Month: December 2014


Port Nelson Swim Seven, December 18

Tricky little swim – not very long, but turned out to be much harder than expected. A field of 170 swimmers.

Here’s the results, click here

Here’s some photos from Anna Perkins, click here

Points to date, click here

Tonight’s featured swimmers. Dick Bennison, left, is the race organiser – he’s hard on wetsuits, he blames his whiskery face – lucky you don’t have to kiss him. Steve Clements is an enthusiastic swimmer and sponsor of the Clements Endurance series (also the Tata Beach swim).

Tonight’s winner of the chance to go in the Samoa Swim draw is Alan Bryson

Swim tips #3

Swim Tip #3 – Relax your hands.

The latest in a series of swim tips from Nelson coach Lionel Padial

The picture above says it all…. here we have the most successful swimmer that has ever lived swimming at speed and as you can see, his fingers are open!

Surely he would go faster with his fingers together and his hands slightly cupped? It seems not. Despite a number of very strong arguments and opinions against this, the world’s best swimmers instinctively know that they swim better with their fingers a little apart and hands relatively relaxed.

In my opinion the professionals know. They have more feel for the water than any scientist and are taught by the world’s best coaches; surely between them they have it right.

With all the swimmers I have ever worked with from beginners to elite I have never come across one who prefers to keep their hands closed / cupped once they have tried relaxing them.

A few years back double Olympic gold medalist Danyon Loader spoke at a Saturday morning swim session I was coaching. He left us with a few gems to think about, one of which was to catch the water as if you were holding on to a ball or a buoy and then to use your whole body to get past that ball/buoy.

In my experience when swimmers relax their hands a little they begin to let go of their neck and shoulder tension. Once those three areas have eased off instead of feeling their own body tension they begin to feel the very medium they are working with!


  • The next time you swim try letting go of any tension in your hands, this will improve your feel for the water.
  • Aim to swim with your fingers slightly apart but above all go with what feels comfortable to you … even Mr. Phelps above has his own “signature” way of doing it.
  • Imagine sliding your hand over the top of a buoy and holding gently on to it as you move past using your whole body.
  • Once you have hold of the buoy in your mind’s eye focus your energy more on spearing a hole in the water with the other hand / side of your body.

Technique is universal, style is individual. 

Swim strong, swim with form,


Oneflow Freestyle workshop dates in January ‘15


Port Nelson Swim Six, December 11

Beautiful calm night, even if the low tide made it a bit awkward getting in and out.

Charlie Perkins headed off Jaslyn Humphries in the sprint to the finish of the short swim, while Kelly savoured a tactical finish as he came in a touch ahead of Thomas Heaton.

Here’s the updated version of the results, click here

Points to date, click here

Two photographers tonight – Anna Perkins for the short swim and Sharon Sellars for the long. To see their photos, click here

Featured swimmers: Sari Golding and Jess Hildyard look pleased with their swim as they come in ahead of a bunch of green caps at tonight’s swim.

Last night’s draw winner, who now goes into the hat on closing night for the big Samoa Swim prize, is Michael Harte.

The Opening Splash, December 7, 2014

Results, click here

Here’s a few photos from Sharon Sellars, click here

Here’s a story from the Nelson Mail, click here

Port Nelson Swim Five, December 5

Tonight’s results, click here

Beautiful conditions, 165 swimmers

Tonight’s winner of the chance to go into the Samoa draw is Camilla King (all weekly winners will be included in the points table from now on). Camilla will go into the final draw in March. All weekly winners must have completed 12 swims by season end to be eligible for the big prize, sponsored by Wildside Travel.

Photos from tonight’s swim, taken by Mark Lile, click here

Tonight’s featured swimmers – Caitlin Delany won a tight battle over Talya Harwood.

Points to date, click here

Swim news, December 3

This week’s Thursday high tide is at 9pm at 3.9m. Swim time at 6.15 will be with an incoming tide approximately mid-cycle, so we should have a moderate flow up the harbour.
Both courses this week will head south from the ramp against the tide so it will pay to stay in close to shore.
The short course will turn around a buoy or boat off the boat shed, return to a buoy off the ramp and into the finish. Approx 450m.
The long course will head further south to a boat or buoy south of the boat shed and then turn out and head to the white channel marker (Dolphin), round the marker and head back to the buoy off the ramp and into the finish. Approx 1000m.
Numbers are building up so please make sure you arrive in plenty of time to get registered before the 6pm cutoff.
It is important that we get under way on time, particularly as the swims get longer, so that we don’t keep our volunteers in the kayaks and surf life saving beyond the agreed time frames.
Our use of the yacht club facilities is a privilege, please respect it and don’t use the yacht club carpark that is reserved for their members, also please leave your dogs at home and no bikes south of the ramp.

Clements Endurance Swim Sunday, December 7

The First Splash, race one of the series, sets off from Tahuna Beach to the yacht club on Sunday morning at 10.45. If you haven’t entered and want to, now is the time. Enter through the website.
If you’re already registered with Thursday swims, you can add the endurance races and get any discounts – or you can just roll up at the beach and pay the full $15.
Race registration on Sunday morning from 10am. Distance is 2km. There will be a short option starting from the Richardson St steps approximately 20 minutes after the long course start.
Short course swimmers still need to register at the beach and then walk to the start at Richardson St.

Tata swim 2015

Coming up January 10, click here for details