Hayden Squance recaptures pre-Christmas form to win last Nelson sea swim of 2015

Lauren Ching, left, and Margaret Johnston celebrate New Year's Eve with a 1400m swim in perfect conditions.
BRYONY MARRIOTT

Lauren Ching, left, and Margaret Johnston celebrate New Year's Eve with a 1400m swim in perfect conditions.

Sea swimmers celebrated New Year's Eve with a swim in perfect conditions on Thursday night.

Zara Aydon started the party with a perfectly timed finish in the short race over 500m.

In a gripping sprint from the final buoy to shore, Aydon just held off Caitlin Huhu, recording 6 minutes 19 seconds for a one-second win.

Series leader Finella Gibbs-Beal (7.13), swimming without a wetsuit, had to be content with third, ahead of Jenna Heywood (7.51) and Lisa Healey (8.02), who made it a clean sweep of the top five spots by under-16 girls.

Raquel Casey (8.07) continued the female domination ahead of Chris Biggam (8.14) and Travis Cook (8.26).

The main race over 1400m was a test of both endurance and speed, as 17-year-old Hayden Squance picked up his pre-Christmas form to win in 16 minutes 49 seconds, ahead of Luke Kelly (17.03).

The teenagers were followed by a bunch of M40-49 competitors, with Terry Bone (17.19) holding off Simon Kneebone (18.10) and Jon Linyard (18.26).

Showing that age is no barrier to top results 56-year-old Denis Cooper (18.29) and 65-year-old Ben Van Dyke (18.40), were next to finish.

Bree Anderson took her chances, the 13-year-old recording her first top women's spot in a time of 18min 54sec.

Kerry Mathieson (19.05) toppled Christina Harris (19.13) for the first time this season, Harris feeling the effects of some heavy training in preparation for the 10km Taupo race in just over a week.

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Jude Vincent (19.45) and Leah Friend (20.19) filled out the top five women's placings.

Swimming continues in the Port Nelson series every Thursday through into March, with the 2km Eyebright Mile from the yacht club to the beach celebrating its 29th year on January 10.

For more information and results visit nelsonseaswims.co.nz.

 - Stuff

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