McGuinnietys take the lead

00:00, Nov 23 2012

Kaiori McGuinniety made it two from two as he powered home at the head of the field in last night's Port Nelson Sea Swim Series race.

Last year's series winner Matt Hansen made his debut appearance, coming in second over the one-kilometre course ahead of Simon Kneebone and 60-year-old Ben Van Dyke.

Lisa Birkett showed that she'll be a force to be reckoned with, finishing in fifth spot, three seconds ahead of Grace Woodall, with last week's top woman Amy Coulton third.

The women's points table now has Coulton leading by one point from Birkett and Woodall. McGuinniety has a five-point lead over Kneebone in the men's competition.

The building outgoing tide and a decent chop meant it wasn't a simple swim, as 162 swimmers started in either the 1km swim around the navigation "dolphin" or the 300-metre course between the Nelson Yacht Club ramp and the Boat Shed.

Matai McGuinniety made it a family party, the diminutive 12-year-old heading 40-year-old Terry Bone in the short race, with a 40sec gap back to Leah Woodford, Brooke Matheson and Georgie Trengrove.

It's one of the features of the series that swimmers of all ages are competitive, with everyone from 10-year-olds up to 77-year-old Kerry Bateman battling it out, often stroke for stroke.

After a lifetime of swimming, 69-year-old Dick Jones was one of last night's success stories, taking his first dip in the series to finish a creditable 26th out of 39 starters in the short race.

The series continues next week at the yacht club ramp with the first race in the Clements Endurance Series, a 2km swim from Tahunanui Beach to the club, on Sunday, December 2. Full results and information at nelsonsea


The Nelson Mail