To Short Chute, Or Not To Short Chute?

Super League Triathlon 2021 Jersey Womens 0277 Taylor Brown

What is a Short Chute? How come certain athletes are covering slightly less ground than others? And what is this bringing to the Super League Triathlon (SLT) party?

Well, you asked. So here is the definitive rundown on what the Short Chute is, and how it came into being.

The Short Chute is unique to Super League Triathlon. This compelling element of Super League racing does exactly what it says it does. It creates a slightly shorter route around the race course for those athletes who earn one. This basically gives them a time bonus in real time! We don’t wait until the race is over and retrospectively add time bonuses for stage wins, or tweak the result sheets based on time losses, we want you, our audience to see the race unfold in front of you!

It is great for spectators, and it adds another exciting element to incentivise leading in disciplines.

Vicky Holland
Short Chute

How do you earn a Short Chute?

Simple – you win one of the early Stages/Heats on a Super League Championship Weekend. This not only ensures you progress through the weekend without the danger of being eliminated, but it also earns you the Short Chute to use later in the race.

In the final race of the day, the athletes who have earned Short Chutes can decide when they deploy their advantage. There will be several athletes who have a Short Chute to use, so it comes down to a tactical battle. Each athlete must decide when is best to take it, and when their opponent may take theirs!

I thought to myself, he played his card, so now I will play mine.

Vincent Luis – he outplayed Jonny Brownlee in Mallorca when they both had a Short Chute to use!
Superleague Jersey 19 Enduro VIncent Luis

Win a stage. Get a time bonus. Use it in the final race. Could the racing in SLT get any more audience-friendly?

As well as an earned benefit, in certain formats, the Short Chute is deployed, by the race organisers, to the entire field. Every athlete is given one Short Chute to use at any point in the format. It is their choice when they take this advantage. This again gives the athletes another layer of tactical thinking when they approach the race. They must decide when it would best suit them to take their Short Chute, and also their competitors might take theirs.

This is no free ride, and if you want to take full advantage of this innovation then you better be right at the front from day one!

Super league triathlon & the 90 Second Rule

90 seconds, that’s not very long, is it? About half the time it takes to boil an egg?

Well, that is how close you have to stay behind the leader in a Super League race. If you fall behind, you will be eliminated.

Another innovation we’ve added to SLT is the 90 Second Rule. This eliminates athletes that fall more than 90 seconds behind the leader. People ask us why this rule is in place? What does it bring to the racing, and how does it add to the experience?

Well, Super League Triathlon is all about close, intense, and exciting racing. We plan these races over tight courses to both increase the tension, whilst also providing the best possible audience experience. So, the 90 Second Rule has two functions:

  1. Firstly, it enhances the audience experience. It forces the competitors to race all the way down the field if they want to avoid being eliminated. There’s only a race going on at the front of the field, but also a race further back, as those behind fight to stay within 90 seconds
  2. Secondly, it provides a much-needed safety enhancement. On these smaller, tighter courses we don’t want to risk injury by having faster athletes going full speed on racing bikes whilst others are still running. By insisting on the 90 Second Rule, we clear the race course as the race progresses, ensuring no harm comes to anyone lagging behind.

The 90 Second rule is enforced at the mount line, 90 seconds after the race leader has crossed. So, the question is…

What could you do in 90 seconds?

Go for a run, bike, or swim. Measure how much ground you cover in 90 seconds. That’ll give you an idea of how dialled in these competitors have to be.

There is no room for error, no room for not being up to scratch, and no room at all for a lack of desire. The fight for the front is savage, but the fight at the back is equally as competitive. Total racing from the gun to the finish line, with nothing left to chance.

At Super League, we’re not afraid to challenge the status quo. We want to push the boundaries, and make triathlon greater than it already is. SLT will keep innovating, disrupting, and pushing the boundaries. We will always aim to develop the audience experience beyond anything you have seen before. It’s going to be one hell of a ride!

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