Kona week - meet the pro's
With just days to go to the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, the atmosphere in Kona is buzzing. The pro's and age groupers are gathering on the Big Island preparing themselves for the main event in long distance triathlon on Sat Oct 12.
We've put together profiles of the personalities that make up the pro field - the old hands, the favourites and the new emerging talent.
10 years ago Pete Jacobs was a young triathlete trying to make a living in the sport. Pete had a knack for starting out fast - he was a terrific swimmer and his first wetsuit was the blueseventy Ironman wetsuit.
blueseventy CEO Tim Moxey remembers meeting Pete back then and Pete was clear in his goal- I want to be Ironman World Champion.
Last year Pete's dreams came true as he won in Kona. 2013 has been a journey to prepare to defend that title in 2 weeks time. A few weeks ago Pete raced the Sunshine Coast 70.3 and crossed the line first in a stunning time of 3:39.
In Pete's own words "I really wanted to have the performance I am capable of when I’m getting in good shape. I knew I was getting in good shape".
Look out Kona, Pete is ready to make it a 2nd straight year on top of the World.
blueseventy athlete Leanda Cave, 5 time World Champion...at all 5 distances in professional triathlon.
Beginning in 2001 with a U23 title, Leanda worked up the ladder of triathlon rising to the pinnacle of each distance, Wildflower, Alcatraz, ITU long and Olympic distance, 70.3 Worlds and now Kona.
Leanda Cave swims fast, rides fast and runs to win. This year in Kona, Cave has nothing to lose- she has won everything and is hungry for more.
Over the last decade Leanda has worked with blueseventy and helped us develop our Femme Fit range of wetsuits, swimskins and gear for women.
Leanda is already in Kona connecting with the island and preparing for next week. She is a rock star ready for the stage, dues paid and experience in her corner. This year all eyes will be on her when the cannon sounds.
Ironman champion and Olympian, hailing from Luxembourg, a country that is smaller than many cities and better known in the professional cycling world, Dirk is one of best Kona performers over the last 4 years with 4x top 10 finishes and 4th in 2011.
Last year a broken hand a week prior to the race seriously challenged Bockel's resolve.
This year with even greater resolve he won the prestigious Challenge Roth and is finishing his brutal Kona prep in Tuscon. Dirk, heading to the big island in a few days says "my body has followed my path through crushing workouts to prepare for the World Championships and is ready".
We anticipate seeing Dirk better that 4th place from 2 years ago.
blueseventy athlete Liz Blatchford, having had great success after turning up her distance after her many years racing short course and ITU events.
Liz won her ironman debut in Cairns and multiple 70.3's over the last 12 months, her foray into longer distance training and racing is producing fantastic results.
She quickly earned qualification for 70.3 Worlds but Kona was the real target and after earning top 5 there her ticket to hawaii was punched.
It was full speed ahead in training toward the single goal of Ironman World Championships.
Kona has been ruled by British female athletes over the last decade, could Liz's British/Australian nationality be an ace in her hand in Kona?
There are few athletes blueseventy can say 'we have known in our ranks' for more than a decade. That is only one of many amazing elements about Petr Vabrousek from the Czech republic.
Look at the obvious stunning facts: Over 100 Ironman races, 20 victories, 15 consecutive Kona starts.
In addition to that resume, Vabrousek is a family man first and foremost- Petr's ability to balance life is unparalleled.
Clayton Fettell - young, powerful, raised around a swimming facility his parents operate.
Clayton Fettell has been honing his raw talent for the sport of triathlon the last few years in anticipation of his debut in Kona.
Brought up in/at a pool- Clayton is a wicked fast swimmer and look for him to emerge first from Sea and begin to power through the course. They say Kona makes you 'pay your dues' and your first time out is a hefty instalment the island is going to collect.
A few weeks ago Fettell raced in AUS next to World Champ Pete Jacobs. Clayton got a taste of what is in store in Kona, it is going to be an exciting race for this young talent.
Long time blueseventy athlete Luke Bell from Australia savors his trips to Kona knowing it is an honour, challenge to be here. Luke's best result stands at 4th place when he was just 24yrs old.
10 years later Luke's huge smile and personality seem a constant part of Kona. This year Luke has had superb long-distance success winning both Ironman Australia and Mont Tremblant (CAN) hopefully foreshadowing a strong podium bid in Kona.
A sharp swimmer and good all-rounder- we look for Luke to be in the middle of the sharp end of the race. Luke has become a celebrity as of late in his blueseventy Helix and Fusion wetsuits starring in Triathlete Mag's open water swim tips series.