Friday 9 April, 5.00pm

Hello Byron Bay Triathletes,

I am writing to update you regarding an important change to your race entry and outline the unfolding situation effecting the future of the iconic Byron Bay Triathlon.

Since COVID began twelve months ago the visiting tourist levels have reached similar levels to the peak Christmas/Summer holiday period, both for weekends and many weekdays. This trend has continued and is forecast to now directly impact the Byron Tri.

Byron Shire Council and the local Byron Bay Police have been working with us looking to overcome this traffic related problem caused by the increased number of vehicles in Byron Bay. This biggest problem is when we close the coastal road network for the cycle course from the Surf Club south to Suffolk Park locking in tourists, visitors and locals at lunch time.

Information shared with us suggests the number of vehicles would likely be so large that when we close the cycle course, traffic could backup along Ewingsdale Road and up onto the Pacific Highway. 

Additionally, the Byron Bypass Road will be working for the first time but unfortunately will increase the re-diversion of north-south traffic flow into the middle section of our closed cycle course – creating an immediate overloading as the traffic will not be able move through (see: Byron Bay Bypass – Byron Shire Council (nsw.gov.au).

We are also conscious that the termination of the Kernell Triathlon earlier in February after 30 years is a major blow to our New South Wales racing calendar and it also faced similar threats due to population increase. We need to recognise change and respond or otherwise we will be left with very few coastal races in Queensland and New South Wales (see: Save the Kurnell Triathlon Sprint Series).

Council was willing to approve this year’s lunch time race but made us aware that if the community and visitor backlash was significant it would be the last year of a triathlon in Byron Bay. It has also been made abundantly clear that we should expect considerable community and visitor backlash for a Saturday afternoon event. 

To protect our sport and to protect this 25 year old iconic triathlon in an amazing seaside location we have been presented with three possibilities.

  1. Move the event away from Byron Bay –- however there are presently no alternative locations
  2. Start the triathlon Saturday morning earlier to avoid the traffic –- however this is expected to cause considerable community upset as that morning has a number of major sporting fixtures in bowls, golf, rugby and soccer.  
  3. Move to Sunday morning.

We have therefore progressed with moving the race to the morning of Sunday 9 May.

We understand the swap from Saturday to Sunday will upset many of you, though we hope it does not change accommodation bookings.

I understand some of our loyal Triathletes will be upset but I hope you can also see the importance in responding to these unprecedented changes in the Byron Bay community.  We have already began phoning each of you today, and will continue to try to reach out personally to you next week.

I must acknowledge the commitment of the Byron Shire Council staff and the Northern Rivers Highway Policing Unit and the local Byron Police in helping us every step of the way to continue this event’s legacy well into the future.

Collectively we hope this change is received positively by the residents and local businesses; as we cannot confirm a 26th triathlon until after this year’s trial date change.

Should you need to change your entry, please email byrontri@nxsports.org or call the team on 02 8507 0796.

We have included some frequently asked questions below.

Yours in triathlon,

Mike Crawley
Race Director


Frequently Asked Questions

What time will the triathlon start Sunday morning?
Racing will commence with the Sprint first after 6.25am so we can finish the longer distances and open the road south from the new bypass connection as early as possible. *Note there is no daylight saving so this is Queensland time.
How far is Byron from the Gold Coast and Brisbane?
Brisbane early travel time 1hr-35min to 1hr-50min.Gold Coast early travel time is 1hr to 1hr-15min.
Could this really be the last Byron Bay Triathlon?
As explained we are not certain if there will be a 2022 Byron Bay Triathlon and it will depend on the feedback from tourists, residents and businesses. We sincerely hope the change to Sunday will lessen the impact locally and ensure the future of the event. 
What happens to my entry to the Byron Bay Triathlon?
All entries have already been transferred to the new Sunday 9 May date.
Can I change my entry to the Byron Bay Triathlon?
Yes – any upgrades or withdraws are still within your same terms and conditions here: www.byrontri.org/tac .  We will continue to offer 100% credit to transfer to any other event for the next 12 months as well should this date not be suitable.Please contact our team to make any changes to your entry either via byrontri@nxsports.org or call 02 8507 0796.
Other Questions
Feel free to give our team a call on 02 8507 0796 or hit reply to this email to discuss.