Wind? Where is the wind? Who cares we on an island!!! HAHA
There was a surprisingly good mood amongst the paddlers on the beach at the considering the 20km race course in the heat with no help from Mother Nature. Just shows how much the paddlers appreciate the opportunity to paddle on the island.
With little assistance racing was going to be tough. Amped to race I got off the start really well with Jasper Mocke. Quite soon 4 boats caught us forming a bunch of 6 out front with the pull turning over a couple time. This didn’t last long and Dawid Mocke Put the hammer down after 20min and got a gap.
In the heat pushing too hard to bridge the gap could ruin you race so the bunch left him at 50m in front. My race was going perfect so far. In the bunch and feeling comfortable. I reached for my juice and realise in the hast starting the race I had kicked the clip holding my juice pipe closed and there was nothing left.
This can be a dangerous position to be in. In the heat not drinking is like hitting you head against a brick wall and hoping you don’t lose brain cells. Just such a school boy error. Eish.
It is often the problem that changes a result but rather the way you react to the problem. I changed my race plan opting to not worry about the pacing of the group but rather my own. If I was to service I was going to have to pace myself in a big way. Simple things like chasing 50/50 bumps were just not an option.
Hank McGregor finally got sick of Dawid a little bit ahead and took off the bridge the gap. None of the chasing bunch including myself could follow. He must have been going 16-17km/h to cross the gap to Dawid as quick as he did. It was a 2 house race up front with Dawid coming out on top to defend his title from last year. A great paddle from the Cape Town man in the heat.
I sat most of the way just inside or behind Jeremy Cotter and Matthew Bouman in 5th place.
Jeremy had a late charge to pass Hank to get 2nd. Hank third and Matt 4th. I had to fend of two challenges in the last couple of km. Will Bird paddled really well on an inside line got to the pass with me and I was lucky enough to get a wave passed him and then snuck ahead of Richard ‘Chopper’ Wildman who had taken a very risky line on the inside of the reef which paid off for him.
The last 2km on the flat to the finish into the current are brutal, especially when you have chasers all over your tail. Went really well on the flat and came home 5th. It’s been a while since I have done any racing on the international scene and I am stoked to be in the mix. I had a bad race here last year so to be back in the top 5 is great, especially in this class field.