The team behind the Qld School Sport triathlon
HOW does the Fraser Coast make a two-day event that includes almost 700 athletes and thousands more visitors from across the state run so smoothly?
A legion of volunteers, and council and community support have helped make Hervey Bay the prime destination for the Queensland School Sport Triathlon Championship.
Co-conveners Cass Kimlin and Brian Harrington start preparation almost one year out from the event.
"We'll wrap up, do a final debrief and pack up over the next week, then we'll start into the process for (the) next year,” Kimlin said.
It is a process the Urangan State High School pair and Wide Bay School Sport have turned into an art.
Officials spend hours liaising with Fraser Coast Regional Council about park and road closures and other local facilities, work with businesses most likely to be affected the event, not to mention working with Triathlon Queensland and Queensland School Sport to ensure everything is sorted.
"It's very hard to close roads and our council is so good, and (so is) the Torquay (business) precinct,” Harrington said.
Harrington said events councillor and Hervey Bay Surf Life Saving president Darren Everard helped bring the event to the region six years ago.
Everard, who was one of 12 volunteer surf life savers patrolling the water on both Friday and Saturday, paid tribute to those who gave up their time to help.
"We had 12 volunteers on each day, so that's at least 12 people who gave up their time to help this event run smoothly,” Everard said.
Queensland School Sport triathlon chair Kim Beckinsale paid tribute to the community's support, which also included local police, SES volunteers, Triathlon Australia technical officers, members of Hervey Bay Triathlon Club, and countless others who backed the event.
"This year the event was super smooth, the weather was perfect, and the obvious involvement and support of the local community really helps with the successful running of this event,” Beckinsale said.
"In our aquathlon we have near-max numbers each year, we can't grow bigger.
"But it's great to see the more distant regions, their numbers growing.
"Met West brought a bigger team this year. Our Brisbane regions have large teams and they're all high, but it's the remote areas bringing their athletes.
"Having this central venue makes it not as far to travel for (athletes from) North, North West, Peninsula, and Cairns.”
Beckinsale said that while the destination of the 2019 state championship was yet to be finalised, triathlons unique nature when compared to other sports put Hervey Bay in the box seat to retain the titles.
"Ideally with Queensland School Sport, a lot of the events move from region to region,” Beckinsale said.
"Triathlon has so many factors - it has to have water, you need road closures, a lifesaving club willing to facilitate water safety, community support.
"This area has it all.”