The Buckinghams’ SLT Malibu verdict: Waves, sandy corners and upsets

Staff Reporter

Both Super League Triathlon Championship Series standings changed leaders after an action packed day of racing down in Malibu in the third round of the 2022 series. Mark “Bucko” Buckingham and Lucy Buckingham gave us their insights after the end of play…

Women’s race – Spivey wins at home

Both Mark and Lucy had plenty of praise for Taylor Spivey, who earned a well deserved victory in front of friends and family at home in California and has “been faultless over the past three races” according to Bucko.

The American capitalised on GTB’s costly crash to take the top spot not only on the day but also in the overall SLT Championship Series standings. In the pursuit style final stage, Spivey played her cards right and made the most of her surf experience, with Lucy highlighting that she “caught a really good wave and managed to get a bit of a gap, which she then held all the way and won”.

After her crash, the pair thought “GTB was in damage control” and that her experience of being in similar positions before will have been to her advantage as she managed to “hold her nerve” and in the end got the best result that she could in difficult circumstances, with her crash just going to show how important a perfectly executed race is in Super League.

Finally, both Mark and Lucy were really impressed with Jeanne Lehair. Speaking of the Team Rhinos athlete, Lucy mentioned that “she got that short chute in the swim and really showed her prowess in the water”, adding that “she is getting better in each race in the championship so far and I am excited to see what she is like in Toulouse”.

Men’s race – Wilde takes win

In the men’s race, series leader Matt Hauser was left bitterly disappointed after being eliminated in the first stage following a crash, having been out on the front of the bike. Whilst disappointing for the Aussie, his absence left room for some other athletes to work themselves up and make a real mark.

Race winner and new series leader Hayden Wilde once again impressed, taking the win ahead of first time podium finisher Shachar Sagiv, who stormed to an impressive second for the Cheetahs. Both Mark and Lucy were over the moon for the Israeli, with Lucy saying “I’m chuffed for Sagiv. I’ve seen him come up through the ranks and to see him get on the map in Super League racing is really great”.

Bucko was also keen to point out the impact the waves had on the race, stating that “I’d be interested to see what went on in that first 50m to the first buoy as Riddle managed to close the gap to the front in no time and it just goes to show how important hitting those waves right is”. Mark was also keen to highlight how much he liked the format and race location, with the conditions “making it exciting from the off, we liked the format and we liked the waves too”.

Finally, both Mark and Lucy were incredibly impressed with fellow Brit Dan Dixon, with the 20 year old finishing a series high of fourth to move himself into eighth overall after three races. Mark highlighted his the utility of his “really strong swim” and noted that whilst Dixon is making his debut in the 2022 Championship Series, this was a “standout performance” and he’s really “taking his opportunities”.

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