Australian Trent Grimsey has stormed to victory in the 2012 State Harbour Crossing, continuing his blistering form in the series.
Grimsey, 24, finished the 2.9km swim from Bayswater to the Viaduct Harbour in 35:09, and was more than a minute ahead of fellow Australian and double Olympian Ky Hurst, who finished second.
Grimsey's win follows in equally dominant performance when he won the State Paihia Classic, three weeks ago.
Conditions were challenging for all 1500 swimmers at the weekend, with winds of up to 30 knots making the water choppy.
"This was probably as tough as any race I've done in terms of the conditions,'' Grimsey said.
"It is a lot harder to swim in the chop than in flat water, but I think it affected my competitors a bit more than me; I don't mind it when it's like this.''
Grimsey's brother Codie, 22, who won the 2010 Harbour Crossing, finished third just ahead of South African Troy
Prinsloo. The 27-year-old from Durban, who finished 12th at this year's London Olympics in the 10km open-water swim, found the going tough.
"Today was quite physical and I didn't really enjoy that,'' Prinsloo said.
"I suppose if I want to carry on with open water, I've got to get used to it.''
The women's race was won by defending champion Cara Baker, 22, but only after an error from her main rival, Charlotte Webby.
The 24-year-old from New Plymouth led Baker for most of the race only to make a navigational error 200m from the finish of the swim. She swam to the left of a marker buoy when should have swum to the right of it. That allowed Baker to defend her win from last year.
"It was really unfortunate for her; maybe it was my good fortune to go on the right side,'' Baker said. "I was certainly surprised to see the tape out for me not her, when I got out of the water.''
Webby was gutted; wins against her rival have been rare.
"It was my mistake; I was really hoping for a win against her,'' Webby said. "Cara's an awesome swimmer. Maybe next time, hopefully, next time.''
The State Harbour Crossing was round two of this season's six-race series.
The last four races in the series are in the New Year, in Wellington, Akaroa, Mount Maunganui and Takapuna.
This year's series is the third richest in the world, with $20,000 on offer for the leading man and woman. Only the Fina Open Water Swimming Grand Prix and the Fina 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup are richer.
Rotorua swimmer Kane Radford didn't take part because it clashed with a trip to Perth where he will do some open-water events, as well as a training camp.
2012 State Harbour Crossing top three men and women's results:
Men: Trent Grimsey 35m 09s, 1; Ky Hurst 36m 15s, 2; Codie Grimsey 36m 24s, 3.
Women: Cara Baker 39m 56s, 7; Charlotte Webby 40m 11s, 8; Kristy Wannan 41m 56, 11.