The summer-long course season kicked off on the weekend with two days of racing at the region's only 50m pool in Rotorua.

Thirty three Greerton swimmers had to battle not only tough competition but cold gusty winds which made quick times hard to come by.

Saturday night's 50m freestyle skins proved very successful for Greerton Swimmers.

Cai Jager, 16, took out the men's skins with tactically sound pace judgement through the first six 50s before going all out to beat Rotorua's Henry Weston in the final 50m. In the women's event Marijke Hattingh, 15, was pipped by Otumoetai star Ruby Matthews in the women's final.


Hattingh's win was off the back of a strong meet, winning five other events along with three seconds. Hattingh was only surpassed in the wins stakes by Lochlainn O'Connor who comfortably won all eight of his events, confirming his place as one of the Bay's premier swimmers.

A number of younger swimmers shone. Millie Quin, 12, swam some good personal bests despite the conditions, the pick being a 2:32.72 200m freestyle. Fellow 12-year-old Tom Jury swam an impressive 200m butterfly in 2:56.60 in a Geerton 1-2 behind accomplished fly swimmer Louis Fitzjohn, 12, who completed the butterfly trifecta winning the 50m and 100m as well.

Aidan Heath, 13, won the 100m butterfly and backstroke events before coming from behind in the final relay to lead the Greerton team home by a touch. Olivia Cummings, 14, was as energetic as ever, never missing the freestyle podium from 50m to 800m and causing a few upsets in the skins as well. Ella Browne, 16, was another whose consistency was rewarded by not finishing outside the top three over eight events.

Other top swims came from Katie Hills, 11, with a huge 29-second personal best in the 200m medley, Jessica Martin, 14, winning the 200m butterfly, Zac Quin topping the boys' 10 100m breaststroke, and Mia Pugh, 15, who finished with a solid 19:14.24 in the 1500m freestyle.

Daniel Harrington, 12, impressed with five personal best swims in the big pool across a number of strokes indicating good medley potential.

First timers in Greerton colours Gabriel Roberts, 10, and Paris McConnell, 11, showed plenty of promise while Lilli Guy, 11, and Isaac Williams, 11, both made four from four in personal bests.