Port Nelson swim
Bree Anderson went without a wetsuit in her first swim of the season, leading in Hamish Neill over a swim of 800m.
With the prospect of a barbecue to follow, racing was kept short in the final pre-Christmas swim in the Port Nelson Sea Swim Series on Thursday.
Luke Kelly rose to the occasion again, seeing off an increasingly competitive field over an 800m swim, standing up after 8 minutes 45 seconds.
Hot on his heels were Alex Swan (8.53), Bendi Kepess (8.56), Hayden Squance (8.58), Sierra Thomas (8.59) and Sophie Alexander (9.01).
Fergus Drummond (9.09) showed his consistent improvement to edge out Terry Bone (9.11), ahead of Jacob Northage (9.19) and Josh Sheridan (9.21).
Bree Anderson had her first swim of the season. Swimming without a wetsuit, she came through for third in the women's division in 9min 22sec, with Leah Friend (9.33) and newcomer Claire Morgan (9.54) claiming the next women's places.
The points table after seven of 18 swims isstarting to take shape, with Kelly leading a bunch of swimmers who all have a chance in the placings.
Sierra Thomas has five wins from five starts and sits on 50 points in the women's table, but Sophie Alexander leads with 65 points from her seven starts. Things will shake down once the best-of-12 calculations come into force and swimmers are able to start dropping their worst performances.
In the age group competition, Flossie Van Dyke leads F20-29 with six wins,Rob Boomer leads M30-39, but Mark Hebberd is the dominant swimmer with four wins from four starts.
Dawn Chalmers is in a similar position from six starts in F40-49, leading from Ruth Thomas, who has a 100 percent win record from her four starts.
Terry Bone is absolutely dominant in M40-49 with a perfect score of 70 points from seven swims. In F40-49 Wendy Healey has five wins from her six starts.
Hamish Neill joins Bone with a perfect record and 70 points to lead M50-59.
In F50-59, Christina Harris started the season with four wins, but Kerry Mathieson has come back at her with wins in the last three races, leaving that age group on a knife-edge.
Malcolm Anderson leads M60-69 after starting in all seven races. However, while Anderson has three wins topped up with three second and one third placing, Ben Van Dyke has a perfect four from four.
Bill Revell currently holds second spot in the age group with a string of second and third placings. Chances are that Van Dyke will edge his way to the top by season end, but the age group is an intriguing mix so far.
In F60-69, Maggy Johnston has the upper hand with five wins, but Jill Bann has more points after clo
king seven swims.
Stuart Hebberd and Derek Eaton each had three wins in M70-79 prior to this week, but Hebberd got the upper hand this week, puting him one point up in the standings.
Things change each week in the short swims.
Last week it was Mathew Peacock winning in his first start.
This week sister Aliesha joined the series, also clocking up a win on debut, although she had to fight her younger brother all the way.
Over a course of about 500m, Aliesha (6min 6sec) edged Mathew (6.08), while Yegor Jones, who dominated the short course for the first five weeks, had to be content with third in 6min 37sec.
Brooke Swam (7.49), Mia Langley (7.51) and Connor Eden (7.52) were hard to separate at the finish.
Swimming continues in the Port Nelson series next Thursday with race two of the Clements Endurance Series - The Eyebright Mile - coming up on December 31.
Details and results at nelsonseaswims.co.nz