Super League Mallorca: Slot Draws!
The Friday before a Super League Triathlon Championship Weekend is never a dull affair. This weekend it was even more exciting than ever before, as we had two legends of the sport helping with both the Slot Draw for Saturday’s racing, and the Heat Allocation for Sunday morning.
During the Slot Draw the athletes, in ranking order, take it in turns to pick names out of the hat, assigning starting positions to their competitors. This weekend we are reliably informed that due to the nature of the current, being right to left, the higher numbers will give the easier starting positions.
Vincent Luis was up first, and the first name he drew was his own! This is becoming a staple of SLT, with the leading athletes picking their own names, and Luis took the opportunity to put himself in the relative safety of Slot 20. Henri Schoeman was drawn later in the process by Hayden Wilde, and placed in Slot 3. Not an ideal starting position for the best swimmer in the men’s field, but Wilde stated they had bonded in Malta, and he now refers to Schoeman as the Maltese Swordfish!
Third place athlete Richard Murray was another to draw his own name out of the hat, but instead of giving himself a higher number decided to go low. Murray gave himself Slot 2 right next to Schoeman, so maybe he’ll be looking for a draft as they enter the water.
Jonny Brownlee was given Slot 11, so will be fighting his way through the middle of the field to find the leaders, but his issues don’t end there. His bike didn’t arrive on his flight so he’ll be using his brother Alistair’s…is it the right size? I’m sure he’ll make do, but it’s not an ideal start for the fourth place athlete.
On the women’s side Katie Zaferes had to wait until this final selection to find out where she was going to be placed, being selected by Joanna Brown, and given Slot 15. Not the best, but not the worst for our Championship leader. Zaferes did however pick Kirstin Kasper as her first selection, not holding back when it came to dishing out punishment, Kasper will start from Slot 1. Considered the hardest place to be, she’ll have work to do.
Summer Cook was the third athlete to do her selections, and picked Rachel Klamer, placing Klamer into Slot 5, giving the fourth place contender an uphill battle. Klamer was quick to get her own back as she immediately pulled Cook out of the hat. Klamer enacted swift justice giving Cook Slot 3, two down, and fighting the currents.
Javier Gomez was quick to comment about the draw.
“Everyone on the men’s side were so nice to each other which was disappointing. Vincent was lucky to choose himself as he now has the best position.”
Following the Slot Draw Mario Mola and Javier Gomez took it in turns to select the athletes for Heat 1 and Heat 2 on Sunday morning.
Both Heat 1 and Heat 2 will be raced early on Sunday with the top four athletes going through to the Sprint Enduro on the Sunday afternoon. Alongside the top four from each we will also pick the two other fastest remaining athletes from the rest of the field to go through.
The men’s field went first with a clear split between the top end of the field and the bottom. Heat 1’s highest placed athlete is Jonny Brownlee with the rest of the athletes being selected from down the lower end of the field. Heat 2 contains some big names along the lines of, Vincent Luis, Henri Schoeman, Richard Murray, and Hayden Wilde. Heat 2 will see a real scrap to get those top four qualification slots for the race later in the day, with Heat 1 giving some of the lower placed athletes the chance to get through.
The women’s field was a more evenly spread, but three of the top four placed female athletes did end up in Heat 1. Leaving only Summer Cook from the top four in Heat 2. Katie Zaferes, Kirsten Kasper, and Rachel Klamer will all be battling it out in Heat 1 to ensure they get a spot in the main race.
An exciting way to kick off the Sunday means even more racing for you to enjoy, and as always with SLT you never know what is going to happen, we could see the field turned on its head!
With the fun of Friday over it’s race day next, strap in, and let us take you on a journey of sweat, grit, and determination as some of the world greatest endurance athletes fight it out for victory on the first Malloca based Championship Weekend!