BIKING IT: Competitors race across the runway during the bike leg of the Hamilton Island triathlon.
BIKING IT: Competitors race across the runway during the bike leg of the Hamilton Island triathlon. Andrea Francolini

Gentle pace too hot at Hamilton

DEFENDING champion Ashleigh Gentle set a blistering time to win the Hamilton Island triathlon on Saturday.

The former world junior triathlon champion took out the women's division in 1 hour 12 minutes, 15 seconds ahead of her nearest rival Athens Olympian Maxine Seear.

Maxine's brother James Seear took the honours in the men's division in a time of 1 hour 2 minutes, 35 seconds ahead of semi-professional and his companion on the world circuit, Joshua Amberger.

Ironman and ocean swimming champion Ky Hurst led his team to victory in the team division of the event.

About 300 athletes took to the waters, roads and airport runway of Hamilton Island for the triathlon.

The event was held in perfect conditions with a 750m swim in Catseye Bay followed by a 20km cycle around the southern part of Hamilton Island including the airport runway and a 5km run around the marina with a finish on the resort-side of the island.

The win was the perfect warm-up for yesterday's Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim.

Around 300 swimmers competed at the only sporting event permitted to be held on the iconic Whitehaven Beach, which is consistently named as one of the world's best beaches.

Participants included 'Madame Butterfly' Susie O'Neill and some 10 other Olympian swimmers.

Other sporting events to be held on Hamilton Island yesterday included the Fujifilm Hamilton Island Junior Triathlon yesterday morning.

In a move from traditional kid's triathlons, the children won't compete in age-groups but will race a choice of three distances depending on their ability and experience.

Other fitness fanatics participated in the Dent Dash yesterday.

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