Yamba December 2022
The Breakers were at the top of the North Coast NSW Interclub series going into the Yamba triathlon after a fantastic show at the first Kingy tri, hooray! But as we headed to Yamba with a smaller team, we expected it would be tough to hold on to the lead.
Meanwhile, Charlie set himself up for a daunting day, as the start list had him in the Open category (surprisingly, the only category he had not been in so far!). AND the weather forecast looked sketchy.
Those who had come down Friday, woke to rain and strong winds on Saturday morning. The traditional course ride was called off and the equally traditional post-ride coffee/cake was bought forward.
The rain subsided a little, so we decided to walk the run (or at least the depressingly long break-wall section) via the farmers market for more pre-race carb loading. The rest of the morning’s entertainment was re-scheduled to include second hand book shopping, second hand vinyl shopping, shopping and more coffee.
Late morning, the sun peaked out for a few minutes and that was enough to encourage us to hurriedly get on our bikes and ride the course.
The team regrouped for the free community swim in the bay at 3pm, which was a great opportunity to test the course. Most of us opted for the 300m event, and young-ish Jaime and Nick entered the 750m swim. Conditions were pretty perfect with the breakwall protecting the bay from the strong southerly. The 750m swim went off first with Jaime announcing he’d be taking it easy. Two very swimmery-looking swimmers (broad shoulders, “AUS” on their swimmers – you get the idea) took an early lead and never looked like being caught. The female was impressively quick and came home strongly to claim first – we would see her again at the triathlon presos the next day taking out 1st in her age category. Jaime definitely had certainly taken it easy, as he only came in 3rd 😂 and Nick came in with the pack and, importantly, looked great crossing the line. Deb decided to hide in the bushes in order to get out of the 300m swim only to be called up via the load speaker. Thinking it was a trick to get her in the event she continued to hide until someone called out she'd won a prize. She shot out from the vegetation to claim her prize then ran off again. Nerida claimed the highlight of the 300m swim, reportedly talking to herself halfway round asking “where the fuck is the buoy”. Some of you newer members may not be aware that it is rare to hear Nerida swear during a swim. During the cycle and run is a different matter.
Our next planned events were registration and the latest Breakers team building exercise, Putting up the Team Marquee. This was very much a group activity and involved all members offering their ideas about the best way to go about this. Just 2 hours later, the marquee was up in a prime position, just before the finish line.
The team split into 2 groups for dinner. One group went for a civilised meal at Thai Payu (great meal BTW), where everyone (athletes and representatives of the Supporters Club) had the correct number of glasses of pre-race vino. And the other group partied the night away on Deb’s penthouse roof top terrace.
Race day arrived and the weather goddesses were looking kindly on us. There was barely any wind, no rain clouds in the sky, and a beautiful 21 degrees was forecast. Perfect sprinting weather.
Sandra was going into the race with less-than-ideal preparation having suffered a back injury a month or so before and then had the misfortune to be stranded on Lord Howe Island. So, she was aiming just to finish, and get points for the club.
Christie was travelling down on the day and making her debut in a full triathlon, having completed her induction at Kingy by coming first in her age category in the Tempta and 6th fastest female overall. As everyone knows, it is illegal to do 2 Temptas, so Christie gladly progressed to the sprint distance.
Conditions in the bay for the swim were perfect. No real swell and little current to contend with.
This was going to be a compact race as the time between the first and last wave was only 25 minutes. The Temptas were off first, followed by the Opens (by this time Charlie had seen the error of his ways and transferred to his correct age category – now there’s a first!). Then the young-ish men followed by the wise older gentlemen. The women were then going to chase the men. Fast times were therefore assured.
Fortunately, there were no major spills or injuries on the course.
A few mentions:
Not surprisingly Jaime was the first Breaker across the line in a blistering 1:05:45 and he came first in his category and 4th overall. BTW – the guy who won the 50-54 male category came in only 10 seconds behind Jaime!
Gracie just pipped Deb by 6 seconds to be the fastest Breaker female on the day, in a fantastic time of 1:24:07, and picking up her first 1st place in her age category.
It certainly appears that Yamba and Deb have a tough relationship. Last year she broke a bone in her foot on a tree root whilst running from the beach to transition (she still finished the race of course and came 2nd in her category). And this year, as she coming to the end of the race she totally missed the very large “Finish” sign and decided to veer right, back along the run course. Luckily the Byron Breakers Supporters Club (BBSC) were alert and shouted in unison “DEB YOU DUFFER YOU’VE MISSED THE FINISH”. Deb quickly turned back and turned into the finish area. We will of course never know whether Deb’s diversion cost her the 6 seconds between her and Gracie. I guess we now have to wait until South West Rocks to see who will win next in the Gracie-Deb Intraclub Series.
A second intraclub competition appears to brewing with Elize beating Robyn by a mere 3 seconds. Not content with such a slim lead, Elize headed to a secret training camp in Coffs straight after Yamba, where she posted a PB in the park run. I am sure Robyn will have already ramped up her training and we will see a stellar performance at South West Rocks. Let the games begin.
When I arrived back at the Team Marquee I surprised when the BBSC told me they were unsure whether they had seen Christie on the course. Understandably, given she had only recently started triathlons Christie had not yet invested in club kit. The BBSC told me they had been shouting encouragement at a woman in black who they thought was Christie, but she had not smiled back…ever. Later, when Christie returned to the marquee the mystery was revealed. The run course first heads away from the bay to a turnaround and then heads back to transition and the finish line area. At this point you are halfway. You then go out on to the ever so long breakwall to another turnaround and then head back to the finish line, but Christie did not know this so as she was heading to transition she saw the words “Finish” and thought “thank goodness it’s nearly over as I am just about to vomit”. She soon realised her mistake and was overheard muttering “Not happy Jan” (for young and non-Aussies– click here to be educated). So, with gritted determination, a sore calf and a tightly closed mouth, she headed past the Team Marquee on to the breakwall, totally oblivious to the BBSC’s shrieks of support (and that was just John).
Sandra, despite her sore back, not only bravely completed the course but came 3rd in her age group. That’s dedication to the Club.
Nerida and Pete as usual did themselves and the Breakers proud coming 1st in their respective age categories and beating a bunch of competitors less than half their age.
A mention must go to Graham Pill who won the 80-84 male age category and got the biggest cheer of the day at the presos. Allegedly he was later asked for his birth certificate because he looked way too fit for his age. Well done, Graham.
The Breakers had another fantastic event with many podium placings and brought home 27 out of a max of 30 points… Just enough to keep us at the top of the North Coast series (by 0.5 points!)
Team Results for Yamba
The next race is Trial Bay Triathlon at South West Rocks on 12 February. The ride leg is longer than normal at 26km and hillier than other courses, so pacing is important. But it’s a fantastic event and overall a lovely scenic course. And of course there will also be the 2nd game in the all-important Breaker Bowling Series 2022-2023, which Nick is currently and temporarily leading.
Roof top party