I had an ok start, and was sitting in 3rd place behind Alexa and Kirsty Holmes from Australia. Kirsty won the Thule Gate/Hotspot (head’s up to the race organiser’s who gave one of the 3 Spots to the Women’s field!). As we turned the final Thule spot, I tried to chase Kirsty down, and dropped Alexa in the process. Then we came up to the Shipping lane… The planned 45 minutes of grace time to cross the shipping lane given by the harbour master was unfortunalty cut short by the fact that the start was delayed. As I was getting close to Kirsty, a massive Ship was bearing down on us. The Police water boat sounded their alarm, meaning for us to stop paddling. Kirsty went for it, and just scraped in front of this massive boat. I wasn’t going to make it, so I had to wait, which was incredibly frustrating as the last few kay’s I had really worked hard to catch her, as well as drop the rest of the field. As I sat waiting next to this massive ship (surreal feeling, it really was huge!) I turned back to see the other girls catching up to me. When the ship finally passed, I looked ahead to see Kirsty at least 300m ahead of me!
I put the hammer down, and with some anger to fuel me, I managed to catch her after about 15 minutes. I then just concentrated on catching every little bump I could, and tried to open a gap on her. The conditions were really tough, no wind even after it was predicted to blow (just like the recent Knysna-Sedgefield race!) In hindsight, I think these conditions actually suit me quite well. I did a part of the race course on the Thursday before, and had picked a bad line that day. I made sure I made no mistakes this time, and had a much better course. I held on to win by 3’40, with Alexa also catching Kirsty Holmes, making it an SA 1-2.
Dubai is an amazing place, and the race was run really smoothly. The whole package was what made it so great for me, the vibe at the race venue-pool and deck chairs, meeting lots of new people, hanging with world’s best, and of course all the SA people living in Dubai. I will definitely be going back next year to defend my tile.
Thanks to my sponsors Epic, PVM, Adidas Eyewear, and Skins for all your support, as I would not have been able to go there without you on my team. Having a boat ready to race in over there helped me enormously, so thanks to Ian and Gavin for organising that for me! Epic are going all out with their team, making it definately one to watch. I will put photo’s up of the photo shoot we had in Dubai soon.
Also a big thanks to Scott amd Kym Clephane for hosting me, and to Hadyn and Maria for getting us into all the fun places in Dubai. And Jax and Lindi- you are the No.1 Supporters!