Geoff Meyer, CEO of USM Events, promises this year’s Challenge will be bigger and better than the 2011 inaugural event.
“The 2011 Cairns Airport Challenge Cairns was a huge success. From the course that covered some of the most picturesque backdrops in the world, to the postcard perfect weather and the meticulous organization of the day, last year’s event generated overwhelming feedback from competitors.
“The buzz is out there that this is the one iron-distance triathlon you can’t miss,” said Meyer.
Meyer added that three months out from kick off, 620 full distance athletes have already signed up for the signature Challenge event. Meanwhile, there are 1000 participants in the 2.80.20 Cairns long course race.
From an economic perspective the 10-day Cairns Airport Adventure Festival is delivering a welcome boost for the Tropical North. In 2011 the festival injected $7.5 million and 21,122 visitor nights into the local economy. If the entries to date are anything to go by, the 2012 event will again exceed expectations.
“We have a five year plan to grow this into one of the most anticipated athletic meets in the world, on track to attract over 6000 participants by 2013,” said Meyer.
“It’s not just the triathlon events that we intend to focus on. The RRR Mountain Bike Challenge and the Great Barrier Reef Ocean Challenge are two of our key festival events that have the potential to become significant events in their own right.
“In the same way that Tour de France has opened up the French countryside to global viewers, we hope the Cairns Airport Adventure Festival will become a platform for broadcasting the iconic Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest around the world.”
For those who fancy themselves more couch-surfing adventurer than a swim, run, ride competitor, there are plenty of activities to get the blood pumping minus the requisite training regime.
1. Forget FIFO - fly in and ride down the famous ‘bump track’ on one of Australia’s best mountain bike rides just outside Port Douglas. Vertical Adventures will chopper you in and send you hurtling down through ancient rainforest for a taste of what the RRR Mountain Bike Challenge competitors will face.
2. If you prefer horsepower to pedal power, Cape York Motorcycle Adventure safaris will take you from Cairns to the northern most point of the Australian continent and back for the ultimate wind-in-your-helmet adventure.
3. RnR White Water Rafting’s Four-Day Expedition on the North Johnstone River is not for the faint-hearted. From the exhilarating helicopter ride in, through four days of gigantic Grade 5 rapids, to the serenity of camping under the stars in riverside rainforest clearings, you’ll never experience anything like it.
4. All sounding a little too hardcore? Drop back the pace of your paddle and spot turtles, rays, sharks and fish and bird life as you cruise over pristine reef on a Low Isles paddle boarding adventure with Windswell.
5. Face your fears at Australia’s only bungee site and choose from 16 different jump styles; from the traditional swan dive through to extreme roof and BMX bike jumps.