Veteran swimmer takes home the title in Bay of Islands Classic swim




The penultimate round of the New Zealand Ocean Swim Series kicked off today in Paihia with a record 820 participants taking the plunge.


1986 and 1990 Commonwealth Games New Zealand Representative and Surf Life Saving Champion, Brent Foster (49 yrs), out swam the young guns to take out the male title with a time of 41:04 minutes. Stefannie Gillespie took out her second win of the series to secure the female title with a time of 44:04.


Hot on their heels, Jackson Dawson, Sammy Winward, Jun Dai 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; “It was an amazing win for Brent. At 49 years old he is a very talented athlete and still very fit. It was a tactical win and he used his experience and maturity to push forward in the final seconds.


"It was a solid swim for Stefannie. She held her place amongst the male swimmers with a really smart and gutsy swim. She will be looking for a third win at the King of the Bays and is a real contender for the Series win."


Other distances in the Bay of Islands Classic event included the 300m ‘Give it a Go’ and the 200m Banana Boat OceanKids event.


“We had the nicest weather conditions we’ve had in the Series so far today, great for both swimmers and spectators. The swimmers were slightly challenged in the water with strong currents pushing them off course, so our times were a bit slower than previous years,” says Scott Rice.



 Credit Ocean Swim

Today also marked the announcement of the newest members in the Jetstar Super Swim Squad. This national 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 Janaye Burns (Auckland), Danielle Asiata (Auckland), Grace Crowe (Auckland), Alex Dunkley (Auckland), Chris Benton (Whangarei), Samuel Asiata (Auckland).


There is one remaining event left in the 11th season of the New Zealand Ocean Swim Series, the King of the Bays on 8 April in 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