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VIDEO: Ocean Lava Azores Islands triathlon

A new triathlon in Portugal's beautiful Azores Islands makes for a great late season destination race.

The expanding Ocean Lava series has unveiled its latest event – the new Ocean Lava Azores Islands, which will take place on 5 November 2017 on the autonomous region of Portugal in the mid-Atlantic.

Formerly known as Triathlon Azores Airlines [Triatlo Longo de Ponta Delgada], the new Ocean Lava-branded event takes place in Ponta Delgada city, the principal port and touristic heart of the Azores, on São Miguel island, known locally as the Green Island, which is also the largest island in the Azores archipelago and the most densely populated.

The new Ocean Lava Azores Islands triathlon will be the third Portuguese Ocean Lava race. It joins Ocean Lava Madeira, which was held on 26 March, and Ocean Lava Douro which takes place on 26-27 August 2017.

The Ocean Lava Planet team adds that ‘At the new Ocean Lava Azores Island, triathletes have a unique opportunity to race in a natural paradise through picturesque villages of São Miguel island, in a dreamscape Ocean Lava setting with landscapes dominated by craters, hot springs, waterfalls and lava fields.’

The Ocean Lava Azores Islands is a joint organization of the Ocean Lava Planet triathlon series, Portas do Mar Association and Triathlon Federation of Portugal – with the support of Azores Airlines, the Municipality of Ponta Delgada and the Government of Azores. The new organizing committee is ‘completed with representatives of Azores Islands destination and other experienced local partners’.

Ocean Lava Planet notes that the Azores’ crystal clear sea, spacious bike course and picturesque towns make the Azores Islands one of Europe’s up and coming triathlon destinations. The Ocean Lava team adds that the new Ocean Lava Azores Islands event helps to extend the European triathlon season and will become a ‘new race destination for the westernmost point in Europe’ – as one of just a few events in the European triathlon calendar held at the beginning of November.

“We are delighted to offer the Ocean Lava Azores Islands experience to all Ocean Lava fans and to welcome athletes to the beautiful Azores Islands, born out by ‘Ocean Lava’ activity,” said Kenneth Gasque, founder of the Ocean Lava Planet triathlon race series.

Gasque added “Ocean Lava Planet’s commitment is also to provide unique triathlon experiences in iconic world destinations. Ocean Lava Azores Islands presents a unique chance to finish the European tri season bringing the opportunity to athletes and their families to enjoy a still undiscovered most sustainable tourism destination. If you are drawn towards remote islands where visitors feel unique and special, have an interest in the natural, true ‘Ocean Lava world’, and have a curious streak, the Ocean Lava Azores Islands is waiting for you.”

“We have experience of organizing the 8th edition of the Azores Islands Triathlon, and for four years the event has been part of the Portuguese National Long Triathlon Championships,” said Carlos Martins de Medeiros, race organizer and President of the Portas do Mar Association. “Together with the Ocean Lava Planet triathlon series, we want to welcome the world to Ponta Delgada. We are sure being now part of the Ocean Lava Planet triathlon series would help us show to the world perfect conditions for racing triathlon, which the Azores Islands have, while also improving the level of the race organization.”

He added “The new Ocean Lava Azores Islands will occur in its entirety in the largest municipality of the Azores Islands (Ponta Delgada), on the island of São Miguel. National Geographic chose the Azores Islands as the most beautiful place in the world in 2016; and in 2017 São Miguel island is considered as the second best island destination in the world. Its natural beauty, food and people are our asset. We await every athlete with open arms and we wish all athletes pleasant travels to Azores Islands.”

Ocean Lava Azores Islands will feature a 1.9K (1.2 mile) swim in the clear water of Ponta Delgada’s sheltered harbour close to the Military Museum (Museu Militar dos Açores). Participants in the half distance will have to swim 2 loops in the triangular swim course. The swim finishes behind Ponta Delgada’s Cais da Sardinha Bar.

Athletes will then embark on a one-loop 84k (52.2 mile) bike through the rolling hills towards the west of São Miguel Island, passing through local villages before coming to transition at Portas Do Mar. With some changes to this year’s course, athletes will be ‘pushing themselves to their limits’ on a brand new cycling route around the coast of São Miguel Island, passing the villages from Relva to Calhetas. The run course of 21.1k (13.1 miles) involves 4 laps through the harbour of Ponta Delgada city and out into the villages along the seafront.

Ocean Lava FLYTRI Championships powered by Azores Airlines
Azores Airlines, the airline of the Azores islands, is on-board as a sponsor of this year’s new Ocean Lava Azores Islands Triathlon. The object of a new FLYTRI World Championships powered by Azores Airlines is to foster good relations among those employed in civil aviation by promoting and encouraging participating in Ocean Lava Azores Islands.

The Ocean Lava FLY TRI Championships is open to employees from all the world’s airlines, operating scheduled or charter flights or any airline related company or association. Participants have the option to enter either the Ocean Lava Azores Islands Half or Sprint distance and team relays for both distances are also on the schedule.

“By introducing the new Ocean Lava FLYTRI concept to specific age groupers, we hope this will add a new dimension to promoting training and racing triathlon among airline staff members around the world. We see enormous potential for the Ocean Lava FLYTRI Championships, driving an exciting and competitive element for the host destination event at Ocean Lava Azores Islands powered by Azores Airlines,” said Jurica Cvjetko, Ocean Lava Planet Marketing Manager.

Registration for Ocean Lava Azores Islands will open on 5 June 2017. To help athletes get to this year’s race on 5 November 2017, there are discounts on flights via Azores Airlines (from 3-7 November 2017).

Learn more about the race here.