Ana Leaf Grandes Rocques Triathlon Race Report

Ana Leaf Triathlon Season Opener - Grandes Rocques


Sunday 28 May saw Guernsey Triathlon Club’s Summer 2017 season opening event at a brand new venue at Grandes Rocques, Castel. The event was just over over the ‘Super Sprint’ distances  and comprised a 650 metre swim, 10 kilometre bike ride and 3 kilometre run. 


The club has invested heavily over the winter in a new electronic chip timing system with support from PWC in addition to their long standing sponsor Ana Leaf Foundation and this was the first time the system had been put to the test in the open water. 


Given the weather forecast and the flash floods and downpours endured later in the morning by Rock to Rocque riders and Race for Life runners the triathletes were very lucky with their earlier start. The sea in Grandes Rocques was relatively calm, with a rolling swell, although not yet particularly warm. 


A frantic swim start saw a close battle at the front of the pack with Bob Guilbert emerging from the longer than planned swim distance around 20 seconds ahead of fellow Island Games triathlete Ben Creasey, with junior Josh Thornton splitting the two with a stunning swim time. A long run to transition area adjacent to the ‘Chateau’ and another run to the bike mount point added to the distance of the race. 


Closely timed bike splits saw the lead barely change on the 10 kilometre bike course heading North on the coast road to Les Amarreurs and South back to Grandes Rocques before a short sharp coastal path run 1.5 k North to Portioner on the coastal path and 1.5 k back to Grandes Rockies. It was here that the lead changed to see Creasey victorious in the club’s shortest race of the year. 



In the ladies race it was newcomer Ulrike Maish again becoming the athlete to watch with the club’s top ladies sitting out this raced having competed over a longer race in the UK the previous weekend. 


Megan Chapple was first lady out of the swim, visiting novice athlete Hannah Campbell second with Maish having another distance run and triathlon specialist Laura McCarthy for company close in third and forth place at that stage. Campbell was not so confident on the bike section and as well as riding slower than the other ladies made a minor navigation error at Vale Church Filter, adding to her race distance, although Maish and McCarthy had both overtaken on the bike by that stage. 


It was on the run that Maish made her best move over the 3 kilometres completing the distance in a little over 12 and a half minutes, her run split faster than all the men bar men’s winner Creasey. 


Maish took the win with McCarthy second and Chapple a very close third. 


Chapple commented ‘Thoroughly enjoyed it! Thought my race went well, was surprised to have been first out the water but was beaten out of first transition by Laura and she was just too fast to catch from then on. Ulrike in a league of her own in the run meant I got third which I was overall pleased with!’


Club President Mark Naftel was pleased with how the new course had been received, ‘A new course is a bit of a headache, the sport is getting more popular, more people competing now than ever before which is great but this also means finding some slightly larger race venues, everyone thought this is a great course.  Also pleasing was the fact that of the 58 starters, 15 were female, the ratio of ladies increasing each season in this inclusive and friendly club event.’ 


Hannah Campbell later thanked the club saying ‘Just wanted to say an enormous thank you to you and the club for being so welcoming and helpful this morning. I really enjoyed the race and will definitely come back next year and go the right way!’



The next club event in the Ana Leaf series is based at Vazon on 11 June over a slightly longer ‘sprint’ distance, details on the club website. 

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Club Sponsorship

Ana Leaf Foundation


To view the club constitution click here

To download a copy of Guernsey Triathlon Club LBG   

certificate of incorporation click here

To download a copy of Guernsey Triathlon Club LBG 

 memorandum and articles of incorporation click here