Ocean swim event to return again next year
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.
Winner of the 2.5km swim for a second year in a row is Steve Prescott, of Ashburton