Visitors add zest to Nelson swim

By Peter Gibbs
A large group of swimmers from Aquagym in Christchurch joined the regular lineup of Nelson competitors at last Thursday's Port Nelson swim from the Nelson Yacht Club.
Denis Cooper, Christina Harris (long course) and Dave Loose (short course) finished within seconds of each other. 
Photos by Alice Eaton
Although some of the visitors were always in the frame on the 1250m swim, Nelson's Oxford Bayley broke away on the third leg of the triangular course to claim his fourth win of the season from seven starts.
The visitors were in Nelson as part of their annual training camp in the region.
In the women's field, Abbey Smale, Isabella Thurlow, Brooke Swan and Christina Harris maintained the Nelson presence, taking the first spots ahead of Lilly Hall and Jessica Gallagher.
From the start, Bayley and Hayden Squance led out a group that contained Christchurch visitors Ben Isles, Wills Graham and Taylor Chamberlain, as well as Nelson's Nic Hall, Alec Swan, Abbey Smale and Terry Bone.
Bayley and Squance  took the lead on the second leg, but Bayley opened up a gap of 30 seconds over the final 500m. Squance was hard pressed at the finish to take a tight lead over Isles, Graham and Hall.
The long event started in three waves, separated by a minute, with the short event of about 800m starting a minute further back. At the finish, many of the swimmers in the long course were competing with short course swimmers as the two fields merged, making for some testing times for the timekeepers.
It was notable how ages varied across the event, with a couple of nine-year-olds going stroke for stroke with those in their seventies. 
Visiting swimmers dominated the short race, with Tiago Chamberlain winning from Luke McCallum, Emma Dick, Lucas Bell, Lono Kalani and Chloe Ah Khoi.
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