A TEAM from Hutjena High School, sponsored by the Brian Bell technical services division, are the inaugural winners of this year’s Bougainville Triathlon relay after winning the event in one hour and 13 minutes during Independence Day in Buka.
The high school students put on a strong performance to beat 44 other teams under blistering humid conditions.
The triathlon relay attracted more than 3,000 spectators from the town and nearby villagers.
Swimmer Allan Takera came second out of the 500m but it was cyclist Gabriel Marimes who powered past the leading SAS rider in the 20km to put their team in pole position.
Runner Mitchel Kouro then gained several vital seconds in the run leg to eventually win the event.
Team coach Andy Nichol said he was proud of his boys who had put a lot of commitment into training for the event.
Second placing went to Team Diamond, another Hutjena High School team (one hour, 15 minutes) and third was Team Naiaga Trading in one hour and 22 minutes.
The 45 teams in the open category triathlon relay swam a 500m swim leg from the town market to a buoy in the Buka passage and the 20km cycle leg from there to Nova Road and back.
The run leg went from town market to the edge of the airport runway and back into town.
There was also an aquathon event for the children in the seven and 10-year-old category and the 11-15-year-old range.
Another 100 enthusiastic children kids participated in these events with Team Evergreen of Sohano Island winning both categories.