Some useful definitions if you are new to the sport of triathlon.

  • Start waves: Smaller groups of athletes that begin the race every few minutes. Waves are usually determined by age group and gender. Wave starts are more common in races where a large number of athletes are competing.
  • Swim Leg: The part of the race where the athlete swims. The swim leg is the start of the race and it ends once you exit the water before entering the transition area. The swim route is marked out using buoys.
  • Sighting: Raising the head during swimming to look for landmarks or buoys that mark the swim course.
  • Buoy: A floating device that marks the course of the swim leg.
  • Transition Area: A defined area in which an athlete stores their bicycle and various other equipment. This is where the change over from swimming to cycling and cycling to running occur. The transition from swim and bike is referred to as T1 and that between the bike and run is referred to as T2. The overall race time includes time spent in T1 and T2.
  • Bike Leg: Part of the race course where the bike is to be ridden. The bike course starts at the Mount Line and finishes at the Dismount Line.
  • Mount Line: A designated line at the exit from transition after which athletes are to mount their bicycles and ride. The Mount Line will be clearly identified by flags/line/Technical Official, or combinations thereof.
  • Dismount Line: A clearly marked designated line at the entrance to Transition from the bike course before which athletes are to dismount their bikes fully and walk/run to the bike racks.
  • Drafting: A technique where two or more cyclists, cycle in a in a close group to reduce the effect of drag by using the front bicycle’s slipstream.
  • Tri Bars: (Triathlon bars/Aero bars) aerodynamic handlebars that draw the body forward into a tucked position.
  • Run Course: Part of the race course where the athlete is to run or walk. The run course commences at the exit from the Transition Area and finishes at the Finish Line.
  • Splits: The time that it takes to complete a specific distance. In triathlon splits are usually given for the swim, bike and run legs. Splits can also be given for the two transitions (T1 & T2) and for various portions of the three individual legs.

What is a triathlon?

Triathlon is a sport comprising of 3 disciplines raced one after the other – it starts with a swim leg, then transitions onto a cycle leg and finishes with a run.

Can I do a triathlon?

With some time and training, anyone can do a triathlon. Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town is designed to be a mass participation event with distances catering to novice and experienced triathletes.
To complete the Sprint you need to be able to swim 20 lengths of your gym’s 25m pool, be able to cycle for 40-60 minutes and then run 30-40 minutes. You can also enter the event in a team and choose one of the disciplines.

What are the Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town distances?

Sprint Distance: Usually about half of an Olympic Distance race, Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town offers a 500m swim, 20km bike and 5km run. Drafting is legal in the cycle leg of the sprint distance.

Olympic Distance : 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run
This bike leg for this race is also draft legal.

What distance should I choose?

For most, the biggest barrier to doing a triathlon is the swim, thus decide which distance you wish to enter based on what distance you feel you would be comfortable swimming. The Sprint distance swim is 500m and the Olympic distance is 1 500m.
If you’re just starting out, consider doing the Sprint, with a 500m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run. Even though the 20km cycle and 5km run might not sound that far – doing all three disciplines together will provide a suitable challenge for your first triathlon.

Do I need to have a strong background in one of the events?

You don’t need to have a sporting pedigree to tackle your first triathlon. Be active 3 to 5 times a week, include at least one session of each discipline per week and slowly increase your distances trained. Joining a triathlon/multisport club or getting a basic training programme from a coach will aid your preparation for the event.

Must I race as an individual or can I enter in a team?

Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town caters for individual entries as well as team entries. Entering as part of a team is an excellent way to test the waters of triathlon.

Can a team entry consist of 2 participants and not just 3?

Yes a team can have 2 participants where one person can do two legs of the event.

Do I need triathlon specific equipment?

While triathlon is a gear centric sport, it doesn’t have to be. You are welcome to cycle an old mountain bike and run in your favourite pair of shoes. It’s up to you how much you wish to invest. The ocean in Cape Town is cold and wetsuits are needed for the swim leg for safety reasons. Wetsuits can be hired for this event.

Do I need to buy a wetsuit?

There is a very strong possibility that wetsuits will be compulsory for this event, in accordance with the ITU competition rules governing wetsuit use and water temperature. Besides keeping you warm during the swim, wetsuits also assist with buoyancy and help you swim faster. However, you do not need to purchase one, as wetsuits will be available for rent for this event. For wetsuit rental, Please click here 

Can the triathlon swim be rough?

The swim leg of the triathlon will be in the V&A Waterfront, Quay 6 in front of the Table Bay Hotel – the waters will be very calm, other than the activity of the swimmers around you and the possibility of a little wind chop. The swim can be daunting as you are in close proximity with other athletes. The race is divided into various start waves to reduce the amount of people in the water together. It is advised to practice open water swimming, practice in your wetsuit or practice swimming in a squad to prepare you for the swim.
There can be congestion at the start of the swim and round the first buoy resulting in occasional contact. You can choose a wider outside line to avoid the congestion, and just keep swimming.

Will there be start waves, and how will these be determined?

Yes, there will be start waves for both the Sprint and Olympic distances. These waves will be determined according to various categories such as age groups and gender. Start waves will be communicated once entries have closed, prior to race registration.

