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This was the second time I did Hawaii, and it hit me the first day we arrived, it was hot, very hot. Jean Moureau told me the conditions were mild last year, and I was learning just that. Once my bike arrived (two days late), I went for a ride, and close to Waikoloa Village, the wind was blowing really hard. I mean, really hard, you had to push to go downhill. I personally like it when race conditions are hard, so I hoped it would stay. And it did.

Come race day, you could feel the anxiety in the air. I got into the water and put myself close to the left edge of the starting line, with a few rows in front of me. That may not have been a very smart decision, as I should just learn to deal with these swim starts, I just hate being swum over etc. At least when you start to far back, the chances of having someone swimming over you are minimal (yes, I try not to hinder the other swimmers either - we have all trained hard and we all want to do a super race.

The start of the swim went quite well. I was slowly passing people all the time. However, the last couple of hundred meters before the turning point were somewhat less. I was drifting a bit to the side and it looked as if I was slowing down. After the turning point, my stroke was getting more powerful and I have been able to move up into the field a lot more, passing one or two groups of swimmers. I got out of the water in 1:00:21. A little bit slower than last year, but no complaints...

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