Thomas Heaton continues early season dominance in Nelson sea swim series

Tight finishes were a feature of Thursday night's Port Nelson Sea Swim. Kerry Mathieson, left, finished in 14th place, ...
EMILY TRENGROVE

Tight finishes were a feature of Thursday night's Port Nelson Sea Swim. Kerry Mathieson, left, finished in 14th place, just behind Ben Van Dyke (11th) and Denis Cooper (12th).

The Port Nelson Summer Sea Swims are charmed.

For the third consecutive week, Thursday evenings have shrugged off dodgy weather to provide sunny skies and fairly calm seas for the 155 swimmers who took part.

Thomas Heaton and Hayden Squance continued their one-two record yet again, with Heaton taking out the 1100m swim in 11 minutes 59 seconds, with Squance seven seconds behind.

Swimmers had a decent outgoing tide to contend with as they swam out to the navigation marker in the channel, then back towards Rocks Road before a final 300m slog against the current to the finish.

Xavier Anderson recorded his best finish so far, taking third in 12.20, ahead of Luke Kelly (12.23), last year's series winner, who is placing himself under extra pressure swimming without a wetsuit as he prepares for national open water events later in the season.

Terry Bone (12.25) was right behind, only a second ahead of Jody Keefe-Laing.

Talya Harwood (12.37) clocked her second win of the season, leading the women as she finished in seventh place, ahead of Bailee Spriggs(13.09).

Simon Kneebone (13.10) and Jon Linyard (13.12) tumbled in close together, before the next group, led by Ben Van Dyke (13.43).

The 65-year-old former world champion showed he still has what it takes as he led a tight bunch including the top 50-59 man Denis Cooper (13.54), the top 50-59 woman Christina Harris (13.55) and the top 40-49 woman Kerry Mathieson (13.56).

The short swim was contested over a 500m course, with Brendon Hughes burgling the race as he stepped down from the long course to finish in 6min 4sec, ahead of last week's winner Finella Gibbs-Beal (6.10).

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They were followed by Josh Sheridan (6.28), Caitlin Huhu (6.30), Reuben Lile (6.35) and Hannah Martin (6.37).

 - Stuff

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