Only the promise to bring in an assortment of Australian multisport champions could challenge Alex Hunt's record Freycinet streak.
Hunt again had no peers on the weekend that ensured he remained undefeated in every race since 2015.
Freycinet Challenge event organiser Louise Padgett has issued a warning that Hunt's dominance could soon end.
To celebrate its 20th year in 2020, plans are afloat to attract the strongest field ever assembled at Freycinet.
"We are really hoping to make a big event of it next year," Padgett said, "and get some of the past competitors back to challenge him."
Hunt predictably was the first competitor to cross the finish line following two days of indifferent conditions.
The 28-year-old finished in a time of four hours, 12 minutes and 55 seconds to complete the course almost 20 minutes ahead of closest rival Callum Fagg.
The Hobart pair pushed each other all day Sunday, but were also challenged by 40-plus veteran Ian Parker.
Giving away more than a decade in age to the top two, Parker was not far behind in 4:33:10 over 165.5kms of kayaking, cycling, mountain biking and trail running.
Tony McIntyre led in the 50-plus masters in a shade under the five-hour mark.
Wendy McAlpine was the only individual female to finish the course in 5:34:47.
The victory was not Hunt's slickest that tempted Padgett to suggest that the five-time winner's stranglehold finally was starting to loosen up.
"There is always going to be up-and-comers," Padgett said. "You can't stay No.1 forever. The challengers are coming, that's for sure."
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
Hunt admitted afterwards he had pulled up sore and was feeling worse for wear.
That came after back-to-back multi-sport events in the heat of China took its toll amid 13-hour race days.
"I'm probably not quite as fit as I was the last couple of years as well," Hunt said.
"I haven't been putting in as many days over the weekend - that's the difference.
"I'm still going alright, but maybe I am underdone."
Hunt returned back home nearly three weeks earlier, but could find no time to practice in the kayak or on the time-trial bike.
But the school teacher was not looking for excuses.
"They're definitely getting closer - everyone is lifting their levels now," he said.
"The next couple of years hopefully a few more people, I guess, will give everybody a bit more competition."
It took him eight attempts to crack the first one.
The fact the Hunt name is on the honour roll repeatedly feels a bit surreal.
"It's sort of surprising how it happened," Hunt said.
"It had taken me so long to win originally and it's kind of rolled out five in a row."
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