Hansen outlasts race leader

PETER GIBBS
Last updated 13:00 10/01/2014

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Swimmers faced a tough challenge last night in the eighth race in the Port Nelson Sea Swim Series as a strong outgoing tide and a brisk northerly combined to put an edge on the 400m and 1200m swims.

In the long swim, Hayden Squance jumped out to an early lead from the yacht club start line, but Matt Hansen had him covered and slowly wound him back in the first leg to the navigation marker (the dolphin) out towards Haulashore Island.

Leg two was moderately choppy but without much current, taking the field back in close to Rocks Rd.

Things got more difficult in leg three, taking swimmers directly north into the teeth of the tidal current, heading back to the yacht club start line.

Hansen, sprinted from the final buoy to win in 13min 6sec, to take a five-second win from Squance, with Simon Kneebone (13.42), Jody Keefe-Laing (13.47), Jon Linyard (14.13), Ben Van Dyke (14.36) and Hamish Neill (14.50) picking up the minor places.

The first women home were spread evenly between the age groups, with Kerry Mathieson (40-49) taking it in 15min 16sec, a second ahead of Flossie Van Dyke (20-24).

Grace Woodall (16-19) was two seconds back, in 15min 19sec.

Jude Vincent has been unstoppable in the 50-59 age group and she recorded her eighth consecutive age group victory to be fourth woman overall, stopping the clock at 16min 5sec, ahead of Megan Falloon (20-29) in 16min 22sec and Janis Crampton (50-59) in 16min 25sec.

Competitors in the short swim faced a tough slog north towards the wharf before a fast downhill slide to a buoy offshore from the yacht club ramp. The last 50m was nearly the undoing of many as the current swept them south of the finish line.

Brittany Spencer was nearly caught in this section, but managed to hold on for the win in 5min 51sec, ahead of Lucy Anderson (5.52), Jo Perrott (6.18), Lauren Penney (6.19) and Zoe Hunt (6.21).

Swimmers now turn their attention to a busy weekend, with tomorrow's Tata Beach swim in Golden Bay offering courses of 800m and 1600m. Register on the beach from 8am.

On Sunday, it's the Eyebright Mile, the 2km swim from the yacht club to Tahunanui Beach starting at 8am, right on the high tide. There's also a shorter swim of 1300m from the Richardson St steps.

Registration is from 7.15am at the Nelson Yacht Club.

Entries and information online at nelsonseaswims.co.nz.

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- The Nelson Mail

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