Super League Triathlon Malibu will return to Zuma beach for the third consecutive year this weekend, as a number of top-level athletes make the trip to California to race the third round of the 2023 Championship Series.
Following two action-packed weekends of racing in London and Toulouse, there were fears that the race in Malibu would have to be cancelled due to a corral of an endangered fish species making habitat near the course, but the event was finally given permission to go ahead on Monday night.
This year, the athletes will race over the brutal eliminator format in a bid to gain points for the individuals rankings and their respective teams, before the final race of the series in Neom next month.
Start times and how to watch live
Racing takes place on Saturday September 30, 2023.
- Women Elite Race: 13:00 local time (PST), which corresponds to 21:00 (UK) and 22:00 (CET).
- Men Elite Race: 14:20 local time (PST), which corresponds to 22:20 (UK) and 23:30 (CET).
You can watch the race live via the official Super League Triathlon broadcast below. Eurosport also airs the action in Europe.
Course and format
On Saturday, the elite fields will tackle the surf at Zuma Beach over the swim course, before heading out on the bike around a loop that follows the Pacific Coast Highway, with the short and sharp run course on a smaller version of the same loop.
In Malibu, the race will be held over the first-ever format used by Super League, the Eliminator, which sees athletes compete over three stages, with the first and second stage a mass start and then the final stage a pursuit style start with a race to the line.
The format gets its name from the fact that at the end of the first and second stages, the last three athletes across the line are eliminated, with any athlete who falls more than 90 seconds behind the leader at any point also out of the running.
Short Chutes are won for a team and awarded to an athlete during the race by their Team Manager. Short Chutes are to be taken on the first lap of the run in stage 3, with no team allowed to win more than one Short Chute.
Elite Women racing at SLT Malibu
Having dominated the women’s competition so far this season, Team RTP Sharks will hope to cement their position at the top of both the men and women’s individuals rankings, plus the team rankings, this weekend in Malibu.
Current series leader Kate Waugh is racing, with the winner from Toulouse flying high after a first ever WTCS podium in Pontevedra last weekend. The former World U23 Champion sits four points clear of team-mate Olivia Mathias at the top of the individual rankings heading into the race.
Whilst Waugh will be missing team-mates Mathias and Jessica Fullager, who currently occupy the second and third spots in the series standings, she will have world champion Beth Potter for company, plus Sophie Coldwell, who finished on the podium at the first race of the year in London.
Elsewhere, last year’s champion Taylor Spivey will hope for a strong race on home turf for Team RTS Warriors, but shared that she has been battling an injury since the summer after a tough day out in Pontevedra.
Katie Zaferes, Summer Rappaport, Kirsten Kasper and Ericka Ackerlund are the other Team RTS Warriors athletes racing, with all four Americans ready to step up and take over Spivey’s duties as the main contender from the home team if necessary.
The French trio of Emma Lombardi, Cassandre Beaugrand and Leonie Periault will always present a threat, with Beaugrand making her first start of the series at a time when her Team Bahrain Victorious Scorpions are in serious need of some points.
Finally, London winner Jeanne Lehair will hope to once again cause an upset after her surprise victory to spoil the party at West India Key. Representing Team Santara Tech Eagles, she will have Toulouse podium finisher Lombardi to work with in California.
Elite Men racing at SLT Malibu
Following two second-places finishes in London and Toulouse, men’s series leader Jonny Brownlee will be looking to strike gold and secure his spot at the top of the standings this weekend in Malibu against a deep field.
Amongst his Team RTP Sharks teammates are some of his biggest competitors, with London winner Alex Yee and Dan Dixon, who currently sits third in the series standings, both posing substantial threats to the Yorkshireman.
Elsewhere in the field, Hayden Wilde, so cruelly penalised in Toulouse, will be seeking vengeance in Malibu and after winning here last year, will know what it takes to navigate the tough swim conditions and technical course at Zuma Beach.
Matthew Hauser, who just secured Olympic qualification for Paris next year following a stellar race at the WTCS Finals in Pontevedra, will lead a very strong Team Santara Tech Eagles, with the Aussie enjoying the company of former world champions Léo Bergere and Kristian Blummenfelt in California.
Henri Schoeman, who won the Super League Arena Games earlier in the year, currently sits second in the series and harbours hopes of a podium alongside his Team Bahrain Victorious Scorpions teammates, such as Wilde, Roberto Sanchez Mantecon and Taylor Reid.
Finally, the home squad, Team RTS Warriors, have brought in some reinforcements after fielding a youthful men’s side over the first two rounds, with SLT veteran Ben Kanute and World Triathlon Cup Karlovy Vary winner Morgan Pearson leading the side.
Gaining an advantage – the Short Chute
If you are new to SLT racing, then you’ll know that ‘normal rules do not apply’, and a small short cut, aka ‘Short Chute’, can be earned during the racing, for being first across the line at various point.
You can earn Short Chute in Malibu as follows:
- 1. Being the first athlete across the mount line after the swim on Stage 1.
- 2. Being the first across the mount line after the bike on Stage 1.
- 3. Being the first across the finish line at the end of Stage 1.