Ocean Swims 2020 Wrap
By Peter Gibbs
Auckland swimmer Sebastien Priscott and Nelson's Abbey Smale were the overall winners of the national Banana Boat Ocean Swim Series, after the season was cut from seven races to four due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Sebastien Priscott and Abbey Smale, winners of the overall titles in this year's Banana Boat Ocean Swim Series, pictured at the finish of the 5km Akaroa swim. Photos: Mark Tantrum
Points were calculated from each swimmer's best two swims under revised rules, with Smale untroubled to take the women's title, having comfortably won all four races on Auckland's North Shore and in Wellington, Akaroa and Nelson.
It was a much closer-run result in the men's competition, with both Priscott and Nelson's Luke Kelly recording two wins for the maximum 200 points.
The tie-breaker was the fact that Priscott came out on top in the pair's only head-to-head race, the arduous 5km swim across Akaroa Harbour in February.
Kelly said that although disappointed in the outcome he respected organiser Scott Rice's decision.
Hamilton swimmer Dominic Fawkner placed third in the men's field.
Canterbury's Sammi Harnett was placed second in the women's field, narrowly ahead of last year's series winner Sierra Thomas, who was plagued by a shoulder injury during the season.
Smale and Thomas train together under coach Daniel Bell at the Richmond Aquatic Centre near Nelson.
Medallists in age group competition were also announced, with full results at oceanswim.co.nz