Despite the impact of COVID-19, the Dubbo Triathlon Club seems to be firing on all cylinders heading into the Western NSW Interclub Championship.
The recent return of the juniors Tri-Stars event boasted impressive numbers, falling just one short of the best total the club has achieved yet, and the good news doesn't stop there.
"It was around our second biggest event in terms of participants, we had about 66 kids this round and the best we've ever done is 67, so we were almost there," Club secretary Ben Orford said.
"It's great, but that's only the first one, so numbers are bound to grow for the February and March events, it's looking really good for the future."
The club is also anticipating that they'll have an increase on individual numbers for the first leg of the interclub championships' first leg in Mudgee this weekend.
"We should have about six or seven going over there, a few different ages and genders, probably the most informed people at the moment are Daniel Roberts and Melissa Merton," Orford said.
"Both of them should come up top three in their age group, but it won't just be Bathurst and Orange to look out for, Mudgee should be tough on their home turf."
"But we'll be stronger than last year, we only had about five in Mudgee last year, this year, we're tracking to do better."
Orford said a big reason the interclub competition is being given more focus by competitors is due to restrictions on travel because of COVID-19.
"The COVID has affected race limits on all the coastal events in Sydney and around there, they've become very limited, so a lot of people are targeting the interclub competitions as their travelling meets," Orford said.
"It's probably helped us a bit, I suppose, you'll see the Central West clubs doing the same, we should have well over a hundred people from the five different clubs, so I think it'll be a really big focus this year."
Another reason to be optimistic is the broader field of competitors coming through the junior ranks, including 'dark horse' Bryce Foley, who's already turnign heads.
"He's a definite star of the future, once he gets a bit stronger on the bike, he'll do really well, he's only just turned 15, which is a disadvantage for him competing in the under 20s, but he could go really well," Orford said.
"We're starting to see really ridiculous numbers in the really young kids previously, now we're seeing them transfer up through to the ten, eleven, twelve age groups, we've got a very balanced spread of numbers across the age groups instead of that pyramid shape, now it's a bit more of a high-rise."
"That's really promising and potentially in the next few years, we'll have more convert over to the senior clubs and senior races."