Port Nelson Sea Swim Series - Overcast night perfect for swimmers



 Photo credit: Pete Marshall

words By Peter Gibbs

Thursday wasn't the most attractive of evenings and the number of swimmers (91) was the lowest in 12 seasons of the Port Nelson Sea Swim Series.


Yet for those who were there it was a near-perfect evening. Not too much current, calm seas, no glare or sunstrike and far less argy-bargy at the start with reduced numbers in each wave.. The course around the Nelson Harbour circuited most of the boats anchored in the basin for a 1650m swim.


Hayden Squance is growing taller every day. He only has to lie down in the water and he has a body length on most people. He used this to good advantage for the first 300m or so, heading south parallel to Rocks Rd, before Oxford Bayley picked up the pace.


Hayden tried the usual strategy of sticking on his feet, but Oxford was off, making a break which he held to the end, finishing in 18 minutes and 56 seconds..


Luke Kelly was also distanced, with the first three finishing at 30 second intervals and Abbey Smale a similar distance back in fourth wrapping up the win in the women's section.


With 14 swims completed, the best-of-11 series winners are starting to emerge. With a maximum of 110 points from 11 wins, Abbey Smale has nailed the overall women's series.


In the age groups, Hayden Squance (M20-29), Ben Marshall (M30-39), Terry Bone (M40-49), Christina Harris (F50-59) and Ben Van Dyke (M70-79) have also scored maximum points. 


Emily Chadderton has the short series (almost) wrapped up, but she moved up to the long course to take second place ahead of fellow 13-year-old Eva Ellena and Christina Harris (who is more than four times her age - isn't swimming wonderful?).Christina's daughter Fran was the next woman home.


Thanks to Emily going long, things became far more interesting in the short swim series. After placing second in nearly every race, Lilly Claridge moves to the top of the short series points table with her win ahead of Lucas Bell and Steve Bryant. After 11 swims, Lilly now has 100 points and leads. Emily has only done ten swims, and has 97 points, so just needs one more short swim success to move ahead and win the best-of-11 series, with three more swims available until the season ends on March 18.


Noah Brehaut has dominated the male section of the short swim, but with 11 wins from 11 races, he has the maximum number of points possible, so he's also turned his attention to the long swims, leaving Lucas Bell to dominate in the latest swim. 


Swimming continues at the Nelson Yacht Club on Thursday evening.


Full results and more information at nelsonseaswims.co.nz.