2017 Island House Triathlon Recap

Ben Kanute Island House Triathlon Win
Photo: Tommy Zaferes/http://www.islandhousetriathlon.com/

The Island House Triathlon wrapped up this past weekend with more fun and excitement than ever before.

Most of all, the men’s race was arguably the greatest race of the entire triathlon season as it came down to a sprint finish on the last event.

For many of these athletes The Island House Triathlon is the final race of their season while a select few of the Ironman athletes will go on to race 1 last Ironman to snag their Kona spot.  

Regardless, this race represents the culmination of all the blood, sweat and emotion that these professional athletes have poured into the sport they love.

This year the invite-only race took place entirely on the private island of Highbourne Cay rather than splitting it between islands like previous years. The 3 races were spread out over Friday and Saturday with the top men and women getting to split a prize purse of $500,000.

RELATED – 7 Pro Triathlete’s Thoughts on The Island House Triathlon

The Schedule

Day 1

AM – Super sprint Individual Time Trial

  • Bike – 7km
  • Run – 2km
  • Swim – 200m

Athletes drew their starting time prior to the event and left at 30 second intervals once the starting gun went off.

PM – Sprint Enduro

  • 2km run
  • 375m swim
  • 10km bike
  • 2km run
  • 375m swim
  • 10km bike
  • 1km run

This stage was a traditional mass start. 

Day 2

AM – Sprint pursuit

  • Swim 750m
  • Bike 20km
  • Run 5km

Athletes started in General Classification order at time deficit to leader. This year,, all 15 athletes got to compete in the final stage to race for the prize money.

Recap of 2017 Island House Triathlon

Consisting of 2 races, Day 1 of the Island House Triathlon tested the athlete’s limits as they started the morning with a variable-format sprint triathlon and finished with a 7-stage endurance race.

Race #1: Super Sprint

Energized from the small crowds and good vibes of the island, the men got off to a hard-charging start. Starting with a bike leg first is not customary for these athletes and Terenzo Bozzone took full advantage of this.

As a result, the long-distance racer won the sprint bike leg but the American Ben Kanute made use of his well rounded speed by putting together 3 consistent legs. It was Ben Kanute who took the overall win in the first super-sprint race with Bozzone coming in 2nd and South Africa’s Henri Schoeman in 3rd.

For the women’s morning race it was Flora Duffy who held the early lead in the bike sprint leg and kept it the entire time.

As the athletes finished the sprint race and cooled down, it was time to relax and recover as best as possible before the afternoon Enduro race. The women were up first after the day progressed and the sun got stronger.

Race #2: Enduro

In the women’s Enduro race they started all at once similar to a normal triathlon – with one exception. Rather than starting in an even line they staggered the ladies like a Formula One start based off their position on the leaderboard after the first race.

Once the starting gun went off, Flora Duffy took an early lead but USA’s Katie Zaferes mastered the 7-stage race to ultimately overcome Duffy on the 2nd bike and win the overall race. As a result, this closed the gap between Zaferes and Duffy on the leaderboard as Duffy now only held a 14 second lead going into Day 2.

Going after the women for the 2nd race of the day allowed for all the men to cheer on the ladies and watch as they push their limits over the course. Ultimately this lead to an eerily quiet calm before the start of the men’s race as they knew what was about to happen.

After the gun went off, the men took off up the hill for their first leg of the race: the 2km run. The main pack of men held together for most of the race until the last bike leg when Bozzone and Kanute really separated themselves from everyone else.

Once again being an extremely impressive showing for Bozzone, he took off on the final leg of the race with a lead over Kanute. However, the American Kanute was able to catch Bozzone once more and take his second win of the day.

Race #3: Pursuit

After a good meal and hopefully decent sleep the athletes woke up Saturday morning to prepare for the 3rd and final race of the Island House Triathlon. Whoever crossed the finish line first in this final race was the overall winner since each athlete started at their time deficit of the leader.

The men’s race saw the leader Ben Kanute hit the water to start the day 11 seconds ahead of Terenzo Bozzone. Bozzone was followed by Schoeman, Royle and Dye with each starting at their time deficit.

