From the open water to the pool, Rotorua's Davey Boles is no stranger to achieving success in swimming.

Yesterday, the 18-year-old added to his collection of swimming accolades with the 2.6km swim title at Mount Maunganui's Generation Homes Sand to Surf in a time of 20 minutes and 55 seconds.

The 2.6km swim was just one race that athletes competed in as part of the weekend's Sand to Surf event, which has been running for 13 years, hosting more than 35,000 swimmers since its inception in 2006. Other races included a new 1.25km lap around Moturiki Island, the debut Amphibian event, which was a 500m swim followed by a 4.5km run around the base of Mauao completed as an individual or a duo, a 500m swim as well as three distances in the Banana Boat OceanKids Series of 100m, 200m and a 300m swim.

It was Boles' fourth time competing in the event and wasn't his first taking the title either, having won the swim around Motuotau (Rabbit) Island in 2018, but he admits it wasn't an easy start.


"I didn't get the best of starts. I just wasn't as quick out as some of the faster lifesaving guys," Boles said.

However, his skills were enough and with a training regime like his, it's no surprise.

Boles trains up to nine times a week for two hours each session and has done so for about three years, which has no doubt helped his success in the sport.

He is both a pool and open water swimmer but says open water racing is his preference because "there's a lot more facets to the race".

Last year the Swim Rotorua open-water specialist reached his sporting highlight to date - representing New Zealand at the Oceania Swimming Championships in Papua New Guinea. There, he secured New Zealand's first medal at the champs in his international debut, securing a bronze medal in the 5km race around Port Moresby harbour, before securing a second bronze at the same competition in the 10km open water race.

Boles, who has been swimming with Swim Rotorua for about five or six years but started the Learn to Swim programme since the age of six, doesn't have any major events to qualify for this year.

"I'm just taking it a race at a time," he said.

Boles says he likes to do as many Rotorua and Bay of Plenty swim events as he can and next up is Rotorua's Legend of the Lake on March 16-17. He won the 2018 3.3km swim event.


"I try and do most of the events in Rotorua and then ones that are nearby," he said.

The winners:

2.6km results:

1st man: Davey Boles, 20:55

1st woman: Sierra Thomas 23:06

Amphibian results:

1st man: Connor Farrell 25:14

1st woman: Isabella Webb 28:56