Challenge Cairns to return to Port Douglas

Friday 16 December 2011

Challenge Cairns to return to Port Douglas

Port Douglas has been retained as the turnaround point for the bike leg of the second Cairns Airport Challenge Cairns triathlon to be held Sunday, June 3, 2012.

The announcement comes after last June’s inaugural Challenge Cairns put Port Douglas and the stunning views from the Captain Cook Highway on the international triathlon map following the world-wide televising of the event.

The news also alleviates fears the town may have lost the gig following a lack of public attendance to the inaugural event’s Macrossan Street turnaround point due to confusion over road closures.

Event organisers, USM Events, say improved staging, music, welcoming of competitors and commentary at the Macrossan Street turn-around point will be provided next June to attract more supporters to cheer the athletes on.

However, there has been a change to the swim leg of the Challenge Cairns and new 2.80.2 event (2km swim, 80km cycle, 20km run), as last June’s Yorkey’s Knob venue has been replaced with an inner-city Cairns swim.

USM Events CEO, Geoff Meyer, said the alterations to last years’ course have been a result of stream-lining their operations to improve race logistics for competitors and spectators alike, thus enhancing the race experience on and off the course.

“The biggest difference this year is the relocation of the swim to the inner city waters off Sailfish Quay in downtown Cairns,” Mr Meyer said.

“It will be a deep water start from a purpose built pontoon and new event sponsor, Ports North, has been the driving force in bringing the downtown swim course to fruition and will showcase one of Cairns’ most stunning attributes – its Esplanade Foreshore surrounded by the coastal landscape.

“The bike leg for Challenge Cairns competitors will start in the Lagoon car park - it will journey north out of town and follow the route made famous in 2011 along the Captain Cook Highway that travels up one of the most scenic coastal roads in Australia up to Port Douglas.”

The first part of the 42.2km run will bring competitors back from Smithfield via Yorkey’s Knob then onto the Captain Cook Highway into Cairns where they will then complete two, eight kilometre laps of the Esplanade and Marina boardwalk, before they finally reach the red-carpeted finish line adjacent to the Cairns Lagoon.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh welcomed the initiative to build on the success of the event for next year, after the generated a significant economic and tourism boost for the Cairns region in its inaugural year.

“The Cairns Airport Adventure Festival will be bigger and better in 2012 – which is great news for the Cairns region,” said Ms Bligh.

“The inaugural Cairns Airport Adventure Festival this year delivered an economic boost of $7.5 million – more than double the original estimate of $3 million.

“And with more than 540 participants already entered into the new Cairns 2.80.20 course we can expect more visitors from interstate and overseas to the region – which is great for the tourism industry, local businesses and jobs.”

For further event information visit

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