With ten days remaining until the million-dollar global franchise returns to the Waterfront for a third year, officials have drip-fed initial proposals for a campaign which will span a 14-month period split by the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
A total of seven elite races are set to form the season, beginning with Jersey [28-29 September] and Malta [19-20 October]. The remaining five events – potentially including London for the first time and Jersey again – will take place between August-November 2020.
SLT signed a five-year deal with Jersey in 2018, although it was on a ‘two-plus-three-year’ basis and is dependent on continued financial support from the government. Up to £250,000 of annual public funding is allocated to the event, which added over half-a-million pounds to the Island’s economy 12 months ago.
World Championship and Olympic medallists are again expected to swim, cycle and run around Elizabeth Marina next week, including Jonny Brownlee, Vincent Luis, Katie Zaferes and Vicky Holland. Jerseyman Ollie Turner and Sarnian Josh Lewis are also included for the season opener after being handed wildcards.
SLT chief executive Michael D’hulst said: ‘We have achieved dramatic growth in a very short space of time and we are now ready to take SLT to the next level.
‘Our desire has always been to build on the amazing success and grow into a bigger Championship Series. This allows us to fulfil that aim while also respecting the desire of athletes to compete in the Olympics.
‘The 2019/20 Championship Series will straddle the Olympics and will give fans even more exciting and captivating races than ever before, while athletes will gain massively both in terms of worldwide exposure and the chance to earn huge prize purses.’
New qualifying races will also be held in the first half of 2020 – giving the likes of Turner and Lewis the chance to earn elite contracts for the remaining five races.