Acker fears best teams

The first of three Stroke and Strides start today and defending champion Marius Acker knows it will be tough to be first home.


Acker has to beat two strong teams. Photo: Ron Shillingford

Although the South African banker is likely to win the individual event, toughest opposition is likely to come from the team duo of Jasper Mikkelsen and Dave Walker.

Tonight’s event is from Sunset House starting at 5.45pm. The series, sponsored by Ogier, starts with a 400 metre swim followed by a two-mile run every time. Next Wednesday the swim is 600m and the final one is an 800m swim.

Acker, 37, won the series in 2006. He was injured in 2007 when injured in a freak touch rugby incident.

‘Jasper is preparing for the Ironman so does longer training sessions,’ said Acker. ‘Stroke and stride is too short for his preparations.

‘Jasper should be just behind me out of the water or maybe even just ahead. In recent sea swim training he has put some distance between us and I struggled to keep up with him.

‘Dave will have fresh legs so if I am ahead out of the water I expect him to run me down.

‘Also when Jasper tags Dave it will be a straight dash for the line, they don’t need to put on shoes so the transition will be key. On current form I would give Dave the edge.

‘Beth Schreader and Seiji Groome have combined. They are the team defending champs and I think Dave and Jasper might dethrone this brilliant mixed team.

‘Individual challenges should come from the stronger swimmers. Unfortunately Scott Brittain is not competing due to injury but there is always the unknown.

‘The swim squad kids are improving leaps and bounds and I won’t be surprised if one of them wins it one of these days.