On the 17th October, the first Golden Bay Sprint Triathlon took place at the Radisson Blu Resort Golden Sands.
Owner and managing director of Colours of Malta, Davide Cachia, had initially conceived the idea in collaboration with Island Caterers Ltd. and JUGSMalta as the main sponsors, and co-sponsored by tappintomalta.
Proceeds were donated to the Malta Community Chest Fund. Her Excellency, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, The President of Malta, was presented with a cheque for €2,550 by Davide Cachia at the end of the race.
111 athletes took part in the Triathlon, which comprised a 750m swim, a 20Km bike ride and a 5Km run. The participants included Maltese and foreign seasoned triathletes as well as first-timers to the sport.
Mr Cachia’s “passion for the thriathlon” had sparked the idea in the first place. He had always been harbouring a dream to combine this with his work, “and what better than to organise a Triathlon race for charity. This is the first time we are organising an event of this scale and we would now like to make it a yearly event and attract more international participants.”
Of the 111 athletes taking part, 62 of these were individual triathletes while the remainder formed part of relay teams. The swim took participants twice round the marker buoy set out in the beautiful calm waters of Golden Bay. Following that, athletes climbed the 86 steps to the transition area by the ballroom entrance of the Golden Sands Resort, where bicycles were collected from the purpose-built scaffolding. Their route took them from the transition point to the Xemxija roundabout and back, where they handed over to the runners, who ran 5Km in 3 loops around the Ħal-Ferħ area.
Photo credits: Allan Payne
The first 5 males and first 3 females to finish were awarded monetary prizes ranging from €200 to €50. The winners were as follows:
Men: 1st Place – Shaun Galea, 2nd Place – Ian Turner, 3rd Place – Steve Chetcuti
Women: 1st Place – Danica Bonello Spiteri, 2nd Place – Hannah Pace, 3rd Place – Felicienne Mercieca
Winning Team: Team I Shaka – Cyclist Mark Bonnici, Runner Kevin Mamo, Swimmer Mauro Camilleri
Winning Hotel Team: Team K Radisson Blu St Julians – Cyclist Brian Calleja, Runner Winston J Zahra, Swimmer Andrew Meli
Some of the teams represented local companies such as Western Union, though many also represented the main five star hotels in Malta – Westin Dragonara, InterContinental, The Radisson Blu Resorts St. Julian’s and Golden Sands, The Hilton and Le Meridien.
All proceeds from the entry fees for the event were donated to the Malta Community Chest Fund. The President of Malta was present at the finishing line to award medals and prizes to the winners. Some of the athletes also donated their winnings to the Malta Community Chest Fund. The President addressed the athletes shortly before awarding the prizes, saying, “I would like you to feel proud that your contribution today goes to do such a lot of good… I am truly touched by your generosity.”
Besides being an opportunity to raise funds for such a worthy cause, the event is another opportunity in the annual sporting calendar for those athletes who are passionate about triathlon. Former top athlete Kevin Zammit, who was also one of the organisers, said of the event, “I love the idea of passing on my knowledge and organisational skills to other fellow athletes. Being a coach and an ex international athlete, I am now in the right position to offer opportunities to other athletes by organising races with a professional approach.”
Another of the organising team, triathlon expert Fabio Spiteri said, “Triathlon is my whole life; in fact it’s my job and my passion. Combining this with a charity event and spending some of my energy on those in need is something I always try my best to do. This Golden Bay Sprint triathlon has it all – action, a good cause and one of the best locations to organise a race!”
Photo credits: Allan Payne