Australian 5km open-water swimming champion Jarrod Poort has proved too good in the second round of the State New Zealand Ocean Swim Series.
Poort, 19, won the State Bay of Islands Classic today; a 3.3km swim from Russell to Paihia, 22 seconds ahead of Auckland’s Phillip Ryan.
The race was held in choppy conditions, thanks to strong nor-east breeze of between 15-20 knots. Poort though, ploughed through the water in impressive style, staying within touching distance of Ryan, who led through the first half of the race.
Photo credit Simon Watts, BWMedia Photography
“I just wanted to jump on Phil’s feet, stick on his feet for a while, and then see if I could get around him and it worked well.
Poort made his move about 1500m out from the finish, showing the form that saw him finish in 5th place in the 5km open water race at this year’s World Championships in Barcelona.
He gradually pulled away from Ryan, to win comfortably.
“I actually wanted to make my move a bit later.
“I thought I was closer to the finish than I was, and when I pulled away I realised I still had a bit to go, but it still ended up working out
“I’m definitely happy to get the win to get my overall points up in the series … I needed the win today after getting third in the first one,” Poort said.
Despite finishing second Ryan was still happy with his effort.
“I wanted to go out hard and just attack it. When Jarrod went for it, I tried sticking with him but he kicked away in the swells.
“I tried chasing him down but his speed helped him pull away”, Ryan said.
The women’s race was expected to be a shootout between two of New Zealand’s up and coming swimmers Liana Smith and Paige Schendelaar-Kemp, who are both from Auckland.
But the 15-year-old Schendelaar-Kemp quickly made it a one horse race, easily winning by over two minutes.
In all, 725 swimmers swam in today’s main race, a record for the event.
Round three of the six round series is in Wellington on January 22nd 2014. The final three races are held in Akaroa, Mount Maunganui and on Auckland’s North Shore.
2013 State Bay of Island Classic Results:
2013/2014 Series Standings: