Hipkins Cup swimmers relish flat conditions

The annual Hipkins Cup sea swim was completed on Sunday in near-perfect conditions.

A field of 20 open water swimmers took part, setting off from the northern end of Rarangi Beach and completing the approximately 2.5km swim around the point to the finish line at Whites Bay.

Organisers were concerned by a strong offshore wind in the morning while setting the course, however by the time the race started the wind had dropped and the water was flat.

Event organiser Brendon Ferguson described the conditions as “some of the best we have ever had … really clear water, sunny, warm, and little to no wind”.

The top five swimmers were bunched closely together the whole way with a few last positional changes on the home legs.

First place was went to Marlborough multisport coach Mark Grammar with a time of 30 minutes, 48 seconds. Second place and the first female home was Georgie Kydd with a time of 31 minutes flat. Third place went to Finn McKenzie, the youngest swimmer, in 31.05 while Jessica Marston was fourth in 31.12 and Nathan Milner fifth in 31.24.

The oldest competitor was Peter Colbert, finishing 14th with a time of 38.53.

Most of the 20 swimmers opted for wet suits, just one competitor choosing to go without. There was an age gap of 54 years between the youngest and oldest swimmers with a good spread in between.