Nelson Swim Series - Currents splinter swim field in race two
By Peter Gibbs
Rai Valley brother and sister Alec and Brooke Swan prevailed in strong currents at race two of the Port Nelson Swim Series on Thursday.
With the incoming tide sweeping many swimmers off course and up the harbour, Alec won the long race on a triangular course of about 800m, while Brooke continued unbeaten in the short race of about 350m.
From the start on the Nelson Yacht Club ramp, the field headed south along Rocks Rd, heading for the first mark 300m away and about 80m offshore.
The choice was to stay close to the wall, where the current is usually weaker, or take the direct route into the current.
Race favourites Oxford Bayley and Abbey Smale chose different courses, while Alec split the difference, gaining a slight lead.
The second leg took swimmers 50m towards Haulashore Island, before the third leg, heading north to a buoy just offshore from the finish. It was this leg that caused the carnage, with unwary swimmers carried at high speed well past the buoy before they had a chance to get closer to shore.
Race winner Alec Swan. Photo: Pete Marshall
The leaders had no such trouble, sighting frequently as they cut across the current, heading for shore. Alec extended his lead, finishing, ahead of Oxford with Abbey third.
Terry Bone was close behind, winning M40-49, with M50-59 leader Hamish Neill in fifth place, ahead of Isabella Thurlow, Matt Hansen. Joe Thornton, Fenn Anderson and Peter Burrell.
Christina Harris (F50-59) finished 11th overall, the third woman home.
Brooke Swan continued her dominance of the short course, winning by more than a minute from Noah Brehaut, Lilly Claridge Emily Chadderton and Rosie Goomes.
Full results at nelsonseaswims.co.nz