Sat, Jan 27, 2024 9:33 AM
Chris Smithers took advantage of “pristine” conditions to claim victory in the annual Hipkins Cup sea swim on Sunday.
Twenty-one swimmers took the plunge this year, providing an age range of 13 to the mid-70s, with a couple of brave souls covering the approximately 2.5km distance with no wetsuits.
The event, from Rarangi to White’s Bay, was raced in a light nor’ east breeze, creating a little chop which, aside from the fresh water temperature, were the only obstacles on the day.
From the start the first two swimmers, Smithers and leading triathlete Gus Marfell, took different routes, Smithers managing to round the first marker ahead of the field and finishing in 27.39 minutes, followed by Marfell in 30.31 after a slight navigational delay.
In third place was Georgie Kydd with a time of 34.04, picking up the top female prize.
Hannah Gilhooly took put the youngest swimmer trophy with a respectable time of 43.24 at the age of 13 while at the other end of the age spectrum was Graeme Corrin, creeping closer to the mid-70s, who had a solid finish up the beach.
Organisers, the Rarangi Surf Life Saving Club, thanked Burnsco Waikawa, Meaters of Marlborough, and Pak ‘n Save Blenheim for their support of the event.