Luke Kelly takes out latest round of Port Nelson Sea Swim series

Luke Kelly often competes in a wetsuit, but he didn't need it to take out the latest Port Nelson Sea Swim series round.
ALDEN WILLIAMS/FAIRFAX NZ

Luke Kelly often competes in a wetsuit, but he didn't need it to take out the latest Port Nelson Sea Swim series round.

It makes a difference whether or not you wear a wetsuit in sea swimming. The suit can lift you in the water, giving the advantage of extra flotation, especially in the legs.

In the purist world of open water swimming or crossing large bodies of water like Cook Strait, wetsuits aren't allowed if times or records are the issue.

But for the recreational age group swimmer they make a big difference and most swimmers in the Port Nelson Swim Series will wear one.

That makes it all the more commendable that the first male and female in Thursday night's event swam without suits.

Luke Kelly was first to finish the 1500m swim in 18 minutes 48 seconds, with a wetsuited Matai McGuinniety three seconds behind.

Talya Harwood was close by, taking third place and leading the women in 18min 58sec.

Terry Bone broke the teen stranglehold, the 44-year-old finishing fourth in 19min 7sec.

Simon Kneebone (19.50), Kerry Mathieson (20.18), Jon Linyard (20.21), Paul Peacock (20.43), Angus Perham (20.45) and Christina Harris (20.47) brought up the top ten.

Jude Vincent (21.23) was fourth woman, ahead of Britta Martin (21.35) and Georgie Trengrove (22.11).

Finella Gibbs-Beal occupied her preferred spot at the front of the field in the short race over 400m, finishing in 6min 12sec, ahead of Caitlyn Huhu (6.28), Josh Sheridan (6.32) and Robert Sheridan (6.37).

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Many swimmers head to Wellington this weekend for Triathlon New Zealand's Olympic distance national championship on Saturday or the national swim series Capital Classic over 3km on Sunday.

Full results of the Port Nelson Series at nelsonseaswims.co.nz.

 - Stuff

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