Chaffey overcomes crash to win in Davenport

The five-time Australian world champion won his first race since competing at Rio 2016.

A picture of a man in a wheelchair celebrating his victory after a para-triathlon Bill Chaffey celebrating his victory at the 2012 ITU Para Triathlon World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand. © • Getty Images

Australia’s Bill Chaffey overcame a bike crash to pick himself up off the road and add another Oceania Triathlon Union (OTU) Triathlon Oceania Championships title on Saturday (18 March) on his home course in Davenport.

The 41-year-old won the men’s PTHC race in 1:07:59. Compatriots Nick Beveridge (1:10:25) and Scott Crowley (1:15:04) followed in second and third, respectively.

In Davenport, five-time world champion Chaffey and visually impaired athlete Jonathan Goerlach converged on a challenging 90- degree technical corner.

“I knew it was a tricky corner but we hit the corner at the same time, and me being as aggressive as I am I went for the inside running and because I took it too sharp on a three wheel bike, it tipped on to two wheels and headed straight for the wooden bollards,” Chaffey said.

“I thought if I hit this head on I’ll do some serious damage to this bike so I slid off on the side and still did some damage to the bike and took some skin off and got back on.”

It was Chaffey’s first race since missing the podium in the sport’s Paralympic debut at Rio 2016. Like Chaffey, a slew of other Australian Para triathletes were competing in their first races since September.

Paralympic champion Katie Kelly finished the women’s PTVI course in 1:21:21. Women’s PTS5 athlete Kate Doughty, who took fifth place in Rio, completed the Davenport course in 1:13:22. Brant Garvey (1:19:02) also got his first competition in since those Games. He beat Glen Jarvis (1:22:36) in the men’s PTS2.

World championship silver medallist Emily Tapp (1:25:13) finished ahead of fellow Australian Sarah Tait (1:37:22) to capture another title on the course in the women’s PTHC.

Worlds bronze medallist Justin Godfrey (1:13:31) raced on the Davenport course for the first time and defeated Australian compatriot Clint Pickin (1:23:40) in the men’s PTS4.

Kerryn Harvey finished her home course in 1:25:26 in the women’s PTS4 category. Australia’s Joshua Kassulke (1:12:36) was the lone competitor in the men’s PTS5.

Goerlach (1:06:53) finished well ahead of Gerrard Gosens (1:15:08) to win the men’s PTVI.

Complete results from the 2017 Davenport OTU Triathlon Oceania Championships can be found on the International Triathlon Union’s (ITU) website.

The ITU World Para Triathlon Series begins on 8 April in Gold Coast, Australia.