Professional triathlete Elly Franks - back in her home town of Yamba for the Yamba Triathlon. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Professional triathlete Elly Franks - back in her home town of Yamba for the Yamba Triathlon. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

Festival will be a classic

TWO of the competitors to watch in tomorrow's Yamba Classic Triathlon are locals Lindsey Wall and Regan Allard.

Both have put in impressive performances in recent competition and race organisers are predicting big things from them.

Lindsey Wall

Yamba born-and-bred triathlete Lindsey Wall is looking forward to competing in the Classic Distance Triathlon tomorrow.

The 24-year-old had a great season last year and has been training hard over the winter months.

Some of his achievements last season included:

 Second place in the Wollongong Olympic Distance Triathlon, which was part of the Australian qualifying series for the Olympic distance world champs London team. He also recorded the fastest bike split of the day.

 Second place; Australian Sprint Championships in Canberra.

 First place; ACT Aquathon Championships.

Ben Williams

Florida-born Ben Williams is based on the Sunshine Coast and training up a storm while competing in various events around the country.

This is Ben's first year racing as a professional, steadily improving over the past couple of seasons as an age-grouper including two podium finishes at the coveted Triathlon World Championships in Hawaii.

He has already seen some great results, including a second place finish behind Chris Lieto at the Lavaman Triathlon in March, together with a new run-course record.

Ironman 70.3 (Honu) in June was Ben's first professional race, crossing the line in the top 10.

Ben has a packed schedule in Australia, and has kick-started the season with a third place in the Sunshine Coast Half Marathon in a fast 1:12:28.

Regan Allard

Yamba local Regan Allard has been competing in triathlons for around six years, having just completed her first full ironwoman distance (3.8km swim; 180km cycle; 42.2k run) event at Challenge Wanaka in New Zealand, where she achieved eighth place in her age group and on what is a notoriously difficult course.

Rebecca Preston

Is racing age group this weekend (previously raced as a pro) but career highlights to date include winning Ironman Switzerland and Ironman Austria two weeks apart in 2006, plus fifth place at Hawaii Ironman (ie world champs) 2007.

Elly Franks

Although coming back from injury and talking down her chances, former Yamba girl Elly Franks can't be taken lightly.

Her pedigree suggests if she finds herself near the leaders when the whips are cracking, she'll pull out all the stops.

Elly has a number of recent European wins behind her and a second place in Hawaiian half ironman in 2011.



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