The evening began with a raffle and panel discussion with Specialized and Trek. The audience had a lot of great questions, many of which pertained to aerodynamic, the easiest and cheapest ways to get free speed. Both Specialized and Trek agreed that the placement of water bottles, the use of more aero shaped water bottles vs. the typical round water bottles, and a good aero helmet were the most cost effective ways to gain speed by reducing drag. Of course, wheels and bike frame are two very important aspects to aerodynamics and free speed; however, they are the most important too. One very interesting note I learned while attending this discussion was, believe it or not, the straw on a front loaded water bottle creates more drag (if the straw is sticking out far) than the aero bottle itself. It is always fun to take a tide bit of information home.
Shortly after the specialist panel, there was a pro panel discussion. Once again the audience had great questions. My favorite was something along the lines of, what is the biggest mistake you have made during a race? Of course we all had something to add. Some of the stories consisted of grabbing the wrong bike, missing a turn bouy on the swim, making a flight a week before race week, grabbing someone elses wet suit, etc. We all have been there and done that, somehow, some way. For those of you who haven't, I'm sure you will. When the time comes, laugh and chalk it up to another day racing; you never know what can go wrong.
Overall, the event was successful and fun.