… Party at the house went down well, with over a hundred guests including Catriona Morrison (“the Hawaii bike leg is just so bloody boring”), Rebekah Keat – who got her hands on, and her body in, the new PZ3 swimsuit from Blue Seventy. Watching the potential pretender to Chrissie’s throne trying it out in a 10m pool was quite something – Ain Alar Johanson, and the entire Team TBB lot, minus the Baylisses.
Chrissie was also a no-show, preferring to keep a low profile this week in the lead-up to Saturday’s race.
Five hours later and we were up again. Myself and Daisy, Maarten van der Weijden’s girlfriend, played Blue Seventy PR girls for the day, handing out goggles to athletes swimming out to the boat in the morning warm-up. Having forgotten sunscreen, and this being Hawaii, with temperatures hitting the early twenties at about 7am, I returned to shore resembling… well, a Brit.
Glowing like a beacon at the press conference, a few hours later, it wasn’t hard for Chrissie to spot me in the crowd, all smiles as usual! Her not me – I was struggling to make facial expressions. Sitting next to her was Craig Alexander, then Eneko Llanos and Terrenzo Bozzone (who when asked what he thought of swimskins in the sport, and everyone else had given their mostly positive answers, he simply replied “You know what, I really don’t give a shit”), and to her left, Yvonne van Vlerken (who agreed that this year she would spend less time watching the fishes during her swim). (More to come from the press conference in a News item).
Straight out of there into an interview with Kit Stokes and Jo Carritt (both pictured, above), who you may remember us featuring in issue 239, about their build-up to Kona. Again, more to come from that shortly.
By now I was just talking in my sleep. Mumbling the odd sound at Kit and Jo, who thankfully were more than happy to talk among themselves, as the lobster with the dictaphone struggled to keep its eyes open, let alone form sentences.
One more appointment with Zoot and I was free to head indoors. By now I looked as though I could direct planes in to land, so I went on the hunt for a taxi – Kona doesn’t seem to have them – to take me back to the house as everyone else was busy doing Blue Seventy things, or visiting the other side of the island – a trip I turned down to do work (James, hope you’re reading this!). Taxi hunt unsuccessful, total collapse from heat exhaustion imminent, Kit came to my rescue. Unfortunately not knowing where the hell I was staying in relation to the place we’d met, I got us lost. But nice way to see the island!
Finally got back, ice pack on face, and now fighting the sleep demons. Must stay awake!
Photos: Jonny Gawler