A glorious day and setting for the Australian Sprint championships – day 6 and race 7 of the 8 day carnival. The lawns of Salesian College in front of the magnificent Rupertswood mansion provided a fitting back drop to some great racing. Mapper Geoff Adams and co-course setter Clare Brownridge predicted that “young fast legs” would beat old heads and they were right. Alvin Craig was an early favourite on the course and the first to break 14 minutes and it looked like the time to beat. Ewan Shingler started much later and had a three second lead at 14 but Alvin had five strong finishing legs to win by eight seconds – one of the tightest races with Sam Woolford third. The W20E looked like Nea Shingler’s as she led by twenty-five seconds with only three minutes running left, but a mistake at 15 opened the door to NZ’s Zara Stewart, Molly McGowan and Kaia Joergensen to get a kiwi trifector! Millay Key finished fourth to be leading Australian.
In the women’s elite, Maria Prieto from Spain led from the second control and was never headed. Her time beat all the junior elites and she was 16 seconds clear of a strong Caitlin Young who was half a minute clear of local Asha Steer. In the Men’s Elite Aston Key was a hot favourite. He and Patrick Jaffe were over thirty seconds clear by half way and Aston was a second or two faster on many controls and won by 24 seconds with Angus Haines a further 39 seconds behind Patrick.
In the juniors the Dent brothers Hayden and Elye won M12 and M14 with Ella Clauson winning W12 and Zara toes winning M14 for NZ. Cooper Horley in M16 had a win by only 6 seconds. There were lots of Victorian winners including Daniel Stott and Hana Lada in 35’s, Bruce Arthur in M45 and Tim Hatley in M60. Alison Radford had the biggest win by 1m22 in W70 and Alex Tarr had a great win in M80.