Port Nelson Sea swims

By Peter Gibbs
After last week's cancellation, the Port Nelson Sea Swim Series got underway in dramatic fashion on Thursday.

With an outgoing tide and a moderate breeze, the 800m swim was further complicated by an opening section directly into the setting sun and a small marker buoy in the race for home.
Alec Swan and Bendi Kepess were first ashore in Thursday night's Port Nelson sea swim. Photo: Janice Coyle
Hayden Squance (left)

Young competitors dominated, with a group of four closely followed by a train of another four or five close behind. 

Hayden Squance and Luke Kelly kept their eyes on the markers, but Alec Swan and Bendi Kepess missed a small buoy in the slog against the current on the last leg.

Although Swan and Kepess hit shore first, a time penalty of 10 seconds overturned the result, with last season's champion Kelly awarded the win in 8 minutes 42 seconds, ahead of Swan (8.44), Squance (8.46) and Kepess (8.49).

Fergus Drummond (8.50) was in with a chance, ahead of last year's top woman Sierra Thomas (9.00).

Ruby-Lou Stuart (9.43) was the second woman, finishing in 12th overall, ahead of Emily Bryant (9.58), Madeline Shallcrass (10.00) and Flossie Van Dyke (10.10).

In the older age groups, Terry Bone (9.38) topped the 40-49 age group in 10th overall, with Hamish Neill (9.50) dominating M50-59. 

Christina Harris (10.32) was unchallenged in F50-59), while Simon Bloomberg (11.10) surprised Ben Van Dyke (11.30), the previously dominant swimmer in M60-69.

In M70-79, Derek Eaton (12.03) touched by a fingernail from Stuart Hebberd (12.05).

Janis Crampton (11.38) made the most of her move up the F60-69, finishing just ahead of Ruth Thomas (11.52), who topped F30-39.
Sierra Thomas continued last summer's domination of the women's section in the Port Nelson Sea Swim Series. Photo: Janice Coyle
In the short swim over 300m, Mia Langley (6.08) took a better finishing line to edge out Tom Perkins (6.10), ahead of Brooke Swan (6.23), Alexandra Grenfell (6.34), Hannah Hobbs (7.06) and Megan Begg (7.08).
Swimming continues in the series every Thursday through the summer.
Details, results at nelsonsweaswims.co.nz.