The much anticipated clash of the BVI triathlon titans in the eighth annual BVI X-Tri – between Michael “Balls of Steel” Ellis and Andrew “Tubes” Thompson – did not materialize after Ellis flatted early in the bike stage of the race. Having exited the swim 2 minutes and 15 seconds ahead of Thompson, Ellis was well-placed to repeat his 2011 victory; but that was not to be. Thompson romped home unchallenged with a final finish time of 50 minutes and 50 seconds having also set the fastest bike time of the day. Ellis had made it no secret that he intended to destroy Tubes’ 2009 record in his swan song event in the BVI; the target was 47 minutes and 27 seconds, Michael’s time last year was 48 minutes and 50 seconds.
Kay Reddy won the individual Ladies with a time of 1 hour, 9 minutes and 14 seconds, while a dream team of Antony Spencer, Alastair Abrehart and Adam Holdt won their category beating Deloitte 3 (Christian Pallai-Hernandez, Natasha Ruscheinski and Alston [tbc]) by just under three minutes.
The event started with a 600m, two-lap swim in Smuggler’s Cove which included a trademark sprint around a flag on the beach at the end of the first lap. A strong undertow combined with some light surf made the swim more challenging than expected.
Competitors then embarked on the five-mile bike circuit which saw them slog up the north side of Belmont Drive in a leg and lung destroying climb, followed by death-defying descent on the south side, before heading west around Steele Point and back to Smuggler’s Cove beach. A number of competitors in addition to Ellis were plagued by mechanical difficulties. The race finished with a two-mile run along Arawak Drive and back along Palm Drive.