Young Barbadians compete at Clermont Draft Legal Challenge

The Draft Legal Challenge, USA’s launchpad for triathlon’s best talent, saw six emerging athletes from Barbados compete in the two-day open event in the beautiful Lake Louisa State Park of Clermont, Florida.

The large event was held March 5th and 6th and welcomed competitors from around the world to the USA's only two-day draft legal event in the country, which offered a high level of competition for the young Barbadian group of Fynn Armstrong (15), Luke McIntyre (14), Cain Banfield (14), Zindzele Renwick-Williams (11), Chara Hinds (19), and Neil Skinner (19).

The large event was held March 5th and 6th and welcomed competitors from around the world to the USA’s only two-day draft legal event in the country, which offered a high level of competition for the young Barbadian group of Fynn Armstrong (15), Luke McIntyre (14), Cain Banfield (14), Zindzele Renwick-Williams (11), Chara Hinds (19), and Neil Skinner (19).

Unlike the warm crystal clear waters of the Caribbean sea, the Bajan upstarts were greeted by a ‘Beware of the Alligators’ sign and chilly dark-brown waters that obscured visibility, however, were eager and excited to compete amongst some of the best talents in the world in the enduring back-to-back event.

Fynn Armstrong a recent qualifier in the 3000m for CARIFTA Track & Field was one of the youngest competitors at 16 years of age in the 15-25 age group which contested the sprint distance of 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run. He was first in action to face the chilly temperatures in the early morning. On both days, Fynn maintained his stroke to stay in the middle of the pack for the swim, after which he managed to stick with a large peloton of riders along the meandering corners and rolling hills of the racecourse.

Fynn Armstrong a recent qualifier in the 3000m for CARIFTA Track & Field was one of the youngest competitors at 16 years of age in the 15-25 age group which contested the sprint distance of 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run. He was first in action to face the chilly temperatures in the early morning. On both days, Fynn maintained his stroke to stay in the middle of the pack for the swim, after which he managed to stick with a large peloton of riders along the meandering corners and rolling hills of the racecourse.

Once the ride was over it was onto the run, where Fynn outran roughly 18 competitors to ultimately finish 15th in a time of 1:00:47 hours. Day two was a bit tougher on tired legs and as a result, he finished approximately two minutes slower in a time 01:02:02 hours to place a respectable 28th out of 75 competitors.

Cain Banfield, Luke McIntyre, and Zindzele Renwick-Williams competed in the Youth Warm-Up Draft Legal Race and Youth Development Race which was contested over 375m swim, 10km bike and 2.5km run. Cain was 2nd out of the water on both days but slipped a few positions in both the ride and run to finish 7th (00:34:47 minutes) and 9th (00:33:58 minutes) in the two races. Luke emerged out of the water in the top 10 on both days, was able to hold his position in the rides, and propelled himself with his strong run to finish 5th (00:34:18 minutes) on day one and improved his time on day two to finish 2nd in 00:32:41 minutes. The youngest of the pack, Zindzele Renwick-Williams, held his own in the swim and ride. With his fantastic run, he was able to bypass many athletes to move his position up by almost 20 places to finish 22nd in a time of 00:36:58 minutes. Day two was a bit tougher for him as he finished 28th in a time of 00:38:30 minutes. The lads all competed with boys older than them and were quite happy with their performances.

The lone female, Chara Hinds is currently on scholarship at Delaware State University, one of 40 schools at the NCAA level that sponsor triathlon. On day one Chara tuned up in the Age group race of 375m swim, 10km bike and 2.5km run where she finished 18th out of 47th in a time of 39 minutes and eight seconds (00:39:08).

The lone female, Chara Hinds is currently on scholarship at Delaware State University, one of 40 schools at the NCAA level that sponsor triathlon. On day one Chara tuned up in the Age group race of 375m swim, 10km bike and 2.5km run where she finished 18th out of 47th in a time of 39 minutes and eight seconds (00:39:08).

On day two she competed in the NCAA Collegiate Women’s category of the event at the same distance; she exited the water in 46th position and was able to make up the distance in both the ride and the run to finish 39th of 73 overall in a time of 00:36:39. Rising star Niel Skinner who is on scholarship at Queen’s University in North Carolina unfortunately was injured on day one and was unable to complete day one, and did not participate on day two.

BFIT President, Darren Treasure had this to say about the recent performances, “We are extremely proud of this dedicated young group of student athletes. These results are significant as the competition were against many of the emerging triathletes in the USA and Canada. Some of the triathletes competing at this event are the future of triathlon and will one day represent the USA, Canada and Barbados at Major Games and the penultimate Olympic Games. This event is so important to a young triathletes development as it offers a quality field, draft legal racing and requires the athletes to focus on their recovery strategy in order to prepare for the second day of racing.”

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