Webby streaks away in classic

Charlotte Webby and Kane Radford were convincing winners of the Capital Classic ocean swim race in Wellington yesterday.

In choppy water but under brilliant sunny skies, Taranaki's Webby was a surprise winner in the women's race over the more fancied Cara Baker.

After swimming together at the start, Webby moved into overdrive at the 1000m mark and won by just over a minute. Wellington's Courtney Carson was third, 3min 24sec behind Webby.

Her victory was a boost after some disappointing efforts at the national championships a fortnight ago, which Baker dominated.

"I was lacking confidence before going out because my last two ocean water swims haven't been great," Webby said.

"So I was hoping to have a good race, and I'm really happy about it."

The women's series is now nicely set up. Webby has won two of the three races, and Baker one. The next race is the La Grande Classic in Akaroa, near Christchurch, on February 23.

Rotorua's Radford blasted out at the start of the 3.3km men's race to build a big lead and he was never headed.

"After kind of holding back a bit this year, I thought why not go hard from the start this time and see how it goes. It turned out great, it was my own race," Radford said.

He won by 53sec over Auckland's Phillip Ryan, with the Wellington pair of Ben Campbell MacDonald (1min 13sec) and Casey Glover (1min 46sec) the next two home.

Radford joins Australians Trent Grimsey and Ky Hurst as race winners so far in the six-race series.

Each swimmer's leading three efforts count towards the series, with double points on offer at the final race in April, the King of the Bays.

"If I can pick up one more win, it'll all come down to the King of The Bays. It's going to be an interesting series," Radford said. Fairfax NZ

Taranaki Daily News