The Canterbury Classic swim start will shift from Corsair Bay, pictured, in 2024. Photo: Courtesy Canterbury Triathlon Club

By Kent Gray/
With the guilty pleasures of the festive season now well and truly in the rear view mirror, it’s time to tuck into your planning and prep for the remainder of the Tri NZ domestic season.

Six huge Tri NZ Suzuki Series events loom large on the horizon, beginning with the iconic 35th Tauranga Half at the Fulton Hogan Mt Festival of Multisport on January 20. Thereafter follow Suzuki Series age group events at the Canterbury Classic (Jan. 28), Seven Oaks Kinloch Triathlon Festival (Feb. 10-11), Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka (Feb. 17), the NZ Age Group Sprint Triathlon Championships in Napier (Feb. 25), and the ANZCO Foods Ironman NZ in Taupo on March 2.

Tauranga, Canterbury, Kinloch and Wanaka serve as qualifiers for the World Triathlon Multisport Championships in Townsville from August 15-25, while Napier, the South Island Standard Distance Triathlon Championships at the Canterbury Classic and the Standard Distance Aquabike at Kinloch are qualifiers for the World Triathlon Age Group Championships in Malaga, Spain from October 17-20. All are explained in more detail in the specific event descriptions below which also include entry links.

The NZ Age Group Sprint Triathlon Championships have been incorporated into New Zealand’s traditional round of the World Triathlon Cup which has a new home and timeslot in 2024, shifting from New Plymouth to Napier on February 24-25.

Napier is your chance to take in the opening round of the 2024 World Triathlon Cup (Feb 24, sprint), an upgraded World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) Mixed Relay (Feb 25), and to race the course yourself, either with an eye to Malaga or for the simple fun of it.

You’ll also find plenty of useful information, including the Garth Barfoot Aquabike Prize offering, at our World Championship Policy and Forms page HERE.

There is more specific info regarding Tri NZ team eligibility and World Championship qualification criteria at the foot of this story. But for now, check out the five remaining Tri NZ Suzuki Series Races of 2024 with World Triathlon Championship qualification (Ironman NZ on March 2 doubles as the NZ Long Distance Triathlon Championships but does not have qualifying spots for either of the World Triathlon Championships).


2024 Tri NZ Suzuki Series Events

Townsville =
World Triathlon Multisport Championships (Townsville, Australia; Aug 15-25)
Malaga = World Triathlon Age Group Championships (Malaga, Spain; Oct 17-20)


Fulton Hogan Mount Festival of Multisport
January 20, 2024

Townsville Mid Triathlon & Mid Distance Aquabike Slots: Six per discipline, age-group and gender + 2 special circumstance slots

With the likes of 2022 Ironman World champion Chelsea Sodaro on the billing and a new open category for elite level weekend warriors wanting to test themselves against the best, the 35th edition of the Calley Homes Tauranga Half is sure to attract global attention.
For everyone else, the iconic Tauranga Half is again an official Tri NZ Suzuki Series event, this year the secondary ‘Mid Triathlon’ qualifier for the 2024 World Triathlon Multisport Championships in Townsville from August 15-25. Oxman in North Canterbury was the stage for the main qualifier in late November meaning the ‘North Island’ champs in Tauranga will be especially competitive with fewer World Champs qualification slots than last year.
The Fulton Hogan Mount Festival of Multisport also features a ‘Mid Aquabike’ qualifier for Townsville. This is again the secondary qualifier, or North Island championship, with the main qualifier at Challenge Wanaka next month (more on that below). There’s a flights and accommodation lure for Townsville which make help you enter the Aquabike. You can read about the offer from Tri NZ’s ever generous Patron, Garth Barfoot, here.

Online entries close January 14 – this Sunday – so get in quick of you haven’t already entered. ENTER HERE


Canterbury Classic
January 28th, 2024

Malaga Standard Distance Triathlon Slots: 6 per age group, per gender + 2 special circumstance slots
Townsville Standard Distance Duathlon Slots: 16 per age group, per gender + 4 Special circumstance slots

What do sailing and the Canterbury Classic in Lyttelton have in common? Stick with us here while we explain.
This year’s Canterbury Classic will include a new swim course in Cass Bay, just around the headland from the usual venue in Corsair Bay, and not far from the venue for SailGP which you might have caught on TV. The new swim course means there will be an additional 1km run to transition and thereafter it’s business as usual…i.e., an “old school” course full of hills to keep the bike and run very honest.
The Canterbury Classic is the ‘South Island Standard Distance Triathlon Championships’, serving as the secondary qualifier for Malaga following November’s Tinman in Tauranga. Six slots per age group, per gender will be on the line for Malaga. The bonus, with further sailing links, in that? Triathlon’s premier World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) will be decided in Malaga at the same time so you could race your age group world championship, then watch Hayden Wilde and Kiwi co. go for global glory. While you are in Spain, why not take in a little America’s Cup yachting action (the 37th Match involving defenders Emirates Team NZ is scheduled for March 12-20 in Barcelona) to round out an unforgettable active escape?

