The first round of this year’s SILVA National League finished today with a mass start, Hagaby style course. The looping and splits promised to provide some great action for both competitors and spectators, while the theme for the weekend (and perhaps the season?) continued with the expected wins of Julian Dent and Hanny Allston.
Dent’s margin was over seven minutes. Simon Uppill took time out from competing to set courses for today’s race — with spectacular results. But it meant that second place was up for grabs amongst the male elite field. OA High Performance Manager Rob Preston broke clear of the pack to take the second podium place with Grant Bluett a minute behind in third.
Junior men ran the same course as the Seniors today — meaning a long day out in the field for many aspiring JWOC-ers. This didn’t phase Leon Keely, who placed 4th overall and first junior. Josh Blatchford was only 22 seconds behind Keely, with his best result in this sort of company placing 2nd junior (an indication of the tight leaderboard being that he placed 12th overall).
For the women, Allston’s victory was no less impressive than Dent’s — she found herself 5 minutes clear after just a 1 hour course. Second place in the women’s came down to sprint finish between Kathryn Ewels, Jasmine Neve and the evergreen Shannon Jones. Ewels took the honours, just managing to hold off Jasmine Neve with Jones only three seconds further back for fourth.
Belinda Lawford backed up her good results yesterday with victory in the Junior Girls, comfortably ahead of Sarah Buckerfield.