by JP Tobin
JP Tobin leads Tom Ashley in the closing stages of the first race - Sail Auckland - 2011 - Day 2
Top NZ windsurfer, JP Tobin reports on The Dual 2011:
Five o’clock wakeup call, rain, wind, mud…whats not to love about The Dual 2011.
Following a roughish ferry ride out to Home Bay, Motutapu the stage was again uniquely set for an amazing race, conditions were very different in 2011 than in the previous two years with the course a little more fluid in texture, so much so the Kaenon’s were needed and it wasn’t because of the sun.
The pace was on from the start with the lead trio of Richard Ussher (multisport machine) Thomas Reynolds (defending champion) and myself forming on the climb out of Home Bay…after a busy summer on the board during which riding has been pretty low key the pace was getting a little too hot…as I eased up on the pedals slightly to make sure finishing was still an option Ussher bolted…very impressive to watch one of the best multisport athletes on the planet in action, even if it was only for a few kilometers.
At around the 35 km mark the leg’s were done for the day with the Motutapu section of the race proving to be the game, the wet grass tracks making sure any plans I had of chasing down Thomas who had been in constant view up to this point purely theoretical.
Over the final 15 km’s to the finish I was crawling giving away over 6 minutes to Thomas and who knows how many to Richard…all said I was pretty happy to see the line.
With the Cannondale in pieces I was super stoked with the performance of the Niner Air 9 courtesy of Niner NZ as well as the speedy recovery provided by 2XU Compression.
On the ferry back to Devonport I was invited to take a seat, I quickly realized the invitation was from the current Mayor of Auckland Len Brown we discussed a few interesting projects that Auckland has on the go at the moment including the National Ocean Water Sports Center a huge project which I am looking forward to see completed.
Full on period of training on the board with a mid April departure for Hyeres, France for the French World Cup, from France it is on to Weymouth, U.K to build into the British World Cup which is my first opportunity to gain selection for the 2012 London Olympic Games.