David Fisher in HoS:
In a year of mismatched and painful political races, tomorrow’s is likely to be the silliest.
The blogger known as Whaleoil will face off against the “bovver boy” of the Labour Party in a 60-kilometre bicycle race in Auckland’s eastern suburbs.
In a sport often called “chess on wheels”, the bike race between Cameron ‘Whaleoil’ Slater and Trevor ‘Duck’ Mallard will hear little mention of the word “mate'”.
There is mutual loathing.
That’s a little tough. More opponents than enemies.
The contest came after Slater goaded Mallard by calling him “cripple” over his badly broken leg.
The elder statesman of the Labour Party lashed back, calling the comfortably-padded Slater “blubber boy'”.
“I bet he is too chicken,” Mallard said.
Well, he did accept.
It is worth remembering that Trevor did challenge Whale and call him chicken. So Whale had little choice but to accept.
And Slater – known for obsessively hounding issues – has turned his compulsive nature to the race and cycled about 15kg off his frame.
Best thing Labour has ever done for Cameron.
Slater, who Mallard calls an “obsessive character”, is relentless.
“He is a cripple. And he’s running a crippled campaign.'”
Slater has been in training and, as his physical fitness improved, so did his mental health.
Slater had publicly struggled with depression, and credits getting off anti-depressants, good vitamin B levels and a good diet with the improvement.
I should see if Trevor would challenge me to a half marathon – could be just the motivation I need
Otago University zoologist Philip Seddon said whales in the wild would always be faster than ducks.
“Almost whatever kind of whale you thought about,” he says.
Seddon – who runs the university’s Wildlife Management Programme – said smaller whales were faster.
Slater’s time could, perhaps, dictate whether the blogger was truly small and dangerous.
“Maybe he’s an orca… a killer whale,” said Seddon.
I love how they went to a zoologist for a comment!
The race starts at 1.30pm tomorrow, at Musick Point reserve at Auckland’s Buckland Beach.
If you’re up in Auckland go along to view the fun!