English Channel record holder Trent Grimsey proved too classy in the Paihia Classic, beating his nearest rival by one minute over the journey from Russell to Paihia today.
The 24-year-old Queenslander covered the 3.3km in a time of 40 minutes 34 seconds, well ahead of New Zealand's leading hope and defending series champion Kane Radford, who finished just ahead of Auckland's Phillip Ryan and Trent Grimsey's younger brother Codie, who was fourth.
Trent Grimsey started strongly, quickly going to the front, and he was never headed. He was 50m ahead after 1km and steadily built on that.
"This was the first time I'd swum in a wetsuit since last year, so that took about 200m to get used to but, after that, I felt really good," Grimsey said.
Grimsey's win continues an outstanding year. In September, he shaved two minutes off the record for the English Channel crossing, recording a time of six hours 55 minutes.
He also won this year's FINA open water swimming grand prix circuit, is a three-time Australian open water champion and the current New Zealand open water 10km champion.
In the women's race, New Plymouth's Charlotte Webby was even more dominant. She won by more than two-and-a-half minutes over 17-year-old Aucklander Kirsty Wannan. But Webby said it could have gone better.
"My goggles kept fogging up today, which wasn't ideal," she said. "But in a way I'm pleased these kind of issues came out today, so I can sort them out ahead of the other five races in the series."
Both Webby and Grimsey have earned 100 series points for their wins today, as they chase the $20,000 grand prize for the series winner.
Grimsey confirmed he's entered the remaining five rounds of the State New Zealand Ocean Swim Series in an attempt to win the cash.
The other rounds include Auckland's Harbour Crossing on December 2 as well as races in Wellington, Akaroa, Mount Maunganui and Takapuna next year.