Qualifying times in 2010 were generally faster than in 2009, across most age groups. And it was generally expected that qualifying times in 2011 would be even faster. Surprisingly, is actually was 'easier' to qualify for Kona in Ironman Florida this year, as indicated by slower qualifying times in nearly every age group.
Adding an additional element of surprise were qualifying times in age groups that actually offered fewer slots in 2011 compared to 2009. We would have expected notably faster qualifying times in M35-39, which lost 2 slots, but that was not the case.