Australia and New Zealand’s top triathletes will gather in the resort town for two world-class events, which will be the first Trans-Tasman triathlon events on Australian soil since COVID-19 stopped international racing in March 2020.
The 2021 Oceania Standard Distance Championship will be held on Saturday 12 June, followed by the 2021 Oceania Sprint Cup on Saturday 26 June.
The two races will provide athletes from both sides of the ditch a valuable opportunity to test their skills under hot and humid conditions, mimicking those expected in Tokyo this July.
Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said the events would showcase Port Douglas as a destination for major events and sports tourism.
“Tokyo is just around the corner, and the Games will represent a very special opportunity for optimism, hope and solidarity across the globe,” he said.
“Hosting the Australian and New Zealand national triathlon teams is a unique and incredible honour for Douglas Shire.”
“Our tropical climate offers a realistic simulation of the conditions for the competition in Tokyo. Add the beauty of Port Douglas, and the wonderful spirit of our community, and we have a very appealing environment for world class athletes to compete.”
“We might be in the far north, and it might take you a bit longer to get here, however we hope this event will demonstrate how well positioned we are to host large scale events in our region. We have the infrastructure, we have the talent to make it happen on the ground, and we have the location – where the reef meets the rain forest – it’s the most incredible backdrop you could hope for.”
The Green & Gold will take on the Kiwis in a 40km and 20km cycle along sections of Port Douglas Road, Davidson Street and Garrick Street. Sections of the roads will be temporarily closed with diversions in place to ensure residents and visitors can travel into and out of town.
The iconic Four Mile Beach will play host to the 1.5km and 750m swimming legs, while Macrossan Street will allow onlookers to be close to the action and cheer on our national stars as they run down the main street.
The Oceania Standard Distance Championship and Cup fixture will carry extra weight, offering athletes a final chance to gain valuable Olympic qualification points before the Olympic Qualification Period ends on June 14.
Douglas Shire Council’s Sports & Recreation Officer said the Oceania Championship and Cups would be extraordinary for the local community.
“We will have a world class competition between Australia and New Zealand taking place right in the heart of Port Douglas.”
“The course has been mapped out carefully – its technical and will make for two very hard and fast races.”
“The most incredible talent and athleticism will be on display as athletes battle it out for a spot in Tokyo – and it’s all going to take place in Port Douglas.”
“This is an unprecedented event for our Shire, and a wonderful opportunity for the region to firmly make its mark on sports tourism.”
“Save the date in your calendar, bring a chair and your loudest voice – this is something that will go down in history.”
National Performance Director Justin Drew said that Port Douglas provides an excellent racing opportunity ahead of Tokyo.
“Having been without international racing for some time, we’re excited by the opportunity to compete against a strong international competitor like New Zealand here in Australia,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to heading north and racing in the humid conditions of Port Douglas, not unlike those we will face in Tokyo this July.”
“I’d like to thank Douglas Shire Council and Cairns Crocs Triathlon Club for all of their hard work in getting Oceania racing back on the calendar.”
Triathlon New Zealand CEO, Claire Beard said she was looking forward to the New-Zealand team competing in Australia.
“We are thrilled that our athletes can travel to compete at the Standard Oceania Champs and Sprint Cup at Port Douglas.”
“The New Zealand / Australia travel bubble and health and safety procedures and protocols the event has put in place have allowed this all to happen and this is a great opportunity for our athletes to get back into racing.”
“We’d like to thank Triathlon Australia, the Douglas Shire Council and the event team for all their hard work making this happen.”