That was a solid swim, slogging south against the tide to round all the boats down by the Richardson St steps, then across to the pirate boat and back to the ramp via the dolphin. Total distance about 1650m.
To make matters worse, the tide picked up the final buoy and drifted it north. To make matters even worse still, there was a yacht moored approximately where the finish buoy is usually placed, so swimmers had to pass that yacht before rounding the final buoy.
After slogging it out all the way round the course with Hayden Squance, Oxford Bayley misunderstood the course instructions and headed for the finish after passing the yacht, handing the win to Hayden. Abbey Smale tracked the boys all the way round the course, taking second place.
No close finishes tonight, with Ben Marshall third, ahead of Hamish Neill, Joe Thornton, Haydn Lockie, Chris Vincent, Peter Burrell, Flossie Van Dyke, Corey Tremblay and Denis Cooper.
It’s interesting on the points table now, with Hayden on 104 after completing 13 swims. It’s the best of 11, so Hayden isn’t going to pick up more than one point (if he wins) in the final swim next week. On the other hand, Oxford is sitting on 98 and he only has ten swims against his name. One more swim, provided he finishes in the top four, will be enough for him to win the series
It was tight in the women’s non-wetsuit division after Jude Vincent cruised to her normal win. Three minutes further back it was Palmerston North poacher Marieke Wijnen, fresh from a 40km jaunt in the Abel Tasman, in 29.41, Lisa Gant in 29.45, Grace Haack in 29.53 and Gina Yukich in 29.56.
Emily Chadderton easily took her normal victory in the short course, with a clear margin back to Lucas Bell, Lilly Claridge, Rosie Goomes, Keshia Linyard and Piper Munnerly.
98 swimmers started the long course, 17 did the short course for a total of 115 swimmers.
Here’s the points any questions – email@example.com
Final competition swim next week. Note that there’s not much wriggle room now. Points are calculated on your best 11 swims, so most age groups are sorted. May make some comments on the close ones over the weekend – check back here in a day or two.
Here’s the photos – by Pete Marshall.