Johanna Murphy Sets New Ladies Record; Flying Frenchman Takes 2019 BVI Steelman

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Philippe Leroy (2:32:45) and Johanna Murphy (2:48:35) Top The Field; Johanna breaks record held by Sally Blackmore since 2011

After a Hurricane Irma induced “Gap Year” the BVI Steelman returned on Beef Island with a simplified swim leg.

Returning to the start line after a 15 year sabbatical BVI triathlon legend Philippe Leroy a former 5 times BVI national triathlon champion was looking confident and had even invited the press along to document his efforts. There was also a welcome return from Joe MCcIvor after a two year sabbatical sailing solo backwards and forwards across the Atlantic.

A new simplified swim course didn’t effect the usual order on the swim with Shane Donovan and Tash Ruscheinski dominating from the start. The swim progressed true to form until Philippe veered off course heading for a stray lobster pot on the shores of Tortola returning to land with a few choice words which will not be printed in this column.

In the team event Christian Hidlago and Clifton Struiken set off neck and neck on the bike whilst Colm Rafferty after a fine swim, heading Aaron Gardner, Joe McIvor, Dan Mitchell and Philippe in the Men’s with Sarah Bolt narrowly heading Johanna Murphy in the ladies.

The bike leg settled down with Christian and Clifton in the lead group, still neck and neck, Dan, Aaron and Johanna working hard to catch them and Philippe riding like the wind attempting to overhaul the entire field.

In the Ladies event Johanna put in a strong bike leg and run to finish ahead of a brave Sarah Bolt, and broke the ladies record held by Sally Blackmore since 2011. Johanna took 1 minute and 10 seconds off the 2011 time.

In the team event Christian was unable to shake Clifton on the bike, who then strode off superbly on the run. In the Mens event Philippe’s remarkable bike leg put him first whilst Dan Mitchell held off a fast finishing Joe McIvor for second followed by Colm and Aaron.

A great effort with everybody finishing BVI’s toughest triathlon event.