Joe Skipper is one of Britain’s biggest talents on the middle and long-distance triathlon scene.
A seven-time IRONMAN winner (twice in the UK plus Arizona, Florida, New Zealand, Wales and Chattanooga), Joe is an athlete who is at the top of his game.
Born in March, 1988 in the Suffolk town of Lowestoft, England – Joe took up the sport of triathlon for the first time in 2010 when he entered a middle-distance race and joined the Manchester Tri Club – initially for social reasons. He soon fell in love with the sport.
After winning the 2011 British middle-distance championships at amateur level, fellow triathlete Lucy Gossage persuaded him to go professional. Joe runs his own training programmes and spent the early part of the 10s cutting his living costs to pursue the professional dream.
Joe’s early journey was one of resilience and perseverance, winning just enough money and gaining just enough sponsorship revenue to continue on his journey towards the top of world triathlon.
The talented Brit is a demon on the bike and on foot – he regularly battles his way from the middle of the field after the swim to contend at the front end of races. In recent years though his swim has improved considerably and if he can maintain that progress going forward, more titles and accolades beckon in the coming years.
Skipper’s growing stature in the sport reached new heights in the sport when he replaced the injured Alistair Brownlee for the much-hyped Sub7Sub8 Project and clocked a terrific time of 6:47:36.
Career record and results
Joe began his professional journey during the 2011 season as he earned a pair of domestic titles – the British Triathlon Middle Distance Championship and the Fritton Viking Middle Distance.
Further domestic wins followed in 2012 – the Ely Monster Middle and Marshman Middle – while Joe made his debut on both the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 circuits, finishing fifth at IRONMAN UK and eighth at IRONMAN 70.3 Galway.
Between 2013 and 2016 Joe picked up a slew of further domestic titles before winning his first European honour in 2017 – Challenge Almere ETU Long Distance European Championships in Amsterdam.
Joe’s first IRONMAN victory followed in 2018 as he secured the UK title at the fourth time of asking, earning victory by more than seven minutes. In addition to his UK triumph, Joe made the podium (second) at both IRONMAN New Zealand and IRONMAN Hamburg, cementing himself as one of the best young talents on the circuit.
An appearance at the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship on the ‘Big Island’ followed, with Joe finishing an excellent seventh on his third start in Hawaii. In the middle of the pack after the swim, he fought his way through the field with top-10 splits on both the bike and the run.
A second IRONMAN triumph followed in 2019 as he took top honours at IRONMAN Florida against a world-class field. He once again powered his way through the field after a mid-pack swim with excellent displays on the bike and on the run, where he closed with a 2:39 marathon. That result came just three weeks after his sixth-place finish in Kona – his best performance to date in Hawaii.
During the pandemic-hit 2020 season Joe still managed to add an IRONMAN title to his resumé, producing another sub-8 hour performance on his way to victory in New Zealand. In the process he set field-leading bike and run splits.
2021 brought IRONMAN wins in the UK and Chattanooga, with Joe also qualifying for the inaugural Collins Cup for Team Europe. He finished second in his matchup against Jackson Laundry and Justin Metzler, with Laundry only catching the Brit in the very late stages of the run.
2022 started with huge disappointment for Joe, when he contracted COVID-19 in early April, forcing him to withdraw from the delayed 2021 IRONMAN World Championship, set for May 7 in St George. However, the year quickly improved, with Joe’s success at the Sub7 project (highlighted below) catapulting him to a new level of performance in the latter half of 2022.
In September, Skipper made up over fifteen minutes after suffering a bike mechanical in Tenby to win at IRONMAN Wales, with one of the most impressive full distance performances on British soil. Skipper then backed up his win on the Big Island of Hawaii as he recorded his highest world championships finish ever with 5th to also go under eight hours in Kona for the first time with a 7:54:04 clocking.
Finally, Skipper finished off the year with a win at IRONMAN Arizona, where he looked on course to break the British record before falling off the pace at the end of the run to finish in 7:45:59. 2023 is set to be Skipper’s biggest year yet, as he looks to challenge Alistair Brownlee for bragging rights as the best British IRONMAN athlete and also welcome his first child in March.
Skipper smashes Sub7
Skipper proved a very able deputy for Brownlee when he lined up vs Olympic and IRONMAN World Champion Kristian Blummenfelt for the ground-breaking Sub7Sub8 event at the Dekra Lausitzring in Germany on June 5, 2022.
Eyebrows were raised before the event when Skipper said a 3:20 bike leg – unheard of in elite triathlon – was possible with the aid of an elite pacing team. In the event he went even faster, logging an astonishing 3:16.
Skipper could not hold off the relentless Blummenfelt on the closing marathon, but he still managed to finish in a spectacular time of 6:47:36.
Joe Skipper and family
Joe’s mother and father are big supporters of his triathlon venture. In the early days of his professional career, his family supported him financially to ensure he could race across the globe. He also has two sisters and a brother. Joe also has a dog called Maisie. In January 2023, Skipper announced he was expecting his first child in March with his partner Laura, who he married in the summer of 2022.
Joe Skipper podcast – ‘Triathlon Mockery’
Joe is one of triathlon’s brightest personalities, full of fun with an engaging character. Perfect for podcasts then…
No surprise then that Skipper has one of the most popular triathlon podcasts around, called ‘Triathlon Mockery’.
Skipper’s sidekick on the podcast is Dutch professional triathlete Tom Oosterdijk.
Joe Skipper gear
Joe’s current cycling equipment of choice consists of the Argon 18 E-119 Tri+ Disc bike, featuring Revolver Wheels and components including the Trokia TMD TriSpoke, ASYMM rear disc, Kronostok FWS 7, ErgoMono Tribar Unit and FrictionLESS chain – making alterations dependent on course and weather conditions.
For clothing, Joe uses the DHB Aeron Trisuit – a suit he helped design in 2020 after spending time with DHB’s design and development team. His footwear of choice is Hoka run shoes (for whom he is an ambassador).
Other listed sponsors include Hoka, CBD Triathlete, Luke Sport and Torq Nutrition.
In 2023, Joe Skipper was once again a part of the Bahrain Victorious 13.