Skier Justin Boon takes off at the start of the last round of the Big River Ski Series 2012.
Skier Justin Boon takes off at the start of the last round of the Big River Ski Series 2012. Lynne Mowbray

Swim, run, ski

A NOVEL take on the well-known triathlon format has Big River Ski Club poised for a Clarence River first on the weekend.

The club is hosting its annual President's Cup meet at Grafton's Corcoran Park this Saturday and Sunday, and is also holding a state of origin pointscore challenge between New South Wales and Queensland competitors.

But it is the novelty Ironman event on Saturday which is sure to draw plenty of interest.

"Competitors will have to swim, run and then ski in a bid to secure points for their state," club spokesman Shannon Gane said.

"I think tactics could prove crucial, and whether or not the guys decide to wear their ski wet suit throughout the whole event or change into it before the last leg could be the difference.'"

With a 300m swim, 3km run and then 20km ski, the decision won't be an easy one.

"The 20km ski will probably only take five or six minutes, so even though it seems a long distance, it will actually be the quickest leg," Gane said.

"We usually race over a course of 40km or more."

But after the fun of the Ironman event finishes, the weekend is set to boast plenty of serious ski competition.

The President's Cup is decided on a pointscore system across all the formula races conducted over the two days.

The State Of Origin challenge will be awarded to the state with the highest accumulated points across all events over the weekend.

"Saturday we are holding the social class races where you actually use a shorter ski," Gane said.

"The shorter ski is actually harder to use, but the boats will be all going the same speed so the better competitors will out ski the boat.

"Sunday is for what we call expert class races. The skiers use a proper race ski and the boats are going full tilt in competition for the President's Cup."

The events start at 1pm on Saturday with the junior tadpoles and the Ironman events starting the weekend.

Sunday racing starts at 9am.

"The President's Cup is not a big competition in terms of Ski Racing Australia, but for the local competitors it is pretty highly sought after," Gane said.

"It should be a good fun day on Saturday with the Ironman event and serious racing on Sunday. Anyone wanting to check it out can come down and have a look."

Competitors will have to swim, run and then ski in a bid to secure points for their state.



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