Capp & Robinson win State Capital Classic Swim Wellington

25/01/2015 by Steve Knowles

A commanding win for Nathan Capp in the State Capital Classic in Wellington today.  Capp proved a class above his rivals in the 3.3km swim, finishing almost half a minute clear of the field in near perfect conditions on Oriental Bay.

The 22 year old led from start to finish, taking advantage of a good tactical decision at the startline, where he was one of only two of the elite swimmers to choose the left hand side of the course, which proved to be decisive.

Nathan Capp crosses finish line

Photos: Courtesy Mark Tantrum Photography

By the first marker, Capp was already 10 metres clear of 2014 Commonwealth Games swimmer Dylan Dunlop-Barrett.  He extended that lead over the next three markers and had the race wrapped up by the halfway mark.

Capp says the start was crucial.

“I definitely thought the left would be favoured so I kind of had 20 metres on everyone before we even came together”.

While Capp had it all his own way out in front, the race for second was a lot closer.  You could throw a blanket over Dunlop-Barrett, Liam Albery and Ben Ruback as they rounded the iconic Pt Jerningham Lighthouse at the 2km mark.

But it was 18-year-old local Albery who found an extra gear over the final stages of the race, claiming second place some 29 seconds behind Nathan Capp.

Dunlop-Barrett held on for third, just one second ahead of Ruback.

The women’s elite race was a whole different ball game.

2014 Commonwealth Games rivals Emma Robinson (NZ) and Laura Crockart (Australia) were stroke for stroke for much of the race, with the 20 year old Aussie having a body-length advantage as she rounded the lighthouse.

Emma Robinson crosses finish line

However, Crockart’s chances of victory evaporated over the final 1.3km, as she chose a line close to the shoreline for the run home.  That gave Robinson a massive advantage, with the Wellingtonian using her local knowledge to take a line further out to sea which saw her romp home by 45 seconds.

Robinson says she knew she had it won when she saw Crockart’s line.

“I live here and train here so I knew it was a big help when they turned that lighthouse and went straight in – that wasn’t the line to take.”

Nathan Capp rounds Pt Jerningham lighthouse

Despite taking the wrong line, Crockart easily held on for second, with Kiwi Abi Chapman nearly three minutes further back in third.

The State Ocean Swim Series now heads to Akaroa next month, for race four of the six-race series.


2014 State Capital Classic Results:



  1. Nathan Capp (Auckland)                             37:37
  2. Liam Albery (Wellington)                          36:07        +0:29
  3. Dylan Dunlop-Barrett (Auckland)                          38:23        +0:46
  4. Ben Ruback (Wellington)                           38:24        +0:47
  5. Ben Campbell-MacDonald (Wellington)              40:06        +2:29



  1. Emma Robinson (Wellington)                                 40:01
  2. Laura Crockart (Australia)                                         40:47        +0:45
  3. Abi Chapman (Auckland)                                            43:26        +3:25
  4. Aimee Moss (Auckland)                              43:39        +3:37
  5. Gendi Roberts (Christchurch)                                   43:54        +3:52


2014/2015 Series Standings (after four rounds):



  1. Yasunari Hirai                  200.00
  2. George O’Brien                                 199.14
  3. Phillip Ryan                                       198.77
  4. Liam Albery                      198.39
  5. Michael Sheil                    197.52



  1. Aimee Moss                                       276.68
  2. Abi Chapman                                    275.69
  3. Charlotte Webby                             200.00
  4. Laura Crockart                                 196.40
  5. Gendi Roberts                                   187.00


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