Port Nelson Sea Swim series competitors tested in 1600m effort
Hayden Squance capped off preparation for his North Island triathlon campaign with a win in Thursday night's Port Nelson Sea Swim.
The teenager heads to Wellington next Saturday for the Junior Sprint National Championships, followed the next weekend by a sprint distance race in Kinloch. He'll also join other Nelson swimmers in the Ocean Swim Series race over 3km in Wellington on Sunday.
The Thursday swim was the longest of the summer so far at 1600m, with competitors battling a strong incoming current for more than 700m as they headed south from the yacht club ramp, then facing waves whipped up by the tide versus wind combination on the return around the dolphin navigation marker.
Squance swam the race on his own after making an early break, finishing in 19 minutes 2 seconds, ahead of Terry Bone (19.54), Hamish Neill (20.32), Matai McGuinniety (21.57), Jon Linyard (22.01) and the first woman, Kerry Mathieson (22.04).
Mathieson has picked up speed in 2016, pushing Christina Harris (23.17) into second place. Harris now leads the women's series by a point from Talya Harwood, who didn't swim last night, with Mathieson in third following a slow start to the season.
With many teenagers away last night a number of new swimmers pushed their way into the top ten for the first time.
Simon Bloomberg has been knocking on the door with steady improvement and was the tenth man to finish in 23min 57sec, just ahead of Ben Van Dyke (24.08).
Fresh in the top ten women's standings were Margaret Johnston (27.11), Eileen Searle (27.37) and Jane Alloway (28.06).
Swimming over a 450m course, Finella Gibbs-Beal was first to finish in 7min 39sec ahead of Josh Sheridan (7.43) and Robert Sheridan (7.58).
Hannah Martin (8.20), Isabella Thurlow (9.06) and Chris Biggam (9.14) were next to finish.
Swimmers return to racing on Sunday with the annual Clements Windows and Doors Ironman Challenge, swum over a 3.8km course starting and finishing on Tahunanui Beach at 10.30am.