10 Feb 2009"Winners: Simone Ackermann and Ryan Sissons"

  • Mission Bay
  • |
  • Swim: 750 metre
  • |
  • Run: 4 kilometre
Helen O'shaugnessy & Tamaryn Venter & Lauren Roberts are off and running Tiare Lund with Rangitoto in the background

The fifth event in the 2XU Compression Stroke & Stride saw the Series shift to the wide-open spaces of Mission Bay for the first time this summer.  The other change of note was that perhaps our quota of blue sky days was used up in the first half of the season as today it was marauding dark clouds and patchy drizzle that confronted competitors as they made their way down to the beach.  However by the time of the race start it had lightened considerably and there was even the occasional burst of sunshine to remind us that we are in the middle of summer.

Auckland’s high temperatures and through the roof humidity made the harbour even more inviting than usual for an afternoon dip and the large women’s field were quickly into their work as they negotiated their way through the 750 metre swim.  Very little wind meant the swim conditions were rather benign with only an occasional sloppy chop to contend with on the back of the course.  This may have helped a sizeable group stay together at the head of field finally being lead into the beach by Rebecca Clarke in 10 minutes 15 seconds.  Hot on her toes came Germany’s Lena Brunkhorst and Whangarei’s Simone Ackermann with Tanya Dromgool, Anna Elvery and Sophie Corbidge also in touch.

The men’s field don’t get the luxury of pacing themselves during their swim leg as we can always count on one guy smacking it and going like a bat out of hell at the front.  For the umpteenth time in his career Brent Foster was leading the field and touching the sand in a smoking 8 minutes 38 seconds.  As the clock ticked over to 9 minutes the chasers arrived with Jersey’s Daniel Halksworth, Germany’s Hauke Horstmann and local lads Cameron Todd, James Upton, Ryan Sissons and Alex Smith all to the fore.

The 4 kilometre run was an out and back past the tree lined Kohimarama Bay with the turn at the corner of St Heliers Bay.  Runners could revel in the slight following wind for the first half and then in some cases pay the price when the apparently stronger head wind confronts them for the return.  When the leading women rounded the point and cme back into view with 400 metres to run it was now down to a three horse race with only a small hankie needed to cover our leading trio.  Inside the final 100 metres they move from pavement to sand underfoot and here Simone Ackermann made her push for victory and achieves a couple of metres break ahead of Sophie Corbidge and Lena Brunkhorst.  With all three sprinting down the beach they held these places to the line and Simone Ackermann collects her remarkable fourth victory for the season.  Sophie and Lena have got to pleased to get a top three finish in their first up race of the summer as was Tanya Dromgool recording her best finish ever crossing next and heading home Anna Elvery.

The men’s field were spotting Brent Foster half a minute heading out for their sprint around the bays and for anyone to overcome that handicap they would need to be on fire for the 4 kilometres. Turns out our victor from Race #2 Ryan Sissons was undeniably an incendiary device this afternoon as he scorched his way through the field and past our swim leader to repeat his victory over this mix of distances.  Brent Foster was deprived of the win but not by much while Daniel Halksworth’s best ever result got him the bronze ahead of James Upton and Hauke Horstmann.

That result for Ryan Sissons (1st, 2nd, 3rd & 1st) proved crucial as his winning score has allowed him to inch a solitary point clear of perennial defending champ Brent Foster (2nd, 1st, 2nd & 2nd).  James Upton (2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th & 4th) is secure as you can be with three races to run in third place ahead of William Curtayne (3rd, 4th & 1st) Sam Franklin (4th, 11th, 10th, 7th & 12th) and Liam Scopes (1st, 7th & 8th) with pressure mounting at the business end of the season.

If Simone Ackermann (1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd & 1st) is going to win four out of five starts then she is going to be leading the Series Grand Prix – no question.  The only discourse is how close anyone can get to her and that at the present time is an ample 31 points which is Teresa Adam’s (2nd, 2nd, 3rd & 3rd) tally holding her clear of Maddie Dillon (4th, 5th, 6th. 5th & 6th), Sarah Jack (3rd, 6th, 7th & 6th) and Jo Carrel (5th, 7th, 12th, 10th & 8th)



Ryan Sissons

22m    42s


Brent Foster

23m    03s


Daniel Halksworth        JSY

23m    17s


James Upton

23m    27s


Hauke Horstmann        GER

23m    40s


Cameron Todd

23m    43s


Alex Smith

23m    53s


Liam Scopes

24m    19s


Mark Bowstead

24m    21s


Alexi Petrie

24m    40s


Michael Poole

25m     32s


Sam Franklin        AUS

25m    39s


Tomas Mocek        CZE

25m    46s


Leon Drajer        ARG

25m    51s


Harry Dillon

25m    56s



Simone Ackermann

26m    14s


Sophie Corbidge        GBR

26m    19s


Lena Brunkhorst        GER

26m    23s


Tanya Dromgool

28m    14s


Anna Elvery

28m    38s


Maddie Dillon

28m    47s


Rebecca Clarke

28m    56s


Jo Carrel

29m    07s


Emily Roper

29m    12s


Kimberley Burke

29m    34s


Anna Hamilton

29m    38s


Tracey Trass

29m    43s


Fiona Eagles

29m    45s


Christina Corbidge        GBR

29m    51s


Julia Cree

29m    52s

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