Lion Island Challenge
The morning of the race was the same as every other year, cold. I don’t know how it works but Round 1 is always warm and round 2 is always cold, time to bring out the thermals.
I got up early this morning to do a 10km warm up with Peter from my paddle clinics, Peter is training to do the Hawkesbury Classic in a couple of weeks. A 111km race over night, call me crazy but not my kind of race. The competitors that do do it though are tough, I take my hat off to them because it is a race that I don’t have on my bucket list. Too far, too cold, night time (time for sleep), too much time sitting down on my craft……too many excuses from me, maybe I’m not tough enough! Probably.
The Lion Island race had a hot spot 800m off the start but no one was going to get past Murray Stewart, I was sitting behind him on his wash up to the hot spot paddling my arms off and I could tell he still had 2 more gears to go up if anyone challenged him, it’s his.
That was the only time that I had someone in front of me in this race. After Murray had won his cash, I took the lead and straight away felt the bumps under my Nelo ski and decided to push. It is not often that I have a fast start and am up there but the longer warm up really helped and I got comfortable really quickly in the race.
The water was moving nicely around Barrenjoey Headland and I had bumps under me the whole way down to South Palm Beach and the turning buoy.
The course for this race is always a good one as there is lots of backwash which links up with the wind chop and swell and allows you to really use the conditions in your favour no matter what direction the wind or swell is coming from.
Don’t fight the ocean, use the conditions to your best advantage, there is always something to give you a push or lift in the direction you want to go in.
My lead kept extending and it was surprising to see that the rest of the field was so far back, but again great for me as it gives me more confidence in my training program and ability.
A great race and well done to all that competed.