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Structured Finance Stroke & Stride Race

Structured Finance Stroke & Stride Race #3 14 December 2005 St Heliers Bay Auckland New Zealand

RACE REPORT It came as a bit of a blow to some competitors as they arrived on the Auckland waterfront to see columns of whitecaps marching up the harbour with lines of waves breaking on the beaches. We have had such a great run of good weather stretching back over the past couple of seasons it is easy to forget how testing conditions have been at times back through the years at the Stroke & Stride. Auckland Harbour had a high wind warning broadcast for the day and while the Nor¹easter was lots of fun for the wind-powered craft at play it was a cause of consternation for a number of the Stroke & Stride athletes. Someone¹s prayers may have been answered as by the time of the race start the wind strength and direction had altered leaving the waters at St Heliers Bay a lot more convivial than initial expectations.

Race #3 in the Structured Finance sponsored Finance Stroke & Stride Series called for the 1000 metre swim raced over a triangular course with the third leg parallel to the beach, this gives the crowd of spectators a close up look at the form of the swimmers. The women¹s field were first to start and it wasn¹t long before they were strung out in a long line as they made their way round the course. It was Rebecca Clarke leading the way recording 13 minutes and 10 seconds followed seconds later by Athens Olympian Rebecca Linton who had Samantha Warriner, Gina Ferguson and Debbie Tanner in tow.

As the female field was hitting the shore it was the turn of the men to depart on their triangular journey and early on it was apparent that one man had jumped away from the field. By the second buoy this lead had gone out to half a minute and there was no giant surprise when it proved to be Brent Foster hitting the beach in a scintillating 11minutes 44 seconds. For the next little while there was only daylight in second before it was the turn of Will Green to lead in the chasers recording 12 minutes 25 seconds with James Upton and Shane Reed close behind.

The 1997 Stroke & Stride Champion Debbie Tanner has had one of her slower starts for this season however this was soon being put to right out on the 3 kilometre run as she surged clear of the women¹s field excepting for her New Zealand team mate Samantha Warriner. Being the defending Stroke & Stride Champ, Samantha Warriner is doing her utmost to reclaim that title for a third season and her running away for a convincing win today means she can really do no more to instigate her campaign as she scores a perfect three from three. Gina Ferguson chased home Debbie Tanner to claim the valuable third spot on the podium while Anna Hamilton got the upper hand over Anna Elvery out on the run course as they ran home for fourth and fifth.

James Upton, Shane Reed and Clark Ellice have shared the wins at the previous five Stroke Stride events between them. The glaring omission from this illustrious list is the name of Brent Foster; you see Brent has made winning Stroke & Stride events something of a habit. If you wanted to go back to the last time that five races had been run without Fozzie coming out on top in one of them you¹d need to backtrack in time to 1992, some of our competitors weren¹t even born then. Another constant over all these years has been the Foster Œstyle¹ of winning which is simply to time trial the course, operating at maximum velocity at all times and wait for no one. This style is successful now as it was 13 years ago. Brent Foster extends his lead out on the run to come home the Stroke & Stride victor for the 55th time. The big improver for this season remains James Upton as he burned off all the other chasers and recorded a very credible second place backing up his win a fortnight ago. Shane Reed and Will Green were never separated by more than a metre or two the whole race until Shane unleashed a finishing kick a hundred metres from the line to take third, leaving Will with fourth and Liam Scopes in fifth. The current standings in the Series Grand Prix sees contrasting points tables. The women¹s flied is lead by all conquering Samantha Warriner as she sits on the maximum 60 points with a substantial 19 point lead over Anna Hamilton (3rd, 4th & 4th) with Carmel Hanly a further 7 points in arrears. Meanwhile the men¹s field has had three different competitors taking a win resulting in James Upton (2nd, 1st & 2nd) atop the table on 54 points with a 13 point buffer on Liam Scopes (4th, 2nd & 5th). Next best is Shane Reed with 35 points from his two scoring events.

The next event is on Wednesday, January 11th

RESULTS

Female 1 Samantha Warriner 24m 26s 2 Debbie Tanner 25m 12s 3 Gina Ferguson 25m 30s 4 Anna Hamilton 26m 44s 5 Anna Elvery 27m 05s 6 Brooke Pattle 27m 16s 7 Jacqui Seebold 27m 20s 8 Rebecca Hooper 27m 28s 9 Rebecca Clarke 27m 38s 10 Marisa Carter 27m 51s

Male 1 Brent Foster 22m 11s 2 James Upton 22m 58s 3 Shane Reed 23m 13s 4 Will Green 23m 19s 5 Liam Scopes 23m 41s 6 Ben Riley 23m 51s 7 Andrew Mackay 24m 27s 8 Thomas Hahn 24m 38s 9 Ryan Sissons 25m 17s 10 Stefan Rieder SUI 25m 20s

GRAND PRIX POINTS

Female 1 Samantha Warriner 60 2 Anna Hamilton 41 3 Carmel Hanly 34 4 Gina Ferguson 30 5 Brooke Pattle 26 6 Jacqui Seebold 22 7 Anna Elvery 20 8T Fiona Mackay 17 8T Debbie Tanner 17 10 Kate Mitchell 16

Male 1 James Upton 54 2 Liam Scopes 41 3 Shane Reed 35 4 James Elvery 28 5T Andrew Mackay 26 5T Ryan Sissons 26 5T Ben Visser 26 8 Will Green 24 9 Brent Foster 20 10 Thomas Hahn 16

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