Sam Naylor nails Timaru ocean swim

Sam Naylor sprints up Caroline Bay after an  impressive swim in the revived Timaru ocean race.
John Bisset

Sam Naylor sprints up Caroline Bay after an impressive swim in the revived Timaru ocean race.

Christchurch's Sam Naylor comfortably won Timaru's first ocean swim in over 20 years.

The 25-year-old was impressive leading almost from the start of the 2.25km swim to record a time of 31m 23s.

It ended up being a big day for the Naylor family with Sam's father Rob third.

John Bisset/FairfaxNZ

Timaru ocean swim revived after 20 years.

Training partner Fraser Dunbar just beat Naylor senior home second in 34m 04s. 

Thirty seven competitors started on the beach in Evans Bay, swimming in the inner Harbour before heading along the North Mole and into Caroline Bay, with everyone completing it.

Sam Naylor had travelled down from Christchurch to compete and support the local ocean swimming fraternity.

"It was fun, in perfect conditions but I am sore."

"I got a bit off tangent at the start, looking through my goggles but after that I was fine."

A competitive junior pool swimmer, Naylor has switched to the ocean.

"I am really enjoying it, I did Wanaka last weekend."

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He was also impressed with his father's and efforts.

"It wasn't too bad for an old boy."

Nicola Perry was the first woman home in 37m 20s and fifth overall.

Raewyn Winsley was second followed 17-year-old Korlina Volkov, all inside the top eight.

Rob Naylor and Volkov had already taken to the water as part of the team's triathlon along with Timaru Girls' High School principal Sarah Davis.

Naylor, cyclist Reon Park along with runner Rymi Sakimira were 7 minutes quicker than the next best team winning in 2h 01m 08s.

Former Timaru woman Susan King was the only swimmer to take to the water without a wetsuit.

The Sydney-based King had originally entered the triathlon but the airline misplaced gear somehow and it never left Australia, so she opted to switch to the ocean swim.

"I came home to do the tri and catch up with family, so at least I had another option."  

PrimePort Timaru chief executive Phil Melhopt also completed the swim.

He and triathlete Gary Fahey were the catalyst for the swim returning, with the PrimePort sponsoring the event and organising the logistics of closing the harbour.

"The conditions were perfect. it was a great swim," Melhopt said.

Timaru's Matt Milne easily took out the open triathlon event in 2h 08m 25s.

The 25-year-old said the swim was quite slow because of the tide but I had a good ride."

Milne finished almost 7 minutes ahead of Geoff Williamson with Andy Collins third.

Martina Fellman also comfortably won the women's event in 2h 28m 37s with Laurence Gay second and Rachael Breen third.

The closest event of the day was the duathlon with Michael Gallagher beating Paul Ronaldson home by 17s, in 2h 11m 7s

The duathlon also featured Christchurch octogenarian Ray Bennett was finished in 4h 10m 48s.

 - Stuff

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