A 12-year-old Auckland girl and her dad are set to complete their seventh open water swim in five months.

When Rhys George and daughter Amber finish the 2.5km race at King of the Bays on the North Shore today they will have collectively swam a total of 42.2km (21.1km each) across harbours around New Zealand.

The pair, from Maraetai, have travelled up and down the country - from Paihia to Nelson - to participate in every Banana Boat Ocean Swim Series event this season.

Rhys, 47, told the Weekend Herald swimming together in the series had been an opportunity for him and Amber to bond.


"It's a great way to see the country. What's a better way to show her my sport?"

The series was a safe way to get young people into open water swimming, he said.

He had participated in the past three Ocean Swim Series, but it was his first time swimming it with Amber.

They swam side by side to increase Amber's confidence swimming in open water, but planned to compete separately during the next series.

"She's more than capable to swim them on her own now. She'll probably be beating me next year," said Rhys.

However, his daughter's motivation for doing the series was competitive rather than tender.

"Dad always inspired me. I always wanted to be better than him because he always used to come home from swimming training and tell me what he's done and when I was little I always wanted to be the best at something," said Amber.

However, the schoolgirl added that she believed she wouldn't have been able to do the series without her dad.


"I never thought I'd complete all of them."

Amber had trained for the series for about 18 months at Manurewa Swimming Club.

"I really wanted to do it [aged 10] but I wasn't allowed to because I wasn't a good enough swimmer," she said.

Diving into the sea before an open water swim was scary at first, but rewarding.

"Getting up in the morning is really hard but after I've done it I feel so good," said Amber.

"When you're out there you can see all sorts of amazing views. The Auckland one I did I got to see the Harbour Bridge and I got to see all the amazing houses on the islands."

About the Banana Boat Ocean Swim Series

• The series is made up seven different open water events around the country - the Auckland Harbour Crossing, Duke of Marlborough Hotel Bay of Islands Classic, Interislander Capital Classic (Wellingtong), Donelley Sawmillers Legend of the Lake (Rotorua), Generation Homes Sand to Surf (Mt Maunganui), Interislander Big Tahuna (Nelson) and the King of the Bays.
• The last for this season, King of the Bays, is on at Cheltenham Beach in Devonport today from 11am to 1.55pm