I don’t have a fancy bike, can one use a mountain bike for the race?

Yes mountain bikes will be allowed.

Drafting, when will this be allowed, and when not?

Drafting will be allowed in the sprint event as well as in the Olympic distance event. Due to the nature of the cycle course and the number of the athletes on the road this year’s event will be a draft legal race.

Will time trial (TT) bikes and tri bars be allowed?

We will allow TT bikes as long as they have normal drop handlebars on and as long as they comply with your wheels and handlebar section below. You are welcome to use your road bike or mountain bike and clip on tri bars are allowed.

Specifications as follows:

  • Wheels:          
    • Wheels shall have at least 12spokes.
    • Disc wheels are not allowed.
  • Handlebars:    
    • The handlebars must be plugged.
    • Clip-ons, including the bridge, must not exceed the foremost line of the brake levers.
    • Clip-ons must have a solid factory bridge or be touching each other.
    • Brake levers or gear levers must not be attached to the clip-ons.
    • Water bottles and water bottle holders may not be mounted onto the handlebars or clip-on. 

Why do the Cycle and Run courses consist of Laps?

The 2015 World Triathlon Series is an international series comprising of 10 events around the world. The series attracts and hosts the top ranked international triathletes, as well as complete novices to the seasoned and competitive triathletes in the various age groups.
Including laps into the route ensures that the race is contained, making public engagement more accessible with the opportunity to view and get to know the athletes that we ordinarily only see on TV. Furthermore, loyal supporters, family and friends of all athletes have the opportunity to see and interact with their athletes more often. The safety of our participants will always remain our primary consideration. The World Triathlon Series also has various events taking place over the entire weekend, and the length of the course takes into consideration access requirements for residence, bus routes and other City users.

Will the Age Groupers receive splits for the separate legs swim/bike/run?

Age Groupers will receive time splits. There will be a timing mat at the entrance and exit of transition and at the race finish. There will be additional timing to record cycle and run laps as well.

Is there going to be a separate event for Paratriathletes?

We will not have a separate paratriathlon event this year. We will however, have a separate start wave in the Sprint distance for paratriathletes. This will be an Open Paratriathlete event; all paratriathletes regardless of category will be participating in the same event. No category prizes will be awarded. There is a cut off time of 30 min on the swim.

What disability category is allowed to take part in this event?

We are unable to accommodate athletes using wheelchairs and hand cycles on this course. All other paratriathletes are welcome to take part in the Sprint distance event, which will have a separate start wave for paratriathletes. This will be an Open paratriathlete event; all paratriathletes regardless of category will be participating in the same event. Provision will be made for your own personal handler. Please contact us at info@wts-capetown.com to discuss any of your concerns so that you are able you to take part in the best manner possible.

Is it possible for me to cancel my race entry? And what is the policy on refunds?

Athletes that are unable to participate, regardless of their reasons, can request cancellation of their entry and refund of their entry fee under the following terms:

  • Until midnight 25 January 2015 – 50% refund on entry fee
  • Until midnight 25 March 2015 – 25% refund on entry fee
  • 26 March 2015 and after – 0% refund on entry fee

Please submit your cancellation and refund request to info@wts-capetown.com

When do entries close?

Entries close at midnight 14 April 2015 or when the race capacity has been reached. Once entries close you may request to be placed on a waiting list and should there be cancellations in your requested event, you will be allocated an entry. 

Can my entry for this year’s event be deferred to next year’s event?

Deferrals to the 2016 event will not be permitted. However, participants may be allowed to transfer their entry to another athlete. Refer to transfers.

Is it possible to transfer my entry to someone else?

Entries can be transferred to another person as long as the substitution request is submitted before midnight 25 March 2015. Thereafter no transfers are allowed. A fee of R100.00 will be charged.
To transfer you entry to someone else, submit your request to info@wts-capetown.com. Please note that by making changes after 26 March, you may forfeit your personalized race number.

Is it possible to convert my entry either from a Sprint Distance to an Olympic Distance, or an Olympic Distance to a Sprint Distance?

Participants can request to transfer their entry between event distances. Should you decide to upgrade from the Sprint to Olympic Distance event, you will need to pay the difference in entry fees. In the event of changing from Olympic to Sprint Distance, we will not be able to refund the difference in entry fee.  Over and above, if you change event distance

  • By midnight of 25 March 2015 – no administration fee will be charged.
  • From 26 March 2015 and until registration closes on Saturday 25 April – a R100 administration fee will be payable. Please note that by making changes after 26 March, you may forfeit your personalised race number.

Please submit your change of distance request to info@wts-capetown.com

Do I need to pay a day licence fee, if I am not a member of Triathlon South Africa (TSA)?

No, you will not need to pay a day licence fee as this has already been included in your entry fee. Triathlon South Africa members receive a R50 discount at race registration.

Will TSA members receive a discount?

If you are a registered TSA Member, you will receive a R50 discount, on presentation of your valid TSA card, at race registration.

I have not received any email confirmation that I have registered?

Please contact race office via email info@wts-capetown.com, and they will send you a confirmation email.