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Reesby & Company Stroke & Stride Race #5

Reesby & Company Stroke & Stride Race #5



Good things are worth waiting for and it sure seems we’ve been waiting a fair while to return to St Heliers Bay - the historical home of the Stroke & Stride. It proved to be a timely return as for the third time this season Auckland was getting touched up by a tropical cyclone on the same day as the Stroke & Stride event. This time it was cyclone Gene passing through however with southeast wind direction and the shelter afforded by the cliffs overlooking St Heliers Bay the swim course was largely protected from the worst of the forecasted gale force winds.

The women were the first to tackle the 750 metre swim and the majority of the field held a straight line throughout. The second leg had the wind at their backs making for quick work of it. After 10 minutes the first swimmers were approaching the shore without too much separation. First from the water was Rebecca Clarke clocking 10 minutes 19 seconds; this was 4 seconds ahead of Kirsty Wannan and approaching 20 seconds in front of the main pack containing the likes of Jennifer Cooper, Simone Ackermann and Carmel Hanly. Julia Scopes recorded 11 minutes and 12 seconds.

At the same time the women were transitioning from swim to run the men were hammering out towards the first turn buoy on their swim. Conditions were still quite favourable for swimming with the only grumble perhaps the sun in your eyes for the second leg – a small price to pay for racing on a bright sun shiny, warm afternoon in Auckland. Once again Brent Foster managed to extract himself from the masses and came ashore solo in under 9 minutes. Tony Dodds and Dylan McNeice clocked 9 minutes and 4 seconds and were chasing down a quarter minute deficit as they charged through the transition and out onto the run course.

This week’s run was from St Heliers to Mission Bay and return, exactly the opposite to Race #4. What was exactly the same was a tailwind on the way out followed by a headwind all the way home. Two weeks ago Carmel Hanly couldn’t make any ground on the early swim leaders however this time she found the turbo button for her run legs and went straight to the front opening up a half minute lead by the end of the 4 kilometres for her second victory of the season. Next home and having her best Stroke & Stride result ever was Kirsty Wannan matching a strong run to her outstanding swim. Simone Ackermann claimed the other podium position ahead of Julia Scopes and Teresa Adam

Out on the run the men’s field was soon resembling the race a fortnight earlier with Brent Foster and Tony Dodds sparring at the front for the lead. Experience is a great asset and this time out Tony Dodds wasn’t going to hang around for any sprint finishes up any soft sanded beach as he proceeded to open up a 10 second buffer in the final kilometre. So for the fifth Stroke & Stride of the season Tony Dodds triumphs for the second time coming home comfortably in front of Brent Foster as the tables are turned. Third place was grabbed by James Elvery just ahead of Ryan Sissons matching his 4th place from the season opener and 10 seconds ahead of Dylan McNeice.

A few decisive positional changes are now apparent at the head of the Grand Prix points table. Some of the athletes have now done their maximum five from five races already and will look to score better placings in the next two events to further add to their total going into the final event. Others have done just three or four races at this stage and will hope to close on the leaders over the coming rounds. Her fine second placing today rewards Kirsty Wannan with the overall Series Grand Prix lead. The gap back to our defending Champion Carmel Hanly is a miniscule one point. Then there is the just two points separating Sophie Corbidge and Julia Scopes as they tussle for the third place. At first glance defending Series Champion Brent Foster’s 18 point lead looks huge and while it certainly is a healthy advantage to have in the bank it is by no means insurmountable and expect more challenges to come as we move into the business end of the season. Watch for Tony Dodds currently in second place and James Elvery in third to come out all guns blazing at Race #6. You shouldn’t discount Liam scopes in this one either.

The next event is on Tuesday, February 19th 2008.

Full results, points and further details can be viewed at


1 Carmel Hanly 26m 05s
2 Kirsty Wannan 26m 37s
3 Simone Ackermann 26m 50s
4 Julia Scopes 27m 28s
5 Teresa Adam 27m 40s
6 Anna Elvery 28m 06s
7 Jacqui Seebold 28m 21s
8 Belinda Harper 28m 52s
9 Jennifer Cooper 28m 57s
10 Marisa Carter 29m 02s

1 Tony Dodds 22m 39s
2 Brent Foster 22m 49s
3 James Elvery 23m 11s
4 Ryan Sissons 23m 15s
5 Dylan McNeice 23m 25s
6 Andrew Curtayne 23m 41s
7 James Upton 23m 47s
8 Liam Scopes 23m 50s
9 Glen Gore RSA 23m 56s
10 Lee Greer 24m 33s


1 Kirsty Wannan 71
2 Carmel Hanly 70
3 Sophie Corbidge 55
4 Julia Scopes 53
5 Simone Ackermann 49
6 Teresa Adam 43
7 Jacqui Seebold 34
8 Belinda Harper 29
9 Anna Elvery 28
10 Nicole Silver 25

1 Brent Foster 92
2 Tony Dodds 74
3 James Elvery 64
4 Liam Scopes 51
5 Will Green 41
6 Dylan McNeice 38
7 James Upton 35
8 Lee Greer 33
9 Ryan Sissons 29
10 Andrew Curtayne 21


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