Won over by record attempt

By Heather McCracken


HAVE to admit to taking a while to get enthused about Kathryn Nevatt's world record freediving attempt in Masterton over the past five days.

I don't deny it's a remarkable feat to hold your breath and swim for that long.

I've done a lot of swimming in the past and a favourite game as a kid was to try to hold your breath and swim one length of the school pool - I well remember that gasping, desperate feeling as you tried to hang on just long enough to touch the end. Doing that for six-and-a-half lengths is remarkable, if not a bit barmy as well.

But until now I hadn't really got my head around how it worked as a spectator sport. I've been won over, in part by Gary Caffell's constant banging on - sorry, relentless enthusiasm - and by the drama of Sunday's world record disqualification.

I'm hoping to catch Nevatt trying to better her mark at the pool tomorrow.

*

I expected some response from readers from Saturday's story about the lower number of speeding infringements in Wairarapa.

Despite the official numbers, there are certainly plenty of speedsters on Wairarapa roads, as shown every day by the dodgy passing manoeuvres seen on State Highway 2. But the first response we got pointed the finger at slow drivers who hold up traffic at 80 to 85km/h on the open road, and cause other drivers to make risky decisions. The writer also had a swipe at those who then speed up to 105km/h in the passing lanes.

I have no argument with the second point - that's infuriating and should earn some kind of traffic infringement, though I've no idea how you'd enforce it.

But on the first, I disagree. There will always be slow vehicles on the road, for various reasons - cars towing trailers, oversize vehicles, farm vehicles. Part of being a reasonable motorist is being prepared to just slow down, wait it out, and pass when it's safe.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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