Swimmers take the plunge in record numbers




The fourth event in the New Zealand Ocean Swim Series kicked off today in Rotorua with a record number of 1,100 participants taking the plunge in the Blue Lake.


Female 3.5km winner, Stefanie Gillespie at the Legend of Lake swim

credit photographer: Cameron Walker

Winners of today’s 3.5 km Legend of the Lake were Matthew Scott and Stefannie Gillespie.


New Zealand Open Water Champion, Matthew Scott, took the male title with a time of 40:28 minutes to secure his third win of the series. Defending her title from last year, Stefannie Gillespie finished with a time of 42:34 minutes to secure the female title.


Hot on their heels, David Boles, Jackson Dawson, Sammy Winward and Claudia Ashby, finished second and third in their male and female age groups, respectively.


New Zealand Ocean Swim Series, Event Director, Scott Rice, says; “We had beautiful swimming conditions for our record number of swimmers today, with rain for the most part of the day and no wind. Perfect for those pool swimmers.


“The favourites to win took out the top titles today. Stefanie held the title from last year and Matt is an open water champion, also winning at the Harbour Crossing and Sand to Surf swims. It was a close race for Matt, with David finishing a close 12 seconds behind. He was pushed the whole way around the course. Stefanie got a really good win in today. Congratulations to Matt and Stefanie on their wins.” 


Other distances in the Legend of the Lake event included the 500m ‘Give it a Go’, the 1km ‘Step it Up’, and the 200m Banana Boat OceanKids event.


Today also marked the announcement of the newest members in the Jetstar Super Swim Squad. This elite swim squad is made up of talented youngsters (aged 7-12 yrs), who win their age group in the 200m Banana Boat OceanKids events throughout the season. This includes the opportunity to attend an end of season training camp in Auckland with top name elite swimmers and coaches.


New Jetstar Super Swim Squad members include Sophie Spencer (Auckland), Talitha McEwan (Tauranga), Alyssa Tapper (Matamata), Brin Watson (Tauranga), Judd Brown (Auckland), Ryan Teixeira (Te Puke), Ella Crowe (Auckland), Milana Tapper (Matamata), Olivia Emmett (Hamilton), Caleb Lawrence (Matamata), Henry Scholes (Tauranga), Dane Wooster (Tauranga). 


There are three remaining events left in the 11th season of the New Zealand Ocean Swim Series, including; Christchurch Crown (4 March, Christchurch), Bay of Islands Classic (18 March, Paihia) and King of the Bays (8 April, Auckland).


The New Zealand Ocean Swim Series caters for swimmers of all skill sets and ages, offering an opportunity for recreational swimmers to take the plunge with some top name swimming elites.


For more information or to register for this popular series, visit www.oceanswim.co.nz