On Saturday 28th May, the one day quadrathlon, Las Tres Islas (the Three Island Challenge) 2005 started in the Canary Islands on La Grasiosa Island, travelled the length of Lanzarote and finished on the beach on Fuetreventura as the sun was setting.
An international field of athletes, made up of 24 individual competitors including 3 women, and 17 teams including one all women's team, came together to participate including last years winner in the individual event, Jurgen Coppens and last years team winners the ‘A Team’, Lanzarote Ironmen Tony Croxford, Warwick Pemberton, Daniel Kezele and Paul Sully.
Mens Overall Winner - Belgian born Jurgen Coppens, currently residing in Costa Teguise, Lanzarote, took the Las Tres Islas crown with an overall combined time of 3 hours and 35 minutes, just one minute in front of Francisco Portero from Marbella Spain who was chasing for second.
Womens Overall Winner – Women’s Wave World Champion kitesurfer Kirsty Jones from Wales, won by a minute margin from Tracy Peacock with a time of 4 hours and 40 minutes. Kirsty made up valuable time in the kitesurf, completing the10 km crossing in 29 minutes and 55 seconds, despite struggling with the gusty swirling winds in the harbour, and being taken dangerously close to a press helicopter rotors, forcing the pilot to shut the engine down.
Team Winner – Defending champions A Team proved once again they were the team to beat with a clear 17 minute time differential between their closest rivals Canarian team Q. Team captain Warwick: ‘The team are delighted to win our second Las Tres Islas team event, after all the hard training. We look forward to defending our title and making it a hattrick in 2006!’
Las Tres Islas is a unique event consisting of a 2km swim a 650m/2 km climb a 72km bike, finished with a 10km sail, windsurf, kitesurf or kayak. It attracts a wide range of people of all ages, seasoned Ironmen compete alongside amateurs, the youngest in the field this year being 16 and the oldest 73.
Willy Beckman founder of Club La Santa and Kenneth Gasque, founder of the Iron Man on Lanzarote were two of a team of four with a combined age of 200. The oldest competitor at 73, Willy is famous for his cycle around Australia non stop in 80 days which earned him entry into the Guiness Book of Records. Willy and Kenneth’s team finished the course in 5 hours and 6 minutes.
Event director Tila Braddock, ‘ It’s great the race is attracting such a wide range of people from all walks of life. This race is tough but certainly not out of reach for anyone, the hardest part is deciding to do it. The motto of Las Tres Islas is si quieres puedes, meaning ‘ if you want to, you can.’ We try to apply this philosophy to all our events. This year’s event was significantly bigger and better than the inaugral Las Tres Islas, and we expect next years to continue the growth.’
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