Whilst I was gutted to have not been down in Busselton this last weekend for the 2011 Busselton Half Ironman, I've received some great reports back about how people went at the race.
All told, we had 46 members of the swim squad racing down in Busselton, with a very notable result coming from Guy Crawford in the PRO wave who had the fastest swim split of the day and 1200+ competitors and then went onto record a staggering 2:08 bike split, leading onto the run and eventually finishing 6th overall. A mightily impressive result! How did he do it? Well, his albatross-like arms may have helped somewhat - see:
Also check out Guy's race report and photos here:
Apparently the swim conditions were a little lumpy out there. This is what Guy had to say about how he modified his stroke based on a 1-2-1 session we did together 3 weeks ago:
"I lifted my head heaps so my feet were a bit lower in the water..., tryed to increase my stroke rate and concentrated on my hands.... 3 things.. Hands, feet, stroke rate and i felt awesome.. i was swimming hard, but ready to go if some-one came round me.. just had that extra gear... Bryan Rhodes sat on my feet for the whole swim..."
Guy is a bit of a Kicktastic / Smooth which means that in a wetsuit he has a tendency to feel a little too high at the back and feels a slight loss in coordination and power from his kick if the wetsuit lifts him too high out of the water. In an email from Shelley Taylor-Smith who raced as part of a charity team, she also commented that her wetsuit made her incredibly buoyant. For these super-star swimmers, there is a danger of having too much buoyancy in a wetsuit and as such they have to adjust their strokes accordingly. For Guy this meant looking a further forward to bring his legs down a bit. He also elevated his stroke rate to give more fluidity and rhythm to his normally very long stroke which helped in the lumpy waters.
Anna-lee Hazell also had a fantastic swim to come out of the water in 26 minutes and record a big PB. Whilst Anna-lee thinks of her stroke as being somewhat "silly" and high tempo, it is very well suited to rougher open water conditions. Like Shelley, Anna-lee swims with what we affectionately call the Swinger style, as is the case with most of the world's top open water and triathlon swimmers.
Whilst these guys often feel that the wetsuit lifts them a little too high, three swimmers from the squad in particular had great swims because of the lift that they gave them: Stuart Murray (35 mins), Mark Dutton (38 mins) and Darryn Sargant (41 mins). Just two weeks ago we looked at Darryn's stroke in the pool with and without his Blue Seventy Axis wetsuit and the results were staggering: 23 seconds per 100m (!) faster in the suit!! This equates to being +7 mins faster in the suit over the Half Ironman distance, which is a tremendous effort. All three swimmers have a little bit of Arnie in them, meaning that they gain massive amounts from the floatation of a wetsuit to help overcome their normally sinky legs.
Everyone's results from the squad can now be seen here:
...and if you'd like the Excel version, go to:
...as this contains the HTML links to each athlete (by clicking on their name) so as to see their full splits including transitions and also their individual race photos.
Enjoy and see you all soon!
P.S The Clinics over here are going exceedingly well thanks. 4 down and 6 to go...we're even managing to get a good bit of our own training in too which is a bonus!