The sun shone all day on the nearly 900 competitors who took on the brand new map at Blackwood. The terrain had complex gold mining and the winners were those who ran free of mistakes. The Women’s elite was a battle of “young legs” versus “old heads. Grace Crane was leading to the 14th control but 18 year old Kaia Joergensen ran clean from there and won by nearly a minute with Caitlin Young third. Alistair George had a great fast half and was in the lead as he caught Simon Uppill who finished third. Aston Key overtook Alistair with 6 controls to go and held his form to win. In the Junior men’s elite New Zealand’s Zefa Fa’aeve has an almost perfect race and had the fastest /km rate of the day. Alvin Craig and Ewan Shingler were over three minutes behind. The New Zealander got another win in W20E with Rachel Baker two minutes clear of Tasmanian Mikayla Cooper and Zara Stewart from Auckland third.
In the junior ranks, the Dent family had three wins with Layla, Hayden and Elye winning and brother Connor a second. The biggest winners included Marina Iskhakova winning by over 8 minutes in women’s 40 and Alastair Cory-Wright winning M55 by 9 minutes but Trevor Sauer won M80 by over 10 minutes., the tightest tussle was Craig Dufty pipping Carsten Joergensen by only 21 seconds. Everyone seemed to enjoy the challenge of the map and many took on the ford but only Grant Bluett go neck-deep in the river where he won the 5m breaststroke event.