Trisutto coach Mel Mitchell leads out the swim at the 1998 F1 Triathlon Series. The series was a huge hit in Australia for both the athletes and spectators.
I’ve been asked a couple of times for my opinion on the launch of the new Super League Triathlon race series.
That is a very simple answer; great news for triathlon, greater news for the triathlon spectator.
While the concept itself is not new, it will be first time viewing for the majority of today’s triathlon fans and I promise will be infinitely more exciting than the current WTS short course offering.
People often reminisce with rose coloured glasses, but the Formula 1 triathlon series held in Australia (1990’s-early 2000’s) is one of those rare times in the sport that had the triathlon spectator first in mind. I can only hope the racing will be as spectacular in this new venture.
As co-founder, it appears Macca has made every effort to make that happen with as strong a roster as possible signed up. No doubt he is drawing on the days when he went head to head with Greg Welch, Miles Stewart, Brad Bevan, Spencer Smith and a host of Champions over a series with different formats and distances that suited each others strengths. It brought the best out of each other and the sport.
What makes me more excited is that Europe didn’t see the best of this style of racing.
I’m aware they’ve taken some criticism for only having a male race to begin, but they have been in strong negotiations with the best women in the world and should the men’s race be a ratings winner, the women’s race launch will be imminent.
The bigger point I’d make is this. It’s very difficult today to start something new in our sport. Between the WTS squeezing out all the independent short course races for their preferred formats, or Ironman rampaging through the existing long course scene like Godzilla, new ventures should be supported. I wish the very best to the backers, athletes and organisers. For triathlon’s sake I hope it’s a huge success.
In the starters hands at the the Super Sprint Tri Series Grand Prix in Las Vegas – a similar concept run in the USA in 2010 and again in 2013-14. Photo: Super Sprint Triathlon Grand Prix