There will be triumph, tired bodies and possibly a few tears when Port Taranaki hosts the ITU Triathlon World Cup event for a seventh time on 2 April next year.
Port Taranaki chief executive Guy Roper said he was delighted Taranaki had again been chosen to host the Quality Hotel Plymouth International ITU World Cup race and the port area was the perfect facility for the world’s best triathletes to test themselves in the sprint-length swim, bike and run.
“We’re thrilled the triathlon World Cup race will be coming back to Taranaki again. We’re building a long and successful association with the event and believe it’s a great way to showcase Taranaki to the world,” Mr Roper said.
”We’ve got a fantastic facility right here, where all three disciplines can be catered for easily, and the location offers great viewing spots for the thousands of spectators who line the course.”
The swim is held off the port’s Ngamotu Beach, the bike leg is raced around the streets adjacent to the port, and the run leg is held on port-owned Ocean View Parade. As well as the venue, Port Taranaki provides logistics support for the event.
Mr Roper said athletes had commented in the past that they enjoyed coming to the New Plymouth event because of the region’s hospitality and the atmosphere created at Ngamotu Beach and around the course.
He said hosting international events, such as the ITU Triathlon World Cup, reinforced Taranaki’s reputation as a diverse and forward-thinking region, which was recently recognised when Taranaki was named by travel publication Lonely Planet as the second best region in the world to visit.
“You can’t argue with that,” he said. “It’s another feather in the region’s cap. Through events, sponsorship and our contact with international customers, Port Taranaki is always ready to promote the region any way we can.”
Photo: The women’s podium in 2016 featured world number one Gwen Jorgensen (USA), Andrea Hewitt (NZL), and Kirsten Kasper (USA). Credit: Scotty Taylor/ITU