I had the longest of the two loops first up. I probably took the wrong route choice to the first control, going north about the large building rather than taking what seems to be the faster south about route, but apart from that none of the controls caused any problems. After a number of technical fine navigation legs in the high school I set out off across the playing fields with a couple of very fast legs to 9 and 10. It is a measure of how tired I was that I burst out onto the playing field about 20 metres behind Allan, whom I had been outrunning all weekend, and left the playing fields a similar distance behind.
There was some confusion at the end of the first loop; we had been warned not to run down the finish chute but no mention had been made about needing to revisit the start triangle although that seems obvious now. By the time I got there someone had been stationed at control 16 to shout out instructions but I understand a number of people ran straight from 16 to 17 and were disqualified as a result. The second loop was much like the first but was mercifully shorter and I burst into the finish chute desperately looking for Hugh to see how much time he had gained on me. In fact, soon after punching at the finish I saw him starting the run around the tennis court and was relieved to see that I had gained another 34 seconds on him. John was running down the finish chute at the same time but of Brent there was no sign. As the seconds ticked away I began to think that maybe I would be gaining a place but he soon appeared. I took one and a half minutes out of his lead but had needed another 45 seconds to overtake him. Many minutes later, as the Senior Boys finished, Jonty came in with a time a mere eight seconds faster than me. Unfortunately, this gave him a 4 - 2 winning lead for the weekend.
Despite the feeling in my legs, I had mangaged to come second on the stage. This meant that during the weekend my races had resulted in a first, a second, a third, a fourth and two fifths and third overall. This was better than my expectations leading into Sprint the Bay and I was extremely satisfied with my weekend's work. STB has become one of the first events I plan each year and I look forward to returning for many years to come (despite worrying rumours that next year's might be the last). Many thanks to Duncan and Matt and all the organisers and helpers; please, please keep doing it.
Thanks also to Dwayne, Linda, Hayley, Maureen, Wendy and Alice for your company over the weekend, let's do it again next year!
A number of very good photographers were present at this and all the Sprint the Bay stages. Check out the album on Picassa here.
And for all the maps, not just mine, see the Sprint the Bay map page.