Port Nelson Sea Swim

Christina Harris won the F50-59 section in Thursday's Port Nelson Sea Swim. Photo: Jean Hodson
Mathew, left, and Aliesha Jones dominated the 500m swim in Thursdays Port Nelson Sea Swim Series. Photo: Peter Gibbs
Christina Harris 
Luke Kelly and Sierra Thomas tightened their grip on the Port Nelson Sea Swim Series on Thursday night, both recording their sixth win from the eight races this season.
Only 109 swimmers turned out for the roughest swim of the season, down by about 50 on the average attendance so far.
Whether it was the demands of the festive season or the force of the wind is not sure, but those who swam were in festive mood as they finished a challenging swim of 1km or 500m, revelling in the rough conditions.
As has happened so many times this season, in the long race Hayden Squance and Luke Kelly fought it out stroke for stroke until the final buoy, when Kelly increased the pressure and eased to a win by one second. Kelly recorded 12 minutes 22 seconds for the kilometre
It's the same scenario in the women;'s section where Sophie Alexander and Sierra Thomas were unseparable until the final stretch, when Thomas (13.07) sneaked out to a lead of half a body length over Alexander (13.09).
In a pattern that's becoming a regular event, Xavier Anderson (12.44) and Bendi Kepess (12.46) filled in the gap between the first two men and the first two women, who were followed by the first male of more mature years, 54-year-old Hamish Neill (13.41), who took his eighth consecutive age group win.
Other prominent age groupers were 67-year-old Ben Van Dyke, who finished 14th overall in 14min 58sec, 40-year-old Matt Newberry, 15th overall in 15min 2sec and Christina Harris, 16th overall in 15min 10sec.
Stuart Hebberd (17.05) edged slightly further ahead on the points from 77-year-old Derek Eaton (17.22).
Maggy Johnston (18.29) asserted her dominance in F60-69 with her sixth age group win of the season.
In the short swim, Aliesha and Mathew Peacock seemed in a race of their own, as the battled to a tight finish, with Aliesha (6.40) taking the win from Mathew (6.44) for the second week in a row, the pair having time to pose for a photo before Yegor Jones (7.57) finished for third ahead of Nick Lovell (8.25).
Swimmers face a longer challenge with the Eyebright Mile - actually a swim of 2km - on Sunday,
Details and full results at nelsonseaswims.co.nz
Article Peter Gibbs