Billed as the Capes BEST TRI and indeed, one of SA’s best events, the MiWayLife Westcoast Warm Water Weekend did not disappoint
Situated and taking place within the West Coast National Park, you can easily be forgiven for thinking that you are racing in the “sticks” with not much around in any form other than the natural plant life/wild animals and the Atlantic Ocean.
Transition 1 was a hive of activity down at KraalBaai which is about 20 odd km’s from the race village. Space is limited and the game keepers extremely strict on what you can and cannot do. A triathlon event with a difference already for sure
Around 250 triathletes mixed up as long course (1.5km swim/42km cycle/10km run) and short course (750m/22km/7.5km) made their way into the “warm” Langebaan lagoon at 8:30am on SAT morning. In the Cape, 18 degree’s is considered HOT so with wetsuits on, the swimmers had no issues with the calm waters that lay before them. Not one wave to swim through and no currents to speak of. The odd tale of past great white sightings and killer wales had some triathletes think twice about swimming slowly with the vast majority enjoying the swim as athletes made their way around the rectangular swim course
In the Long Course Triathlon, it was Rudolf Visser that put some daylight between himself and the chasing pack of triathletes that included Dylan Pivo and leading lady, youngster Shanae Williams.
Race Favourite Stuart Marais was just off the front pack heading out onto the tough bike course with his stellar cycling prowess quickly moving him into first place ahead of super-fast runner Frederick Wagenvoorde and comeback kid Dean Hopf. Marais has won this race before so he knew how to play out the course and once onto the run, the race was his. A fantastic dual saw Wagenvoorde take the win ahead of Hopf, but only just
On the ladies side, Williams was in control with Vicky Vd Merwe working hard to stay in touch with the youngster. Unfortunately for Williams, she made a wrong turn on the run route which allowed Vd Merwe to take the win ahead of Williams. Alice Oosthuizen was lucky lady no 3 as she claimed 3rd spot all for herself on race day
In the short race, Jamie Riddle was off the front being chased hard by Sam Courts. For Riddle, who “missed” the race briefing, he was unaware of where to go on the run route with Courts soon joining him. A debate then ensued between the competitors until the father of Sam Courts, Jason finally showed them where to run. Both crossed the line together but it was a given that Riddle would have won on the day had he known where to run. A once off mistake he will not make again in 2019. Sam Courts took 2nd and his dad, a well-earned 3rd spot
On the ladies side Sue Marie Visser was in full control and took the win ahead of Larissa Krajasich and Lizl Hobson
A tough cycle that does not allow you to rest for 1 minute and an equally energy sapping “sand” run had competitors fighting for the erdginer beer at the end. We glad we came, we saw but not quite conquered – perhaps we come back in 2019 better prepared.
A race well worth going to – we give them a HUGE KUDO’s or as they say in that part of the world, a HUGE “ELAND”