Timaru ocean swim back with more options
The Timaru Ocean Swim is back and organiser Rob Naylor is hoping it will be bigger and better.
It will be a stand alone event on Saturday, January 14, after running in conjunction with the Timaru triathlon last year.
Naylor said there were a number of competitors who did both events last year and it wasn't an ideal situation.
"It was useful to piggyback off them but we also had to fit around the triathlon timetable so thought we might be able to attract more competitors on our own."
Naylor said the decision had also allowed them to have three separate distances, including a short 500m triangle inside Caroline Bay, which was just a taster of the challenges and fun of open water swimming.
"There is something now for all ages and capabilities."
He hoped the changes might double the number of entries from 40 to 80.
Naylor said they were delighted to have Prime Port Timaru back as the major sponsors.
"Prime Port will also manage the shipping on the day that allows us to swim in the inner harbour, which is something a bit different."
The main event will see swimmers will head into the inner harbour from Evans Bay before swimming back out to the open ocean, along the front of the breakwater, round into the Caroline Bay and up to the finish line on the beach.
The 1.5km distance is the same as the 2.5km event apart from dropping the inner harbour section, he said.
Naylor said while not compulsory it is recommended that swimmers in the two longer events wear a wetsuit to assist with buoyancy and warmth.
"The ocean temperatures are generally in the range 15 to 17 degrees in January."
Naylor said the other change was entries were all on-line this year.
Naylor said there was a group of regular ocean swimmers that met on Caroline Bay every Saturday morning and anyone interested was welcome to join them.
"We can explain how to do it and sight the markers.
"For anyone a bit unsure they can always swim across the bay rather than in the deep."
There will also be a new title holder in the main race.
Christchurch's Sam Naylor comfortably took 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 but has since moved to London.
Rob Naylor had to satisfied with third behind his son and training partner Fraser Dunbar, while PrimePort Timaru chief executive Phil Melhopt also competed.
Naylor senior said ocean swimming was growing in popularity again, with a national circuit, and he hoped to attract a number of entries from outside South Canterbury.
Anyone interested in joining the Saturday morning training swims can contact Naylor on 021 938 482.