I didn't hear about the extra support not being able to make it to the swim until after the race, so I was a bit surprised and disappointed when they announced the swim being shortened. Looking out through the docks, everything looked fine, but I couldn't see the open area of the harbor. Even swimming out through the protected dock area, everything was fine and I was like wtf. Then I turned the corner into the open harbor and I started to understand. I don't have a lot of open water experience, so I don't know how it compares to other tough swim conditions, but it seemed pretty rough to me. I swallowed a decent bit of water and had trouble sighting the buoy. It was only about 200m in the chop before turning back to shore. I never felt unsafe, and believe I would have been fine for the full swim, but it would have been a real tough swim.
The 20 minutes I saved on the swim was added to back on the bike, due to the high wind. The bike course itself was fine, in my opinion, but the headwind was brutal. It also was not as flat as I had anticipated. There were no actual hills, but quite a few "Florida hills" (overpasses). Combine that with the wind and it was not a fast bike course. The run was cool and there were a few spectators, but not the most spectator friendly course.
I enjoyed the race, but I enjoy pretty much every race I do. My wife's brother lives in New Orleans, so her family came down and they had a great weekend. I really only went out on Sunday night, but had a great time Sunday, good music, good food, good people watching.
This is the last year of the race, so whether I'd do it or not is a moot point, but I feel like I enjoyed the race more than the consensus opinion of it.