Bermuda reasserts herself as a world class triathlon destination this weekend as the ITU Continental Cup arrives on the island. It’s been 20 years since Bermuda hosted its last International Triathlon Union professional race.
“A huge part of the Bermuda story we tell to the world is built around sport and adventure. The return of an ITU event to the island aligns perfectly with the future the Bermuda Tourism Authority is creating for the destination,” said Pat Phillip-Fairn, chief product and experiences development officer at the Bermuda Tourism Authority, a sponsor of the ITU Continental Cup.
The Bermuda Tourism Authority will also sponsor the ITU World Triathlon Series In 2018, 2019 and 2020, after submitting a successful host bid in 2016.
“This step back into ITU professional racing is a great precursor to the next three years of World Triathlon Series racing, the highest calibre of professional racing the sport has to offer,” said Bermuda Triathlon Association Director Aaron Smith.
About 40 international elite athletes, along with up to 80 visiting spectators, are expected in Bermuda to participate in the ITU Continental Cup. Also competing are about 100 local athletes getting involved in the Age-Group categories as part of the Digicel Bermuda Trifest. Dominika Jamnicky of Canada and Eli Hemming of the United States are among the names to watch for this weekend in the women’s and men’s elite competition respectively. Local athletes can still register to participate in the Digicel Bermuda Trifest & ITU Continental Cup via the event’s website.
The Continental Cup will take place mostly in and around Hamilton on Sunday, April 9, including a daring bike ride up Corkscrew Hill for the elite athletes – just as they did back in 1997, the last time Bermuda hosted an ITU event. Officials will be watching the action closely to determine what aspects of the Continental Cup race course are transferable to the more competitive World Triathlon Series events starting in 2018.
The ITU World Triathlon Series event could attract as many as 1,200 competitors in each of the three years, including 150 elite athletes.
Ms Phillip-Fairn said: “In Bermuda we have great sports assets and strong sports partners. These make for a solid foundation and this is why we’re so excited about the future.
“We welcome the athletes arriving in Bermuda this weekend and hope they will be back to see us many times over the next few years.”