Ocean Swim Series - Wellington wins to Luke Kelly & Abbey Smale

By Peter Gibbs 

Luke Kelly & Abbey Smale of Nelson won the Interislander Capital Classic title at race two of the national Banana Boat Ocean Swim Series in Wellington last weekend.

Kelly swam strong with a determined finish, coming in 18 seconds ahead of Wellington’s Luke Kuggeleijn. 

Photo Credit Mark Tantrum

Abbey Smale and last year’s series champion Sierra Thomas, also both from Nelson, took the top two women’s spots, finishing seventh and ninth overall. 
Sierra Thomas

As far as Wellington races go, the 2020 event was swum in smooth seas. 

The triangular course was swim in an anti-clockwise direction this year, with a leg of just over 1km from Oriental Bay Beach to the Pt Jerningham lighthouse, a 1500m slog back towards the city and a third leg of about 600m back to the finish on Freyberg beach. The promise of absolute calm was messed up by some lumpy seas after the lighthouse, as the Wellington wind woke up. 

A total of 460 swimmers completed the 3.3km course, with 1km, 500m and shorter options also on offer. 

The Banana Boat Ocean Swim Series continues at Akaroa on March 22.

Full results of all races are at oceanswim.co.nz