This year, the Ho’ala swim is held six days before the Kona race on the swim course. There are slight changes towards the end, the finish is on the small beach at the King Kam hotel instead of back on “Dig Me Beach”, usually resulting in slightly quicker times compared to the Kona swim. It is used by a lot of athletes as an excellent open-water training session, the table below shows just the Kona Pros that I have been able to identify in the results, comparing their times in this year’s swim, their expected swim times for this year’s Ironman race (plus the difference, usually faster) and the same results (as long as they are available) for last year’s Ho’ala swim and Ironman Hawaii swim. (There were probably a few more Pros in the swim, for example, Matt Hanson and Matt Russell posted about their swims.)
- On average, the Kona Pros swam about three minutes quicker than their “expected swim times” for Kona.
- The first three athletes swam a time that would have been under the current male Kona swim course record (46:29 by Jan Sibbersen). There were two more age-groupers between Alistair and Josh.
- With Ali beating Josh, it’s likely he is going to be a front group swimmer next Saturday, probably coming out of the water in a potential Amberger/Frodeno group. As expected, Daniel Baekkegard might also be in that group.
- Another interesting data point is that Lionel Sanders was about 30 seconds in front of Cam Wurf – that would create an interesting dynamic in the Ironman race.
- Lucy Charles was on the start list and posted on Instagram that she was looking for a re-match with Josh, but in the end she did not race (neither did husband Reece Barclay).
- In the absence of Lucy, the fastest female Pro was Sarah Crowley who had a great swim (6 minutes quicker than seeded). Other good swims (relative to the expected swims) were by Jen Annett (5:30 quicker), Nikki Bartlett and Els Visser (about 5 minutes quicker). There were quite a few female Pros with great swims, they might have benefitted from the bigger swim groups.
|Athlete||Ho’ola Swim||Expected Swim||Faster By||2018 Ho’ola||2018 Race|
|Gurutze Frades Larralde||01:01:52||01:05:47||00:03:55||01:03:02||01:05:03|