Port Nelson Sea Swims, final night, March 12, 2020

It came upon us so fast – the end of the season. For those still swimming around the country, there’s still three Ocean Swim Series events to go, but here in Nelson it’s the end of the line until November.

Featured photo: A sight you never see. Luke Kelly with a cap – is he in fancy dress?

The final relay was a lot of fun, burgled by Abbey Smale and her team mate (and not Steve Bryant, whose team came last).

The huge amount of fish (14kg) from Sealord was demolished in a flash – something that looked unlikely when the cooking started. The sausages got a good hiding too.

The prizes seemed to go to the right people – and for the first time it became apparent just what a huge number of volunteers it takes to keep the swims afloat.

Pete Marshall took some great photos at the Prizegiving, click here

The photos from the swim are downloading now, as the amateur photographer downloads them from the comfort of a tiny cabin in Taupo. Here they are, click here

That’s the end of our season, but not for everyone. For me, Peter Gibbs, if you’ve been reading these pages through the season, thank you for paying attention.

However, for many of us, there’s three more swims in the Banana Boat Ocean Swim Series to go, and I’ll do additional pages to cover Nelson results. For me, Sunday brings the 7km Five Bridges swim in Hamilton, The Blue Lake in Rotorua (also the national secondary schools championships) the following weekend, Rangitoto to St Heliers the weekend after and then Mt Maunganui to end my North Island road trip. After a fortnight back in Nelson from April 8, it’s back north for the Harbour Bridge finale to the Banana Boat series.

Abbey Smale has already won all four of the Banana Boat series so far, but she’s going to do another two just to prove it wasn’t a fluke (even though the result is taken on your best three). Luke is leading after two wins and a second, but he’s yet to beat Sebastian Priscott, who has two from two – including a win over Luke in Akaroa). Watch the tension unfold. Stay tuned.