First Vachery Triathlon a success at Cranleigh

Some of the world’s top triathletes descended on Cranleigh at the weekend for the inaugural Vachery Triathlon Festival.

Founded by Christ’s Hospital’s Mark Davis, the festival attracted a top class field of more than 700 competitors for five events which included a standard road triathlon, a sprint road triathlon and cross triathlons - using the same swim pontoon as used in the Olympics.

The weekend was kicked off by the standard tri (1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run) in the 900m long Vachery Pond and a win for Keith Saunders in a time of 2hours 13minutes, 58 seconds. European under-23 cross country champion Emma Pallant delivered on the potential which has seen her invited to train with the GB squad as she finished eighth over all.

The Sprint Tri was won by leading junior Alex West who set the fastest times in all disciplines to clock 56mins, 45secs - almost a minute clear of Euan Hockey.

Next up in the Big Swims, Mark Davies of Team Raw Energy/Clif Bar won the 1.5km swim in 23mins 13secs; Morag Hockey was first female in 24.50, and Andrew Chamberlain won the 3km swim by five seconds, with Eastbourne’s Emma Pollard the first female in a time of 43 mins 8secs.

The final events of the day saw the fast and technical sprint cross triathlon won by Bryn Davies and Amanda Morwood. And then the standard cross tri, part of the Scott Xtri series, saw 2011 World Aquathlon champion Richard Stannard control the race to win in 1hour 58mins, to finish ahead of series leader Graham Wadsworth and Rory Downie in third.

Founder Davis said: “What was created was a true festival atmosphere, pumping music and commentary that seemed to be the perfect backing track to the world class racing.”