Port Nelson Sea Swim Luke Kelly and Sierra Thomas first home
By Peter Gibbs
Luke Kelly and Sierra Thomas, first man and first woman in last week's Port Nelson Sea Swim over 1200m'
After a huge weekend in Taupo at the New Zealand Open Water Championship, most of the top young swimmers took a break from the Port Nelson Series last week.
That didn't matter to 21-year-old Luke Kelly, who continued his winning ways, leading the field home in 14 minutes and 7 seconds from Hayden Squance (14.12) and Terry Bone (14.55).
Photos, by Janice Coyle
Sierra Thomas (15.17) cruised into fourth place, leading the women's field and putting herself back on top of the season points table.
A total of 154 swimmers competed over 500m or 1200m. After the previous week's cancellation, it was a relief to be facing calm waters on a full tide.
Without the usual flurry of teenagers, the field spread out far more quickly in the long race, with Kelly leading and 20-year-old Squance content to sit in his wake.
Bone (46) showed why he's one of the top age group swimmers in the country with his third placing. So too did 56-year-olds Hamish Neill and Andrew Martin, who finished fifth and sixth respectively.
Christina Harris (16.34) was the second woman to finish, the 55-year-old holding on to her unbeaten record in F50-59 this season.
Janis Crampton is another top national age grouper, the 60-year-old is unbeaten in her age group in Port Nelson swims this year. Last week she was the eighth woman to finish, stopping the clock in 18min 13sec, ahead of F60-69 second place-getter Maggy Johnston (19.23), who narrowly held off the first F40-49 finisher Wendy Healey (19.27).
Ben Van Dyke is yet another swimmer close to unbeatable in his age group nationally. The 68-year-old finished 13th in 16min 35sec, four seconds ahead of his 29-year-old daughter Flossie, who was third woman overall.
In the short swim, Yegor Jones (8.17) had a clear winning margin from Lilly Hall (9.46). Mia Langley (9.49) and Jessica Gallagher (9.54) filled the next places.
Swimming continues each Thursday through the summer in the Port Nelson series.
Information and results, nelsonseaswims.co.nz.