Eyebright Mile




The beautiful summer of swimming continued on Sunday with 118 competitors taking on the 2km Eyebright Mile between the Nelson Yacht Club and Tahunanui Beach.

The Eyebright Mile is a summer tradition dating back 31 years and Peter Owen, the instigator of the first race, was there to give out the prizes.
Peter Owen, founder of the Eyebright Mile 31 years ago congratulates Sierra Thomas, winner of the women's section in Sunday's event. Photos by Janice Coyle
Luke Kelly was the holder of the fastest time in the past decade and given his dominance in the weekly Port Nelson Series this season he was the race favourite.
Last year's winner, Hayden Squance had other ideas, going out fast and keeping out of Kelly's sight, running up the beach in 24 minutes 19 seconds, a time only surpassed in 1992 during a tide-assisted swim.
For the last decade, races have always started on the high tide, enabling more valid comparison of times, so Squance's time can be regarded as a new race record.
Kelly swam a solo race to finish in 25min 28sec, followed by Bendi Kepess (25.46), Alex Swan (25.47), Matai McGuinniety (26.17) and Terry Bone (26.30).
Sierra Thomas (26.34) and Sophie Alexander (26.38) continued their Thursday night contests with Alexander unable to break the impasse.
Abbey Smale (26.57), Ruby-Lou Stuart (29.21) and Christina Harris (30.28) were the next women to finish.
Swimming continues in the Port Nelson series each Thursday until March. The next race in the Clements Endurance Series is the 3.8km Ironman Challenge on Sunday January 14 at 8.30am.
Full details and results at nelsonseaswims.co.nz