Day 2 of the Ultimax 5 days saw competitors return to Kahli’s Rocks but venture into different terrain with a different format. All classes had mass starts with ‘A’ classes also having hageby style loops. That is two loops beginning and ending at central pivot control with half the field doing each loop then swapping. The last 4 controls were common allowing for a spectacular finish.
The long first leg spread the 80+ men’s field with NZ’s Ross Morrison taking the award for first there to the control. Many of the favourites were on the same looping and were battling strongly until Julian Dent made a mistake taking Kerrin Rattray with him. At this point Carsten Jorgensen took the lead opening up a gap over Dave Shepherd and fellow Dane Rune Olsen. With a small lead Carsten chose the safe route around the clearing to the second-last control and Dave and Rune pounced. Dave was slightly ahead of Rune heading up to the last control while the spectators were treated to a ding-dong battle. As they jumped the fence Rune drew alongside using his superior speed and had the better approach to punch the last control first and secure the victory. Carsten came in third with a trio of juniors taking 4th, 5th and 6th. Czech Jan Benes, Danish hopeful Christian Bobach and Aussie JWOC gun Simon Uphill.
Susanne Casanova looked set to take a comfortable victory in the women’s class with a 1 ½ minute lead with three controls to go. It all came unstuck however when, at the next control, an error allowed Norwegian Guro Flatekval to get a sniff of the lead. The mistake seemed to dampen Susanne’s pace and Guro was able to sneak ahead to finish three seconds ahead. Day 1 winner, Grace Elson, had a break earlier in the race but got lost amongst the rocks and blew any chance of a double. She showed her class however in recovering to third place. Jasmine Neve was next with NZ’s Lizzie Ingham leading a big group to come 5th ahead of Anna Sheldon.
Gumble Creek played host to Day 3, a middle distance set by Dave Shepherd. Competitors were immediately thrown into technical granite with low-visibility undergrowth and it took some early victims. Julian Dent was out of the blocks fast and had the lead before he made a two-minute error allowing Swede Mats Troeng to pounce. He didn’t relinquish the lead and held on for a 30 second victory. Dent in second was 1:15 ahead of current Junior World Champion Saaren Bobach who was very fast but lost small amounts of time at a number of controls.
Jasmine Neve came out firing as she raced to the lead over the first three legs, it was short lived though as she lost 40 seconds at the fourth dropping her down the field. The ever present Grace Elson was there to take the lead and was looking good for the win when a lapse in concentration cost her two minutes and Mali Fjogstad Nilsen flew home for a 25 second victory
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