It's a rivalry as old as the islands themselves, and now it's set to hit the triathlon track... Two friends from Guernsey and Jersey will this weekend turn competitors in a race that will test them to their core.
Guernsey's Joshua Lewis (26) will take on Jerseyman Ollie Turner (21), with whom he trains regularly, at this weekend's Super League Triathlon in Jersey.
The pair first met at a triathlon in England whilst they were both trying to quality for the Commonwealth Games.
“We had a good race that day,” Josh recalled.
Video: Ollie and Josh talk about their "friendly rivalry".
They reunited at university in Cardiff where they have been training with British Triathlon at the National Performance Centre.
“When I was looking at Universities, I knew Josh was in Cardiff and so I contacted him and he told me so many positive things about the place and the training here,” Josh said. “This is one of the best British Triathlon squads in the UK. I’m just so happy."
While Ollie admits he kept an eye on Josh due to the rivalry between Jersey and Guernsey, he says there has never been any bad blood between the two of them.
“I think the Jersey-Guernsey rivalry is generally quite strong, but it’s a bit different for me and Josh,” Ollie said. “We obviously spend a lot of time together at training. We’re there four times a day - maybe sometimes up to 25-plus hours a week training with each other - so the mutual respect is massive already. I think it’s definitely a friendly rivalry.
“It’s great,” Josh added. “Like Ollie said, we have lots of respect for each other. We know what each other does behind the scenes, we know how much effort we put into each and every day. We spend all day every day with one another, not out of choice! teach him some lessons on some rides and things like that. He’s going to hopefully show me how it’s done this weekend and vice-versa and we’ll both do well!”
Video: Ollie and Josh take on a Jersey/Guernsey quiz.
The pair is planning on playing on their respective strengths – “transitions and slickness” for Ollie, “engine” for Josh – to place well during this weekend’s event.
The event will also provide an opportunity for Ollie to get his revenge on his friend who beat him at the Island Games.
“We will be both trying to get into that final on the Sunday but the competition is pretty stiff,” Josh said.
“It’s going to take a huge race from the pair of us to make that final but if we play to our strengths and the race pans out in our favour, I don’t see why we can’t,” Ollie added. “We’re both as fit as we’ll ever be at the moment so there’s no reason why we can’t do that.”
Video: Ollie's qualifying performance at last year's Super League Triathlon.
While the friends will cheer each other on if they happen to cross paths on the course – “There’s no way in a triathlon that you can pick and choose who you are with,” Ollie explained, “the race has its own story” – they are also hoping Channel Islanders will be around to encourage them.
“It’s an international competition and Channel Islands do tend to come together so hopefully people will get behind the pair of us,” Ollie said.
“We definitely feed off the crowd,” Josh added. “It will be so good the more people there to cheer us on the better.”
Ollie warned: “If you aren’t coming out, come out!”
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