Swimming: Strong line-up for Pilot Bay

By Peter White


Round two of the hugely popular five round Team Shorebreak Ocean Swim series is set to go just after 6pm tomorrow night from Pilot Bay.

The opening swim last week attracted 80 swimmers with many high calibre athletes from a multitude of sporting passions, with some of the best young triathletes and surf lifesavers showing out.

Mount Maunganui surf lifesavers Mason Pickering and Jess Smith took out the individual honours but organiser Sheryl McLay was also impressed with the under-12 swimmers and those in the masters division.

McLay is pleased to announce two members of the NZ under-20 team that competed so well at the recent world championships in Natalie Peat and Ben Johnson are swimming tomorrow.

Papamoa teenager Peat won the ironwoman race at the Whangamata Classic on Saturday, with Smith third, so they will be in top form.

"It is always entertaining for me to see how the triathletes stack up against the triathletes, and they are always talking about who are the best athletes and who trains the hardest," said McLay.

"This is a chance for them to compete against each other plus we need to keep a close eye on Jessica Miller. She is just starting out in all this open water stuff but she is a pretty well achieved pool swimmer."

McLay is expecting another close battle in the masters division, especially between Michael Pugh and Rex Harding.

Registration will be held at Pilot Bay at 5.30pm with the race preview at 6.00pm. The course is a 750m long triangle, with the elite athletes completing two laps off the beach near Salisbury Wharf.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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