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British triathlon star Joe Skipper looking to save season with big results Down Under

The Norfolk native, whose last podium came almost a year ago at IRONMAN Lake Placid, will look to resurrect his IRONMAN Pro Series hopes this weekend at the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns on Sunday.

Staff Reporter
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Joe Skipper will hope to turn his fortunes around this weekend, as the British pro lines up for his third IRONMAN Pro Series event of the season this weekend in Cairns, Queensland.

Competing at the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship in Australia, the 36-year-old lines up at his second full distance race of 2024 after failing to finish at IRONMAN Texas in April.

Tenth and 12th in two middle distance outings either side of that DNF, the PTO World #49 knows that this opportunity Down Under will be make or break for his season.

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“It all boils down to this”

The past 18 months have been a rollercoaster for Skipper, with a win at IRONMAN Lake Placid last July a stark contrast to disappointing performances in Ibiza, Nice and Texas.

Outlining his ambition to compete for the IRONMAN Pro Series title earlier this season, the Brit currently sits 79th in the standings, and has a lot of work to do to be competitive.

Sharing the importance of this race in his most recent YouTube video, the eight-time IRONMAN Champion underlined what a strong showing in Cairns would mean to him.

“It’s going to be a stacked field, it’s part of the IRONMAN Pro Series and for me I have to have a solid race there to have a chance at the series title.

“For me, it all boils down to this, it’s like the championship final for me because I have to have a good race there if I want to do well, there’s no way to come back if it doesn’t go to plan.

“There’s a lot of pressure on it, but I quite like the pressure because it motivates me and I can’t way to get out there.” 

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Swim making progress

Having always lost time in the swim throughout his career, Skipper started working with coach Billy Harris earlier this season, and says he has already seen some improvements.

Challenge Geraardsbergen 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade

“For me, the best thing about going to The Championship was seeing Billy Harris, who I alluded to earlier has been helping me with my swimming and he pinpointed a big error in my stroke.”

Skipper said that after spending time with Harris in Slovakia last month, he ironed out a long-term issue impacting his catch, with has brought on big benefits.

“After that, instead of trying to get the perfect stroke, I have been trying to get the perfect stroke for me, and I think it’s taken off two seconds per 100m. I know it has actually, because I’ve seen the time it has taken off between before being there and coming back.” 

Despite wishing he had another race to test out his swim before Cairns, Skipper shared his excitement to be making gains and hopes that he can make it count on race day.

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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