Heaton too hot to handle

Thomas Heaton was a clear winner of last night’s longer swim, held against a backdrop of snow on the hills.

Thomas Heaton was a clear winner of last night’s longer swim, held against a backdrop of snow on the hills.

The snow continues to cloak the ranges to the west, the sea hasn't had much chance to warm up, but that didn't deter the 169 starters who entered race two of the Port Nelson sea swim series from the Nelson Yacht Club.

Swimmers took on a tough swim of about a kilometre, swinging south before rounding the navigation 'dolphin', then returning into the current and a slight chop.

Thomas Heaton stamped his authority on the race again, stretching out his lead on the long slog home to the yacht club ramp.

He covered the distance in 10 minutes 53 seconds. Luke Kelly was second in 11min 28sec.

Kaiori McGuinniety (11.58) and Hayden Squance (11.59) fought all the way to the end, reversing their result of last week.

Jody Keefe-Laing, Matai McGuinniety, Simon Kneebone and Terry Bone led home the first woman, Caitlin Delany (12.33).

Talya Harwood, Pip Dwyer and Libby Neill continued the female under-16 dominance, which was broken by Britta Martin, the first F30-39 swimmer.

Kerry Mathieson was first in F40-49 as she took the sixth woman's spot ahead of F50-59 leader Christina Harris.

Megan Falloon had a clear win in F20-29, while Margaret Johnston was quickest in F60+.

In the men's age groups, Matthew Hansen finished 10th overall to lead M30-39, while Kneebone and Bone wrapped up M40-49.

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Hamish Neill was 12th overall, two places ahead of Denis Cooper, the pair dominating M50-59, while Ben Van Dyke (M60-69) and Derek Eaton (M70+) were unchallenged in their age groups.

Haydn Lockie (15.29) was the quickest non-wetsuit swimmer from Steve Bryant (16.36), while Cheryl De Lange was the fastest woman without a wetsuit.

In the short swim of about 450m, Nelson College Prep student Charlie Perkins put in a determined effort to win from Ben Price, with Bryony Marriott, Reuben Lile, Mark Bishop and Andrew Smith next to finish.

In both distances, there were some courageous swims, as competitors faced conditions which were far from easy at such an early stage in the season.

Full results and photos at nelsonseaswims.co.nz.

 - The Nelson Mail

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