An on-shore wind fighting against an outgoing tide made for choppy sea conditions at the fourth race of the Orca Swim Run series at Takapuna Beach.
But this didn't prevent a surprise winner emerging from the pack.
The shorter 500m swim was a welcome relief for the 70 starters, considering the prevailing weather conditions.
With the winner of the last race, Nick Berry, deciding to take a rest, the race seemed wide open for someone to steal.
And 21-year-old Alexi Petrie wasn't in the mood to miss this opportunity.
Petrie joined the North Harbour Triathlon Club at 15 and raced the swim run series for a couple of years before major surgery meant a two-year hiatus.
But on November 21 he raced as if he had never been away from the sport, powering his way up and down Takapuna Beach on the 5km run, heading off series leader, Stephen Farrell.
Petrie has assured the contenders for the overall title that he intends to race the rest of the series, as well as entering the Contact Energy triathlon races.
Westlake Girls' 15-year-old, Alana Lythe, continues to dominate the women's series and has her eyes set on the new plasma television for the series winner.
Lythe once again led from the front and looked comfortable coming out of the water and cruised along the sandy beach looking very assured among more senior athletes.
Race five, the last of 2012 before the break, is on December 5 over the same distances.
The organising club, North Harbour Triathlon Club, holds its summer barbecue function on December 15 at noon at Takapuna Beach reserve.
Prospective new members, including juniors, are all welcome.
Race six of the series, the first of 2013, is January 16.
- © Fairfax NZ News