The crew of the life boat Spirit of Guernsey with the Queen's Baton on the small Channel Island.
Thirty one-year-old Guernsey triathlete Damian Thacker heads to Melbourne in March to fulfil a four-year mission – to outrace his fellow Channel Islands competitors from Jersey.
“I watched James Amy from Jersey compete at the 2002 Commonwealths in Manchester and realised that Guernsey didn’t have a team,” Mr Thacker told the Guernsey Press and Star. “I then hoped one day to be in a position to beat Jersey on this global stage.”
The Sheffield Hallam University physio student had taken up the sport only a year earlier, but was on the fast track to success when he qualified for the World Triathlon Championships in 2002 in Mexico.
He heads to Australia following a successful season with the British team, and will compete alongside British Triathlon members Alan Rowe and Ian Le Pelley, while Sam Herridge will compete in the women’s competition.
“Being picked and competing in the Commonwealth Games is probably the greatest sporting honour that one can achieve for Guernsey,” Mr Thacker said. “I do not take this responsibility lightly and endeavour not only to perform at my best but to justify my place in the team.”
The Guernsey team will have their eyes on victory over their traditional Jersey rivals of Tim Rogers, Scott Pitcher and Paul Clements, but Mr Thacker says Melbourne will also be a bigger test for him on the world stage.
“Apart from obviously beating the Jersey lot, the Games would be successful if I made the lead pack on the bike and then finished in the top 20.”
The Triathlon at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games will run on the St Kilda Foreshore and Beach Road course on Saturday 18 March.
Triathlon is free and non ticketed.