Waiuku’s Matt Bradbury is an Aquabike champion. Aquabike is an event featuring a three kilometre swim and a 120 kilometre cycle race.
In July this year he returned from Denmark where he represented New Zealand in the 2018 ITU Aquabike World Championships, coming home with a silver medal. “I qualified for the Worlds earlier in Wanaka. I won that overall,” Matt said. The prize for that event was flights and accommodation for the World’s Competition courtesy of Garth Barfoot, from Barfoot and Thomson, an iron man and participant himself.
Worlds is a week long festival, with a range of races each day. “Some people do a race every second day,” Matt said. “From sprints to duathlon, but I just focused on aquabike.”
“In Denmark, I came out of the water in sixth place. On the bike I was in first, then in the last ten kilometres I was passed, so came second in that age group, and eighth overall,” Matt said.
He said he enjoyed the experience in Denmark, his first time going there. “It was different. Cool in a city as opposed to a town, like last year’s Championships in Canada,” he said. “The Danes are very friendly. There’s great food and beer. It’s a very lovely place.”
Matt got into the sport following surgery. “My rehab was cycling. I don’t consider myself to be a cyclist though,” he said, “It’s more triathlon events.” He said the training is tough, but a great discipline. “I go for a swim before work, bike for a bit then from 8.30pm to 10pm do more training. It’s full on.”
In 2017, he competed in the World Championships in Penticton, Canada, coming third in his age group, bringing home a bronze medal. While he has qualified for World’s next year, he’ll be taking a break, as he and wife Julie are expecting another edition to their family. However, training will still be going ahead as Matt prepares for ‘The Pioneer’ a six day stage race around Queenstown. “A mate and I are training for that in November. There’s 300 teams taking part, it’s a big race!”
Matt’s wife Julie said they are proud of Matt’s effort. “Our whole family is really proud of him and his hard work and all his accomplishments,” she said.