That was another great swim. Low tide was at 4.36pm, so the tide was coming in. The first leg along Rocks Rd was tricky, as swimmers kept left to avoid the current. Those who chose the left side of the field found themselves with nowhere to go, squeezed by swimmers on the right and rocks and hard places on the left.
Oh to be a fast swimmer! Up at the front, Oxford Bayley struck out into a clear space, with Hayden Squance on his heels, Luke Kelly on his heels and Abbey Smale on his heels. With most of the heels used up, there was a gap early on back to the chasers.
As they rounded the black boat at the southern end of the course, Oxford extended his lead. Before the swim he’d confided that the hard Thursday morning session at the pool often left him a bit depleted for the Thursday race. There was no sign of it tonight, as he steamed away from Hayden and Luke after the first turn and headed for the dolphin
Oxford’s choice of direction out to the left from the dolphin to the finish could have left him with work to do to get into shore, as Hayden and Luke chose to swim more to the right and let the current work for them – at least that was what Hayden was hoping.
It wasn’t to be. As they converged on the final buoy, Oxford had a clear lead and won by 22 seconds, one of the biggest margins of recent weeks. Luke was a further eight seconds back, with Abbey another 50 seconds behind, a minute ahead of Terry Bone, then Hamish Neill, Ben Marshall and Joe Thornton.
Christina Harris got back on song with second place in the women’s section, ahead of Eva Ellena, Wendy Healey and Fran Harris.
In a startline drama, Fenn Anderson got a gumboot in the face, knocking off his goggles. As he stumbled around in a dazed fashion, the green caps began to worry that they’d have to swim over him, so they shouted out, directing him to the stray googles floating in the harbour. Fenn was able to find his goggles and get going just before the green caps got their hooter.
Noah Brehaut, left and Emily Chadderton.
In the short swim over about 650m, Emily Chadderton and Noah Brehaut performed their usual one-two routine, this time separated by seven seconds. The pair comfortably lead the short swim rankings after 12 races, both unbeaten in their categories since near the start of the season.
Lilly Claridge, Lucas Bell, Marcel Kepess, Harmony Stocker amd Jacqui Maitland were next to finish.
Photos: Graham Brehaut bravely stepped in with a mini-camera, thanks Graham – here’s the photos
Here’s the points – any corrections or questions – firstname.lastname@example.org
From this week, the final column in the points table will reflect the total for your 11 best swims and this will keep adjusting until the end of the season. If you’ve done most of the swims and seem to be in a good position, take a look at those who haven’t done so many swims – they still have time to catch up.