WIN a year of riding on ROUVY plus indoor cycling kit bundle

Triathlon Ireland confirm IRONMAN event where two died was unsanctioned due to adverse conditions

Triathlon Ireland have confirmed that IRONMAN 70.3 Ireland had not been sanctioned.

Staff Reporter
Last updated -
Rouvy Logo
Ride real routes with ROUVY

In the latest development following the tragic passing of two participants at last weekends IRONMAN 70.3 Ireland, Triathlon Ireland have confirmed that the event was unsanctioned due to safety concerns.

In a statement released by the governing body, the CEO Darren Coombes offered his deepest condolences to the families of Ivan Chittenden and Brendan Wall, who both sadly passed away during the swim portion of the event.

Coombes confirmed that in line with normal practice, Triathlon Ireland Technical Officials carried out a water safety assessment and due to the adverse conditions, were unable to sanction the event. Despite this, race organisers IRONMAN did not cancel the swim.

“It was not possible to sanction the race”

With the investigation into the incident still ongoing, Triathlon Ireland were unable to elaborate on what happened, except to confirm that the race had gone ahead despite not meeting the conditions required to pass the water safety assessment by their Triathlon Ireland Technical Officials in attendance.

IRONMAN 70.3 Ireland, Cork

“Triathlon Ireland is reeling from the news that Ivan Chittenden and Brendan Wall, athletes in the Ironman Cork event in Youghal, tragically died yesterday morning while participating in the race. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ivan’s and Brendan’s loved ones.  The triathlon community is a very close community and this loss has had a devastating effect on all of us.

“For the Ironman Cork event, in line with normal practice, Triathlon Ireland Technical Officials attended before the start of the race to review the conditions and carry out a water safety assessment. Due to adverse conditions on the day, Triathlon Ireland Technical Officials confirmed to the race organisers that it was not possible to sanction the race.

“As there is an investigation ongoing, at this stage it would not be appropriate for us to make any further comment only to state that Triathlon Ireland will provide any assistance that the authorities require.”

“Our utmost priority is the safety of our athletes”

Race organisers IRONMAN, in a statement shared with TRI247, explained the precautions they had taken before the event. That included postponing the race by a day from the Saturday to Sunday and then on race day, pushing the swim start back by an hour.

“With all IRONMAN events, our utmost priority is the safety of our athletes and all others involved in the event. The weather conditions were monitored carefully over the IRONMAN Ireland, Cork and IRONMAN 70.3 Ireland, Cork triathlon weekend, with the IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon being re-scheduled to take place on Sunday, alongside IRONMAN Ireland, Cork to provide a safer race for athletes. 

“On the morning of Sunday 20 August, IRONMAN Ireland officials and the specific on-swim safety team carried out all standard safety protocol checks that are completed at every race and determined water conditions were safe for the swim to take place.  

“Due to the prevailing weather conditions, a decision was made, however, to shorten the distance of the swim as a further precaution to ensure that the significant water safety assets – such as kayaks, lifeguards and medical boats – could be concentrated over a smaller area while also allowing swimmers the ability to swim with the help of a more favourable current and incoming tide after the first 100m.   

“Our thoughts continue to be with the family and friends of the two athletes who passed. We are providing ongoing assistance to their families and we will continue to offer them our support as they go through this very difficult time.”

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.
Discover more
Challenge Family Roth
Five things you need to know about the Challenge Roth bike course
Pelotan - Kristian Blummenfelt
Training and racing in the heat – top tips for keeping your cool when the heat is on
ROUVY routes and workouts – Best ROUVY routes to get ready for Challenge Roth
Sumarpo vanguard vs Zone 3 Vanquish X triathlon wetsuits
ZONE3 Vanquish X wetsuit vs Sumarpo Vanguard wetsuit – how do these triathlon wetsuits match up?
Rouvy indoor cycling app routes
Virtual training for real life racing – How year-round indoor cycling could benefit your race day performance
latest News
Fanni Szalai Arena Games Sursee 2023 photo credit Darren Wheeler That Cameraman SLT
16-year-old phenom Fanni Szalai spearheads supertri’s ‘NXT Gen’ of triathletes
The swim course in Taupo for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in 2024.
IRONMAN reveal spectacular course for the 2024 IRONMAN 70.3 World Champs in Taupo
Sam Laidlow IRONMAN World Championship 2023 Nice finish line celebration
IRONMAN World Champion ‘trending in the right direction’ ahead of Kona validation race
ST GEORGE, UTAH - MAY 07: Lionel Sanders of Canada reacts as he approaches the finish line to place second during the 2021 IRONMAN World Championships on May 07, 2022 in St George, Utah. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)
IRONMAN Lake Placid fields announced as Sanders, Skipper and more prepare for INSANE showdown
Sam Laidlow IRONMAN World Championship 2023 breaks tape for victory
IRONMAN Vitoria-Gasteiz 2024: Start time, preview and how to watch live
triathlon on your terms
Never miss out with our triathlon alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.
Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

Share to...