, with Grundy second in 1.35.17. Daron Perkins, another IW athlete, was third, in 1.39.08.
There was an IW one-two in the ladies’ event, as Nina French bossed the bike and run legs to take the win in 1.51.14. Christine Jackson was second in 1.58.48.
Third was Essex athlete Paula Purtell, who finished in 2.04.45.
The team event featured many youngsters who finished the swim before passing on the baton to older teammates. There was also a huge contingent from Vestas,
Winning the team event was Rosie Cheeks, comprising Rosie Gard, Will Newnham and Martin Piper, in a time of 1.28.57.
As always, there was a huge element of fun to the event, helped along by West Wight Sports Centre who laid on a compere and music, and an encouraging crowd of spectators.
One of the biggest cheers came when a team member from Absolutely Blooming Lovin’ It arrived back from the bike leg with his red cape flowing behind him, only for him to collapse in a heap.
Also getting great applause was the first person to cross the line, Ben Ade.
Ade, 27, is a member of Ryde Rowing Club but decided to try something different.
"I was part of a team last year but I loved it so much I wanted to come back and do the whole thing. It was gruelling, but it was good."
Second to finish was Ryde Harrier Karen Lewis, who was in the team Here Come The Girls, with her daughter, Abbie Palmer, 12. Abbie completed the swim, with Karen doing the bike and run.
Abbie said: "This was the first year I could take part and I really wanted to do it with mum."
Some participants used the event to test their levels of endurance to the limit.
Bill French, husband of ladies’ winner Nina, completed the triathlon in a time of 2.17.37, for 62nd overall. The 68-year-old had already completed the Solent Swim the day before.
Lesley Dye also completed both Solent Swim and triathlon, acting as the cycle leg on one of the teams.
Video report on West Wight Triathlon by Joe Briscoe
West Wight Triathlon awards ceremony video by Joe Briscoe