Being the great swimmer that he is, Kanute held onto his lead as he exited the water and hopped on his bike for the 20km ride. Bozzone was passed fairly early in the swim by Schoeman and Royle as they are both great swimmers.

However, once on the bike Bozzone did what he had been doing successfully all weekend. He went to work. He had an extremely impressive bike split which allowed him to pass Schoeman and Royle and eat into the American’s lead.

Even though Kanute was 20 seconds ahead of Bozzone going into the run, it was clear that Bozzone was on a warpath as he came screaming into T2.

The run on this final leg of the final race at the Island House Triathlon has the athletes running on road, stairs and the beach. Having raced this race in previous years Bozzone showed that experience definitely helps as he clawed back the time deficit and took the lead over Ben Kanute.

Kanute and Bozzone Sand Sprint
Photo: Tommy Zaferes/@tzaferes/@islandhousetri

The duo that raced each other all weekend found themselves alone on the beach as they pounded sand towards the finish line. They hit the stairs together but once at the top the each knew it was go time.

Kanute and Bozzone Sprint To Finish
Photo: Tommy Zaferes/@tzaferes/@islandhousetri

Both Kanute and Bozzone pushed it into another gear and sprinted as hard as they could for the final 200m of the race. At the very last couple meters Kanute was able to tap into a little more speed as he narrowly edged out the distance racer.

Although it was a brutally hard fought race it was nothing but smiles and hugs for all the men as they wrapped up the most exciting race of the year.

Congratulations to Ben Kanute!

For the women’s race it was leader Flora Duffy who dove into the water 14 seconds ahead of USA’s Katie Zaferes. Although not really close for contention at over a minute and a half back, Holly Lawrence and Kirsten Kasper were 3rd and 4th to start  respectively.

Flora Duffy Final Stage Swim Start
Photo: Tommy Zaferes/@tzaferes/@islandhousetri

Duffy put together a strong swim performance and exited the water with a 30 second lead over Zaferes as they went to T1.

Although Zaferes had a strong showing on the bike, it was obvious that the hard charging Duffy was not going to be caught.

Duffy and Zaferes held their positions and cruised to 1st and 2nd as Lawrence and Kasper fought for 3rd with Lawrence ultimately prevailing.

Flora Duffy 2017 Island House Win
Photo: Tommy Zaferes/@tzaferes/@islandhousetri

Congratulations to Flora Duffy!

Final Standings


  1. Ben Kanute
  2. Terenzo Bozzone
  3. Henri Schoeman
  4. Aaron Royle
  5. Ryan Bailie
  6. Cam Dye
  7. Sebastian Kienle
  8. Richard Murray
  9. Sam Appleton
  10. Rudy Von Berg
  11. Mario Mola
  12. Eric Lagerstrom
  13. Josh Amberger
  14. Ben Hoffman


  1. Flora Duffy
  2. Katie Zaferes
  3. Holly Lawrence
  4. Kirsten Kasper
  5. Ashleigh Gentle
  6. Rachel Klamer
  7. Sarah True
  8. Ellie Salthouse
  9. Andrea Hewitt
  10. Alicia Kaye
  11. Emma Pallant
  12. Rachel Joyce
  13. Leanda Cave
  14. Sarah Crowley
  15. Lauren Goss

Athlete Reactions

View this post on Instagram

It’s really difficult to describe how special this race is. It’s hosted on a beautiful private island, with a unique tough race format and a great prize purse. However it’s the people who pour their hearts, souls and time into making this event possible that make it stand out to me. The fact that the people working on the island are so welcoming and friendly and take such good care of us while we are here! It’s being able to be in a race situation while also having a good time with my competitors. Racing hard against one another in the race but filling every moment outside the competition enjoying one another’s company and camaraderie from before the start to as soon as the line is crossed. So really I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who makes @islandhousetri possible, because it is such an amazing experience where great times are had while making memories that will last! #paininparadise 📸: @tzaferes

A post shared by Katie Zaferes (@kzaferes6) on



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