Round 4 quicky
While I edit video & upload photos etc ...
A very quick report. Went for a 6 hour kayak on Saturday down the Yarra from Reserve Rd to Warrandyte (some rapids, some flat water)
- probably not the ideal preparation for Sunday's racing! Woke up on Sunday aching everywhere! It was a good kayak trip though ...
To loosen up, I did a warmup set of squats, 12 x 20kg, 8 x 60kg, 5 x 100kg, 2 x 140kg. Felt ok after that. Packed everything into Lucie's volvo and got to the track, set everything up with help from Dino, Em, Alex, Ann, David (thankyou for the cable ties!) and then everyone else that showed up. Warmed up on the track on 91.8", did a couple of windups to get the F200 line dialed in. Rode a reasonably good F200, it was a howling and gusty sou-easterly and everyone was slow, but I cranked out a 13.76 (52.33km/h), second fastest in B grade once the grading was done. Dino was down on his normal times, he only(!) rode a 13.75 (0.01s between us!), all of B grade was split by less than 0.4s - Dino fastest on 13.75, Peter Vlahos slowest with a 14.07.
I drew Peter Vlahos first, he's a track pursuit/enduro rider and a very promising junior (J19) who trains with Brad Robins, I knew what he wanted to do, go early ... I won the toss and lead, and did my best to keep him jammed up for the first lap, but I gave him too much room and he seized the opportunity at about 1.5laps and got a decent gap, I chased and caught him up the front straight but the damage was done and he had enough to hold me off, a close, but not close enough, finish, and he won very well. It was a long, long sprint and it hurt! Last 200, 14.08s (51.14km/h)
Next up I'm against Dino. Why are 1st and 2nd qualifiers racing in the heats? We need to fix the draw system so this doesn't happen, we're not exactly Federer and Nadal, but it should be such that if possible, the fastest two qualifiers in a grade don't race until the final, assuming they make it there of course ... The draw is done under a lot of time pressure, Dino and I need to get together and grind out some code to do it automatically for future, and build in some of these parameters. I think it's just too much to ask of a hand-draw that has to be done in 10 minutes, we need to improve the system for our volunteers who do that very difficult job.
Anyway, the race ... Dino's F200 was an aberation, I know he's faster than me by more than 0.01s. Take a punt and keep him guessing. Dino's got the lead and I initially move quickly up the bank to see if he'll let me take it off him, but he knows better than that, and so as we get to the southern bend I slow right down and Dino slows with me. At that point the plan was to either get him to jump early and tow me into the southerly headwind, or to steal the lead and hook him up for a drag race, his jump isn't dramatic so that might work. He slows too, and then we're side by side, I'm up the hill and he's given me room, coming off the bank we both jump at the same time, coming around the bend into the wind I drop onto his wheel to get out of the wind and I have a good draft, I've saved some matches, but I left it a little late to come off his wheel after almost ramming it as he came into the bend and I swerved a little sharply and wash off my precious momentum. Dino's still at full power and I know I can't catch him so I sit up and watch with 50m to go. Final 200m : 13.54s (53.18km/h)
Last race and I'm up against Jason Plowman. Jason's F200 was 13.96, but he rode a very unusual line and is faster than that. I had the lead and we rode slowly for most of the first lap. I gave Jason way too much room and he rode up and over at the southern corner, and he stayed high, I got onto his wheel into the wind, but again left it too late to come past and he got me by half a wheel. Final 200 : 13.72s (52.48km/h)
So, the summary (all to familiar!) - I got a F200 time I was happy with, but lost all my match sprints. Dino went to to win B grade comfortably from Jason, and Peter Vlahos got a solid 4th. Lucie got some great photos, the team running the day worked brilliantly and everyone left happy. All I need to do is win a sprint every now and then!