Thursday's week nine of the Port Nelson Swim Series was notable for extremes, Extreme trepidation that the weather would turn bad. Extreme relief that it didn't. Extreme discomfort getting into and out of the water at one of the lowest tides of the summer.
Extreme dead flat calm perfect conditions for swimming.
Extremely large turnout of young swimmers - only four swimmers of mature years managed to break into the top 20 finishers.
Hayden Squance was probably extremely relieved to come away with the win over Luke Kelly.
Apart from winning race two, Squance has had to play second fiddle to the fast-finishing Kelly in every race.
The margin has never been more than a few seconds and so it was this week, with Squance completing the 1250-metre swim in 14 minutes and 38 seconds, a winning margin of one second over Kelly.
Xavier Anderson is never far from the action and his time of 14min 42sec puts him right in the frame for future upsets.
Bendi Kepess (14.52) is also a consistent performer at the front, with five third placings and three fourth placings against his name this season.
In the women's section, Sierra Thomas hasn't been beaten in her seven starts. This week she recorded 15min 26sec for eighth overall.
Thomas still lags behind Sophie Alexander (15.49) on the points table with Alexander having competed in all nine swims so far for two wins and seven second placings - all by narrow margins to Thomas.
The older swimmers to break into the top 20 were 45-year-old Terry Bone, seventh in 15min 15sec, 54-year-old Hamish Neill, ninth in 15min 45sec, 40-year-old Matthew Hansen, 14th in 16min 17sec and 58-year-old Denis Cooper, 20th in 17min 12sec.
In the short swim of 500m, Aliesha and Matthew Peacock continued in a class of their own, dominating the field with times of 6min 42sec and 6min 43sec to gap the rest of the field by nearly 100m.
As always, it's Aliesha who touches first, but Mathew is never far away.
Nick Lovell (8.15), Fenlon Bayley (8.24) and Mia Langley (8.30) were next to finish.
With season half over, swimmers are moving into bigger challenges. On the weekend of January 13, 14, many younger swimmers (and a few older ones) will be in Taupo for the Epic Swim series of events, which are Swimming NZ's national open water championships.
As well, race three of the Clements Endurance Series - the 3.8km Ironman Challenge - happens off Tahunanui Beach on Sunday.
The beach will also be the venue for The Interislander Big Tahuna on March 31, when local swimmers will be doing their best to unseat some of New Zealand's top open water swimmers in a 3km course. The event also has three shorter options to cater for all ages and abilities.