THE FRIENDLY atmosphere of the Bideford Triathlon brought the best out of Louise Harris who was crowned women's champion.
Cheered on by her "Team Green" colleagues from North Devon Triathlon Club, she powered around the course to win by more than five minutes.
After finishing second last year, the victory was a fine way to warm-up for representing Great Britain in her age-group at the World Aquathlon Championships in London next week.
Harris, who works in sports development and helps organise the Barnstaple Parkrun was pleased to see so many members of the North Devon sports community enjoying the occasion.
"It's just sport and your social life together," she said.
"All year I've been doing (World Championship) qualifiers and it's just a very different atmosphere. It's a bit starey in transition, they're trying to psych you out.
"There's so many club members here. On the run you just high-five anyone that's wearing green.
"All the sports clubs in North Devon come together."
After setting off in wave six for the swim, the Westward Ho! athlete gradually worked her way through the field with a time of 11mins 13sec over 600m.
"The swim was good," she said. "I didn't really know where I was going because I didn't listen to the brief like I should have done.
"I passed quite a few people on the bike. I even passed a few people on the hills, which was nice, that's not really my strength."
She clocked 44-44 for the 23.5km cycle, then for the run the tactics were to "just hang on".
Despite tired legs from a middle distance race in the Cotswolds two weeks ago, Harris completed the 5km run in 21-48.
She thanked her coach Gary Gerrard, the 2012 Bideford champion, for his work over the last two years.
Harris got into triathlon from a running background and the final discipline has always been her strength.
That is the case too, for Sammy Stevenson, of North Devon Road Runners, who claimed second in 85-15.
It has been a breakthrough season for the 25-year-old after claiming second in the Torrington race and training hard for the Olympic distance London Triathlon last month.
There were no signs of a hangover as she completed the course in 85-15 – despite going out for a hen night the previous evening dressed as a drunken sailor.
Geraldine Addison took third place in 90-15, finishing just one second ahead of Sadie Davies, from North Devon Tri.
Sara Carter, of Bideford AAC, won the veterans category and Caroline Lance, of West Country Triathletes, was the leading super vet.