Ford Samoa Warrior 2016 is done and dusted. Different race but the same story – Darren Young is the Winner, for the second year in a row.
He is now the only champion to defend his title. And he did it in fighting style.
At 6.30 the gun went for the 2km in the Lalomanu lagoon. The strong currents of the lagoon were a little less obvious in the low tide of the swim but that did not lessen the difficulty level. Swimmers found it challenging nevertheless, evident by the overly longer times for the 2km distance.
In the individual race, first out of the water was Victorian Vince Sesto, second was Darren by sizeable deficit. Sesto increased that lead in the first two laps of the bike, Amaile to Aufaga, sailing free and fast downwind and cocoon like against it. The wind was a big factor there is no question about that. Usually the wind comes up mid morning, but this Saturday morning it rose before the dawn, and blew all through the race. At times, in gusts that would discourage most riders, but those were Warriors worthy of the name.
Sesto in front and Young chasing, then the usual curse of these races took over when Sesto sustained two flatties, one in the front tyre the other in the back tyre. That was the race done for Sesto. Young took over the lead but not before lending a helping hand to his opponent. He gave over his only spare tube to the Victorian. Now, Young was not going to relinquish the lead to anyone. His strongest discipline was ahead of him - the run. Sesto’s strongest claim is in the bike and swim, which is now in the past.
Young had a 10 minute head start in the run, and that increased to 12 minutes by the end of the race.
Darren Young can now take back the Warrior Trophy he has held for the last twelve months. He is a worthy Warrior, for another year.