Bay of Islands residents excelled when the New Zealand Ocean Swim Series came to their backyard last Saturday.
The 3.3km Beach to Bay race from Paihia to Russell was contested in calm, flat conditions more like a giant swimming pool than the sea, leading to some fast times, swimming coach Karen Markin said.
More than 350 swimmers from throughout New Zealand took part.
"Considering we're a relatively small place, Bay of Islands swimmers came away with a great haul of podium finishes," she said.
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While the overall winner was Auckland's Alex Dunkley in a time of 40:15 — his sixth win in a row in the series — Kerikeri's Emilia Finer was the second female overall, exiting the water in 45:37.
The former Kerikeri High School student returned from Dunedin, where she is studying, to compete.
Other standout results included Ann Robinson of Kerikeri who was first in the 70-74 age division with a time of 1:05:08; Peter Nobbs, Ōpua, first, non-wetsuit 65-69, 1:21:13; Layla Bell, Kerikeri, third, 12-14, 56:30; Dale Long, Paihia, third, 55-59, 50:09; and David Grant, Kerikeri, third, 65-69, 56:58.
Sue Field, of Kerikeri, was first in the 50-59 age division with a time of 1:21:13 in a new amphibian event consisting of a 500m swim, 3km run and 300m swim.
Medals couldn't be awarded because, like so many things, they are stuck in a supply chain bottleneck.
The Beach to Bay swim would be back in November so now was a good time to start training for anyone keen to give it a go, Markin said.
For more details of the Banana Boat Ocean Swim Series, go to www.oceanswim.co.nz.