With many notable absences this year from the race and a change of date due to a total fire ban 3fidi failed to live up to its usual standard of gaining a podium spot.
The field was much larger than last year and placement at the start was very important. Two fidi teams were racing, Marty and Milly Brent (Ron’s daughter) and myself and Dayno (though racing under the colours of the Kowalskis as Alan Vogt was supposed to race).
Dayn and I placed ourselves behind the very experienced Garry James and got off to a great (very dusty) start avoiding poor Ed McDonald who crashed at the start. Marty and Milly, younger and a little less experienced, placed themselves behind too many gumbies and ate dust for too long.
Dayn and I managed to slowly picked off places without putting ourselves into the red zone. We were keeping pace with eventual mixed team winners Jenny Fay and her partner Cameron who were getting away on us on the fire roads (Dayno’s lack of Ainslies this year) but we were picking them off on the single track.
Whilst running second (around 20sec behind) in our category Dayno unfortunately got a slow leak at around the 35kms mark. First Dayn’s Co2 wouldn’t work then mine did but the tyre wouldn’t seal. So after trying to seal but to no avail, out came the tube and then we had to pump up it up. So we lost about 10 minutes and around 5 places (in our category) which we picked up 2 in the last section to finish 5th in 2.37.05 (34th overall), only 3 minutes behind 3rd and around 9mins behind 1st. Would have been close had we been able to stick with Jenny and Cameron.
Unfortunately Marty and Milly had a similar race though Milly had quite a few crashes. They managed to get up into 3rd place in their category before Marty got a flat tyre and they finished in a respectable time of 2.42.43 (also 5th in their category)
So law of averages won out again (Dayn’s first puncture in a race) but fun was had, be it a little bit dusty.
Tomorrow I’ll back up to represent the team at the first XC race of the year. I think all other regulars will be away too.
Hope your not missing us too much Bleeksie and Larkin!