I had been eyeing this race as it was one that i thought would suit me well, with a small field and what I thought was a flat course all around. I didn't do my research all that well, the bike was flat, but the run was anything but flat. It ended up being a really small field of 7, which suited me well as there were no packs on the bike and it let me use that to my strength.
Probably one of the best swims to date for me. The course started out into a current and I was able to hang on to the feet of the "chase pack". Ryan Fisher took the swim out really fast and opened up a gap and was off the front solo. I ended up in a group with Nick Baldwin, Mitch Robins, and Ritchie Nicholls. I stayed with them until the half way point and lost contact just around the furthest turn buoy and swam solo the whole way back. I ended up losing about 20secs to them, but was really happy with how the swim played out and left me close to the front of the race out of transition, which is rare for me.
This is by far the most technical bike course I have ridden, not the ideal course for my riding style, but I was still happy with how I rode. For reference, the course has 4x ~10mi loops which has four U-Turns and eight 90* turns, then in the last 16 miles it has 22, 90* turns and 8 U-Turns. So needless to say it is really hard to find a rhythm, it is constantly accelerating and braking.
Within the first lap I was able to pass Nick and Mitch and pull into 2nd position. I slowly put time into them and was losing a bit of time to Ryan early on, but not much. Over the last 16 miles he put 2.5mins into me and came into T2 with roughly a 6 minute lead.
Coming out of T2 in 2nd place gave me a bit of confidence, but I knew Mitch and Nick would be charging hard. I knew they were both solid runners and that I would have my work cut out for me to stay away. I had a little over 2min gap on them, but they closed that down just around 10k and quickly ran away from me. The run course was technical, hilly and one of the harder courses I have raced on. I was able to hold onto 4th and finished comfortably there.