Dean makes a splash with win

PETER GIBBS
Last updated 13:00 03/12/2012

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Harrison Dean has recorded one of the fastest times between Tahunanui Beach and the Nelson Yacht Club, taking 22 minutes 51 seconds to win race one of First Splash, the opening race in the Clements Endurance Swim Series yesterday.

Starting on the beach under cloudy skies, the field cleared a few small breakers before moving into flatter water. The sun started to shine as swimmers passed Magazine Point and began to pick up on the last lift of the incoming tide.

Matt Hansen, a tough competitor, kept Dean in his sights, finishing half a minute back, with one of the most improved swimmers from last season, 15-year-old Luke Kelly, finishing third ahead of Simon Kneebone and Jon Linyard.

One of last summer's top female swimmers, Madisen Stanley, hasn't yet made an appearance at the Thursday Port Nelson series, but she showed she was still in good form as she headed off Kerry Mathieson, Pip Dwyer, Paul Spriggs and Libby Gray in a very competitive race.

The 64 swimmers who started the full distance ranged in age from 14-year-old Hayden Squance, who finished in seventh place, to 77-year-old Kerry Bateman, who finished in 63rd place.

Another 11 swimmers took on the 640m challenge from the Richardson St steps to the yacht club, with 12-year-old Matai McGuinniety continuing his unbeaten run in the Thursday series to come in ahead of Brooke Matheson and Louise Kelly.

The next race in the endurance series is the long-running Eyebright Mile, on December 30.

Swimming continues in the Thursday Port Nelson series this week.

Results and information at nelsonseaswims.co.nz.

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- The Nelson Mail

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