Port Nelson Series
The golden weather continues for the Port Nelson Sea Swim Series, with 159 swimmers taking on courses of 1100m or 400m on Thursday night.
Conditions were perfect, although competitors faced a brisk current in the first leg.
Two clear trends are emerging at the front of the field after four swims.
The tit for tat competition at the front of the men's race between Luke Kelly and Hayden Squance has ended, at least temporarily, with Kelly taking his third win to break clear on the points table.
Further compounding the interest, Xavier Anderson emerged at the finish to challenge Kelly, with both recording a time of 11 minutes 58 seconds, just ahead of Squance in 12min flat.
With such close finishes it's too soon to say a pattern has been established, but none of the top three can afford the slightest lapse in concentration when it comes to navigation or sustained effort in future weeks.
Bendi Kepess was only five seconds back in fourth before a slight gap to Josh Sheridan (12.33).
Sierra Thomas has won three of the three races she's competed in, but also can't afford to relax.
Sophie Alexander has three second placings and a win from the first four races, so still leads the points table.
This week, Thomas finished in sixth place overall in 12min 36sec with Alexander next in 12min 52sec.
Abbey Smale (13.18) is improving every week, finishing third of the women for the second week. Her rise in the ranking comes at the expense of Ruby-Lou Stuart (14.08) who was pushed back to fifth by Christina Harris (14.06).
Harris cemented her top place in the F50-59 group with her fourth age group win.
Other age group winners sitting on the maximum 40 points are Terry Bone (M40-49) and Hamish Neill (M50-59).
Seirian Tranter (F16-19), Flossie Van Dyke (F20-29), Ruth Thomas (F30-39), Wendy Healey (F40-49) and Maggy Johnston (F60-69) are all sitting on three wins.
For the first time in five seasons, the oldest swimmer in the series, 76-year-old Derek Eaton faces a threat to the M70-79 crown with young pretender Stuart Hebberd (15.48) finishing ahead of Bishop Derek (16.12) for the second time.
Yegor Jones (7.11) is having it all his own way in the short swim series, the 12-year-old clearing out yet again to win by a big margin - this time over Claire Ballance (7.36) having her first swim of the summer.
Brooke Swan (7.57) and Mia Langley (7.28) broke clear to finish just ahead of a large group comprising Katie Jonas (7.35), Alexandra Grenfell (7.38) and Hannah Hobbs (7.39)
In the next tight group, a minute behind, were Clark Ambrose (8.40), Tom Perkins (8.41), Mike Brien (8.46), Emma Lynch (8.47), Lauren Penney (8.48), Charlotte James (8.50) and Emma Jonas (8.54).
With more perfect conditions promised on Sunday, the first of the season's Clements Endurance Swims gets underway from Tahunanui Beach at 9.45am.
The Opening Splash takes swimmers 2km from the beach to the Nelson Yacht Club, with a short option of 600m starting at the Richardson St steps at 10.15am.
Sunday morning runners and walkers will get a good view of the race as swimmers splash alongside Rocks Rd over the entire course.
On the beach entries are welcome from 9am to 9.30am.
Full details and results at nelsonseaswims.co.nz.