Ocean swim event to re­turn again next year

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE - AL WIL­LIAMS

Or­gan­is­ers of Sun­day’s Ti­maru Ocean Swim are pleased with the 80 en­tries they had this year and are al­ready plan­ning an­other event for the same time next year.

There were 40 con­firmed en­tries last week, with a rush of last minute en­tries over the week­end, or­gan­iser Rob Nay­lor said.

The event was held in 2016 for the first time with 37 peo­ple par­tic­i­pat­ing. En­tries al­most dou­bled that in 2017, and in­creased again this year.

‘‘Last year en­try num­bers dou­bled in the last week so we ex­pected the same to hap­pen this year,’’ Nay­lor said.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple leave it to the last few days just to get a bet­ter idea about likely weather and wa­ter con­di­tions be­fore sign­ing up.

‘‘We had quite a few turn up on the day and en­ter which made it great, we are pretty pleased.’’

Nay­lor said there were a lot of new names in the en­tries this year.

‘‘It means the word is get­ting out there amongst the swim­ming com­mu­nity about our event.

‘‘There is no other open wa­ter event quite like it in New Zealand.’’

The three race lengths are 2.5 km, 1.5km, and 0.5 km.

Steve Prescott, who won the 2.5km race last year, re­turned on Sun­day and de­fended his ti­tle.

Prescott was at the front of the race from start to fin­ish last year, and Nay­lor said he dom­i­nated the race in a sim­i­lar fash­ion on Sun­day.

‘‘He was out the front all the way.’’

Conor Fo­ley-Smith, at 14, won the 1.5km event last year and de­cided to take the step up and com­pete in the 2.5km race on Sun­day.

Fo­ley-Smith won the 2.5km race in the un­der 24 age group, Nay­lor said.

The wa­ter con­di­tions were flat, mak­ing for fast times.

‘‘We have had some good feed­back and are look­ing for­ward to do­ing it again next year.’’

The first race be­gan at 9:30am, while the main races started at 10:30am, with swim­mers fin­ish­ing at Caro­line Bay.

The 2.5km and 1.5km swims started on the beach at Evans Bay.

PHOTO: JOHN BISSET/STUFF

Winner of the 2.5km swim for a sec­ond year in a row is Steve Prescott, of Ash­bur­ton

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