Cass Bay will host the swim leg in 2024

A duathlon has long been incorporated into the Canterbury Classic and this year it will double as the NZ Standard Distance Duathlon Championship. That means the fastest 16 duathletes per age group and gender over the hilly course will be eligible to compete at August’s World Triathlon Multisport Championships in Townsville. To drag out this already long sailing link bow, we figure you’ll probably come across a yacht or two in Townsville. A post worlds sundowner cruise anyone?

To enter the NZ Standard Distance Duathlon Championship or South Island Standard Distance Triathlon Championship, race over to the Canterbury Classic website HERE.


Seven Oaks Kinloch Triathlon Festival
February 10-11, 2024

Townsville Aquathlon Slots: 16 spots per age-group, per gender + 4 Special Circumstance slots
Malaga Standard Distance Aquabike Slots: 16 spots per age-group, per gender + 4 Special Circumstance slots

The beauty of tri-sport Taupo’s Kinloch Festival, other than the actual beauty of the course which boasts Tongariro National Park as its idyllic backdrop, is the fact you can qualify for both Townsville and Malaga in the same weekend.
On Feb. 10, the Saturday, the Suzuki NZ Aquathlon Championship (1km swim, 5km run) offers slots for Townsville. The following day, line up in the 1500m swim, 40km bike Suzuki NZ Standard Distance Aquabike Championship and turn the dream of racing in Malaga into reality.     
If you’re competing in the Aquabike, be aware that Tri NZ’s legendary Patron, Garth Barfoot, is again offering to help top performers make it to Malaga. It includes economy House of Travel flight vouchers to the value of $3000 and accommodation subsidies for the leading male and female. Check out all the 2024 Aquabike offerings, including what’s on offer at the Mount Festival of Multisport and Challenge Wanaka, here.
The Seven Oaks Triathlon Festival, on the calendar since 1985, also includes the Erin Baker Standard Distance Triathlon, a sprint distance tri and even a Try-A-Tri over a 300m swim, 10km bike and 2.5km run course. There’s also a MB Century Splash & Dash Aquathon for under 8s (100m swim, 1km run) and open water swim options over 750m, 1500m or 3000m. In other words, something for everyone. What else do you need for Taupo weekend escape?

Enter the Seven Oaks Kinloch Triathlon Festival HERE.


Xavier Briel/Challenge Wanaka 2023

Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka
February 17, 2024

Townsville Cross Duathlon slots: 16 spots per age-group, per gender + 4 Special Circumstance slots
Townsville Mid Distance Aquabike slots: 6 spots per age group, per gender + 2 special circumstance slots
Townsville Cross Triathlon slots: 16 spots per age-group, per gender + 4 Special Circumstance slots

There are a ton of race options for all ages and stages of triathlon at Challenge Wanaka, including the popular New World Three Peaks 3-9-3 on Friday afternoon preceding Oceania Cup Wanaka. Full details, including for the three Tri NZ Suzuki Series Events, are available here.


NZ Age Group Sprint Championships
Napier, February 25, 2024

Malaga Sprint Distance Triathlon Slots: 16 per age group, per gender + 4 special circumstance slots

Come for World Triathlon Cup Napier, stay to race the national sprint championships – and enjoy a mixed relay bonus with Paris Olympic Games ramifications.
The highlight of the elite Kiwi summer also shapes as a doozy for age groupers who will get the chance to race for national titles and Malaga slots on the same course at the pros.
The World Cup will be raced on Feb. 24, in addition to the Oceania Junior (U19) Men’s and Women’s Championships. Age groupers will be the first to go on Feb. 25, the Sunday, before the Juniors and elites put on a mixed relay showcase.
It promises to be some watch with the MR upgraded to WTCS status. Given its positioning at the start of an Olympic year and just a month before the global MR qualification window for the ’24 Paris Games closes, the weekend is expected to entice even deeper elite men’s and women’s fields than usual. If there is one sprint distance race to put on your ‘must race’ list in 2024, this is it.

Find full race info and entry links here.


World Championship ambitions? Read on…

Remember, if you intend racing at a World Triathlon Championship, nominations and special circumstance forms must be completed and returned to Tri NZ within 48 hours after each respective qualifying event.  All selection nomination forms and policies can be found HERE.

To represent NZ, you must meet the following criteria:

• Be a citizen of New Zealand, be a permanent resident of New Zealand or have been residing in New Zealand for a minimum of 12 months.
• Be a current member of Tri NZ (TRIBE) and be in good standing with Tri NZ (One Day and Social member excluded), and/or…
• Be a current member of a Tri NZ Affiliated Club

Race qualification standards
You MUST on selection race day:
• Finish within 20% of the gendered age group winners time
• Finish within the number of allocated slots (based on AG finished position)

The only exception to the 20% threshold is where the winner finishes 5/10/15 minutes or more ahead of second place. In this instance, the 20% threshold is taken from the second-place getters time.

Good luck with your training and see you in Tauranga, Christchurch, Kinloch, Wanaka and Napier!

Comments are closed.