Geoff's building on Garth's legacy

Geoff Meyer (left) with USM Events founder Garth Prowd.
Geoff Meyer (left) with USM Events founder Garth Prowd. Geoff Potter

IT MAY be tempting to call USM Events boss Geoff Meyer the Sorcerer's Apprentice, given that he has learnt a trick or two about conjuring up major events from the man who said "hey presto, let Noosa have a world-class triathlon to draw a crowd".

But Garth Prowd, who made a habit of pulling rabbits out of hats when in charge of USM - or employing people who could work sports staging magic, does not like the local spotlight.

These days Garth would rather surf, cycle and swim locally incognito and ride his marshal's scooter along Noosa Parade come the 30th anniversary Noosa Triathlon on November 4.

Geoff well remembers how he came to be recruited by Garth not long after arriving in Noosa with his wife, looking for a change of pace from Sydney's commerce circles.

"I came on board 10 years ago. I moved from Sydney - my parents had been coming here 30 years ago and we holidayed here as well," Geoff said.

"My wife and I decided to give it a go before we had kids.

"I was introduced to Garth in the first week - he made me move about 500 crowd control barriers at an event on the weekend and then he said to me, 'Start Monday'."

Garth's only comment is: "That's his story."

Geoff said originally he was working on sponsorship, then eventually got more into the operations, then became an event manager and then general manager and then CEO.

"I now employ Garth even though he's pretty much retired. He is in the USM the office a day or so every week," he said.

"He's been my mentor and it's been great to have him as a sounding board to point me in the right direction. We might not agree on all things, but it's great to have him as a back-up."

Geoff said Garth's biggest asset had always been his many contacts across the globe and his ability to get the best out of people.

Folklore has it that Garth was one of the original starters in the Noosa Tri way back in 1983 when USM's website recalls "helmets were optional, wetsuits were banned and cyclists got lost on the course".

But Geoff, who is in charge of staging all the Asia Pacific Ironman triathlons for the World Triathlon Corporation, can lay a claim to a sporting feat which his former boss cannot.

"Garth's never done an Ironman. I did several before I joined USM and my (competing) life ceased," he said.

Topics:  noosa noosa triathlon usm events

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