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Race Report: Totalsports Challenge

Totalsports Challenge, Kleinmond

1st | Surfski | Swim | Road Bike | Road Run | Paddle | Mtb | Beach Run

Dan Hugo, Totalsports Challenge 2014

Ah, it’s never smart to delay reports. I’m scratching memory with my eyes closed for details of twenty fourteen’s first event, the last addition of South Africa’s best multisport race.


Leaving Stellenbosch I commented to Flora, that the breathless morning was welcome and sweet to see. The Challenge has had to cancel the surfki leg in two of the past three years for safety. But not, it was messy in Gordon’s Bay with bent trees and grating sand. Paddle we did and it was horrific.


I’m not comfortable at sea during the best conditions, which this certainly was not. I gripped my paddle too tightly, fearing gusts would free it from my grasp. There was no shelter to be found against the rock faced coastline. During the first lap I saw multiple skis rescued by the NSRI boats, carting them back to the beach. To be honest, it was tense and survival like. The turn buoy had blown a kilometer off course by the time we returned towards it.


I dropped my blades, shed the life jacket and with relief grab my goggles and cap for the swim. My crew are silky smooth, they’ve had 8 years to rehearse. Having decided against a wetsuit, I braved water the water, in just my white shorts, much too cold numberswiki.com

for such revealing wear. Relief to be swimming versus paddling was all too brief, this was unplayable too.


By the Shiv mount my teeth were clattering up a racket. And only after the first real climb did I feel in control of my core again. It too was the moment where I felt settled and composed for the day. It was smooth from there on, especially not having Stuart Marais to dual with.

TSC - Shiv setup

Dan Hugo, Totalsports Challenge 2014

Dan Hugo, Totalsports Challenge 2014

Taking output a notch down on the road run meant I could feed, drink, and settle into a training day of sorts. Which considering I’ve broken down after the TSC previously, I was very grateful for. I nursed the next paddle at a windless Arabella and even the fynbos revival in the Koegelberg was noticed and appreciated.

Dan Hugo, Totalsports Challenge 2014

Closed out what seems to be the final Totalsports Challenge. My 8th finish at Kleinmond, and my 7th triumph. Richly colourful all those years. Thanks to all who contributed by hooting from the car and cheering at the hand overs. Thanks to mother dearest and her crews. Thanks to Stuart for two epic struggles.

And cheers to Totalsports and the eventing crews for producing an event that seemed tailored for me.

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