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Reesby & Company Stroke & Stride Series

Reesby & Company Stroke & Stride Series

Race #7 3 March 2004 Swim 750 metre / Run 5 kilometre St Heliers Bay Auckland New Zealand

Race Report

Competitors in the penultimate race of the Reesby & Company Stroke & Stride Series want to now be at their best because time has run out if you¹re looking to improve through the Series. Right now is the time to put it on the line and seize your best results and those all-important points. Clear blue skies and bright sunshine greeted competitors at the St Heliers Bay race venue.

Also spending the afternoon in Auckland was a howling southerly wind. The only good thing about this wind was that coming from this direction it is blowing directly offshore towards iconic Rangitoto Island, allowing a 750 metre swim to be set without taking swimmers into the full wrath of the wind swept seas further out in the Œsparkling¹ Waitemata Harbour.

With a wind of that strength blowing through, it is more important than ever to follow a direct route line out and around the cans as a slight deviation from the rhumb line can quickly add up to precious time lost. The best in the business is once again Rebecca Nesbitt as she leads the women¹s field and touches the sand in 9min 49 sec followed in by Debbie Tanner in a tick over 10 minutes. Kirsty Whiting records 10min 8sec, Samantha Warriner discards her goggles in 10min 12sec and then comes the usual contenders including Vanessa Palmer, Carmel Hanly, Nicole Cope and Rebecca Spence all close enough to mix it up out on the run.

James Elvery was raring to go after his first ever win in Race #7 and was off like a rocket at the sound of the gun though he still couldn¹t withstand the outright power and speed of Brent Foster through the water as Fozzie once again left the field in his wake out and around the swim buoys. Brent Foster got back to shore in 8min 26sec holding a 25 second lead over James Elvery and Robbie Baff. Clocking 9 minutes and change came the start of a seemingly endless procession of men exiting the water, running up the sand and into transition.

Samantha Warriner has been the Stroke & Stride Series Champion for the past two seasons by following her tried and tested formula. First take a solid swim that keeps you in touch with the leaders before unleashing a tremendous run split which lifts you into first place and victory. However Debbie Tanner was Series Champion back in 1997 and now in 2004 when she took the lead on the outward journey through to Mission Bay she wasn¹t going to surrender it without a fight.

Beneath the Pohutakawa lined waterfront on the return, Samantha Warriner was finally able to catch the flying Debbie Tanner and slowly drew ahead over the final kilometre to record her third win of the season. Coming home in a fine second place, Debbie Tanner looked to be having her best race in a long time relegating our current Series leader, Nicole Cope into third for this event. Carmel Hanly got up to overtake Kirsty Whiting on the run leg as they recorded fourth and fifth.

Brent Foster hasn¹t been beaten this season and set off on the 5 kilometre run with a 150 metre lead over James Elvery who has been attempting to surpass the resident Stroke & Stride legend for more seasons and races than he cares to remember.

Would finally taking the win a fortnight ago have elevated him to a new level where he can now spar with his nemesis out on the run? James Elvery attacked the run course exactly as he had done the start of the swim and out on the road he was able to catch Brent Foster and ultimately overtake him and go on to record his second victory of the season. Victory at Stroke & Stride is always sweet but is made all the more sweeter when you have an opponent the quality of Brent Foster trailing you home. If you thought that the action ended there you¹d be wrong because following on to his 9min 42sec swim, Liam Scopes unleashed the fastest run of the day to run through into third place. Sam Walker continues with his great form this season to again finish in the money grabbing fourth place ahead of Ben Pulham.

The business end of the season witnesses some close fought competition in the Series Grand Prix going into the must-do final race. Nicole Cope (1st, 1st, 2nd, 1st & 3rd) is looking hard to beat on 92 points as she get closer to perhaps her first ever and long sought after Series title. Her closest challenger on 73 points is Rebecca Spence (3rd, 4th, 3rd, 4th & 2nd) who is having an awesome season up against a host of experienced campaigners. She hasn¹t raced too often this season, however when she has Samantha Warriner hasn¹t put a foot wrong and is now in third overall with 60 points. Currently in the money and needing just one more strong showing to secure the cash are Carmel Hanly (2nd, 3rd, 5th & 4th), Vanessa Palmer (6th, 6th, 6th, 4th & 8th), Nikki Wallwork (4th, 5th, 8th, 5th & 7th), Kirsty Whiting (2nd, 3rd & 5th) and Brooke Dobbs (10th, 8th, 10th, 6th & 10th)

Sitting atop the men¹s Grand Prix is the unassailable Brent Foster (1st, 1st, 1st, 1st & 2nd) who appears well on his way to title number eleven, that¹s correct, eleven times Series Champion as he has lead from the front throughout the nineties and now the noughties. James Elvery (3rd, 2nd, 1st & 1st) could well be the heir apparent with his progression through the current season and another to have found sparkling form in the later part of the season is Liam Scopes (4th, 10th, 10th, 3rd & 3rd). Thomas Hahn (7th, 8th, 3rd, 9th & 4th) Sam Walker (5th, 3rd, 7th & 4th) Paul Amey (6th, 2nd & 4th) Ben Pulham (5th, 13th, 6th & 5th) and Terenzo Bozzone (2nd & 2nd) presently are in the top 8 but can¹t relax going into the Series finale if they wish to claim their prize.

The next race is on Wednesday, March 17, 2004


Female Time 1 Samantha Warriner 28m 15s 2 Debbie Tanner 28 31 3 Nicole Cope 29 12 4 Carmel Hanly 29 23 5 Kirsty Whiting 29 36 6 Rebecca Spence 30 08 7 Jacqui Seebold 31 13 8 Vanessa Palmer 31 25 9 Nikki Wallwork 31 34 10 Brooke Dobbs 31 39

Male Time 1 James Elvery 25m 06s 2 Brent Foster 25 23 3 Liam Scopes 25 54 4 Sam Walker 26 10 5 Ben Pulham 27 14 6 Ben Logan 28 36 7 Paul Angland 28 50 8 Stuart Smith 28 56 9 Brett Hickman 29 20 10 Andrew Mackay 29 25

Grand Prix Points after Race #7

Female Points 1 Nicole Cope 92 2 Rebecca Spence 73 3 Samantha Warriner 60 4 Carmel Hanly 56 5 Vanessa Palmer 51 6 Nikki Wallwork 50 7 Kirsty Whiting 43 8 Brooke Dobbs 36 9 Debbie Tanner 32 10 Anna Elvery 30

Male Points 1 Brent Foster 97 2 James Elvery 72 3 Liam Scopes 65 4 Thomas Hahn 52 5 Sam Walker 48 6 Paul Amey 40 7 Ben Pulham 35 8 Terenzo Bozzone 34 9 Bryan Rhodes 32 10 Ben Logan 29

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