This year the Oceana Sprint Championships had me headed to Devonport, Tasmania, Australia. Previous to this I’d never been to Tasmania, and I was looking forward to the first race of the year in a new location for me. It’s no secret that I need to work on my front end of triathlon (swim/bike). I’ve been working hard on my swim with Jamie Turner and the Wollongong crew so I was excited to see how I was progressing. It was a scenic race: Ocean swim, with a bit of a swell, followed by a flat bike course along the Ocean with two 180s. On paper it was a fairly easy bike course, however the wind added a nice element. Race day provided a steady 40kph wind, near perfect temperatures and blue skies. The goal for me in Devonport was to execute everything to my best, knowing the results would follow.
There was a surf in the Ocean, causing a very choppy 350m to the first buoy. However, I was well prepared as two days prior we were swimming in North Wollongong with 2m waves. I knew the swim would be tough, and entered the water ready to race. Because of the tough conditions, the swim split up fairly quickly. There were large gaps between groups as we exited the water. I ended up being in the first chase pack on the bike. I should have been in the first bike group, but I made some mistakes in transition and in the first part of the bike. As the race went on, the group of three in front gained time, and our group came into T2 about 45 seconds down. Jodie Stimpson was in the first bike group and held the 45 second gap on me through the finish. I ended up second for the day. Congrats to all the competitors, it was a tough day and some fast racing!
Overall it was an extremely fun way to start the season – a fun, fast, race in a beautiful location. Michael did a wonderful job putting on the triathlon in Devonport. I hope I get to return to Tasmania. Everyone was extremely welcoming and friendly.
I had an easy weekend outside of racing thanks to my homestay. They drove me around to race briefings, media appearances, the race, and more. They also fed me really well, with fresh eggs from their chickens in the morning and delicious meals in the evening. I didn’t want to leave when the race was over! They had two well-behaved, adorable kids (See picture). My first weekend in Tasmania was a success and I hope to return.
I will now continue to focus on my front end of the triathlon with Jamie Turner and the crew in Wollongong until Auckland.