Written by Peter Harrison

50 of the world’s best triathletes - including 25 Olympians - pushed to their limits to compete for generous cash prizes in a challenging course around the island’s Waterfront - but was Super League worth it for Jersey?

Around 375million people saw Jersey on their TV screens as part of Super League coverage, which aired in 142 countries.

That included live feeds on seven international channels to 107 countries and delayed shows broadcast on 11 international stations to 35 nations.

Those nations spanned the UK, Europe and as far afield as the US, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, India, China, Japan and even sub Saharan Africa. The biggest audience reach came from the UK.

That live coverage was also interspliced with short films highlighting Jersey, where athletes explored some of the local sporty/touristic hotspots ranging from zorbing along the coast to outdoor yoga and a day trip to the Ecréhous. Adverts by Visit Jersey and Locate Jersey were also included.

Costing around £1.5million to put on the two-day race event, the Minister for Economic Development Lyndon Farnham signed off on a States grant of £200,000 from the Tourism Development Fund to help it go ahead.

The rationale, a Ministerial Decision report explained, was the belief that the investment would pay dividends in the form of tourism and increased interest in Jersey.

“It was further based on advice from Visit Jersey Limited that the event had the potential to be ‘wonderful for Jersey and to bring 2,000 visitors to the Island in the first year. These visitors would be anticipated to spend approximately £800,000, based on the average spend of £400 per visitor’,” it read.

The Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture is already on record as saying he would love the Super League to return - but has the investment been worth it? Now new statistics released to Express have revealed the exact levels of engagement generated by the unique triathlon, which was attended by the silver medal-winning Olympian Brownlee brothers and a host of other global sports stars.

Jersey audiences were full of praise for the Super League, but how did the athletes and organisers feel about their reception?

Norwegian men’s winner Kristian Blummenfelt said that he had been impressed by Jersey’s efforts, stating that, “Normally, it takes years to build up an event at this level.”

Women’s race runner-up Nicola Spirig said that the event had been “organised exceptionally well.” “You could see that there was a very professional team doing the job, but at the same time you could feel that the volunteers and the Jersey Triathlon Club were completely behind the race and doing everything to make it a success,” she commented.

Michael D’Hulst, one of the Super League founders, hinted at a possible return to Jersey: “Super League Jersey is a great foundation to keep building on for the future events in Jersey and make Jersey part of our yearly calendar.”

Nonetheless, he remained coy on the short-term future of the event.Blummenfelt added: “I can't wait to find out where the next location will be. I know that the Super League Triathlon crew are looking for another spectacular venue for their next event, and it will be good for both spectators, TV and us athletes.”