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Port Nelson Sea Swims, March 14

Lovely calm swim, but a nasty little tide to swim against on the final leg of the long swim. The short swim had to push against it at first, but had a cruisey trip home.

Points were closed off as at February 28 for the awarding of overall and age group positions, so we didn’t have to fret about positions tonight (Christina Harris and Roger Matheson celebrated by shifting to the short swim and burgling first and second. Points table – click here

Results in finish order, click here

Results in age group order, click here

Photos, click here.

Have a lovely winter, train hard and we’ll do it all again from November 7 or 14 (to be confirmed). Watch this space.

Port Nelson Sea Swims, March 7


It’s very rough out there tonight with no predicted improvement. It would be tough for IRBs and almost impossible for kayakers and without our support services we’re not able to continue.

The plan at the moment is to have the final swim next week, immediately prior to the barbecue and prizegiving, but watch this website for news early next week

Who would have thought – the last swim of the season. It seems like summer is going to go on together, but winter is on the way.

Low tide is at 5.22pm, so incoming flow. The low tide is 0.7m, so there’ll be a bit of water about. Both swims will go south along the shoreline against the current, then out into the harbour for the return. Weather permitting, the long swim will be close to 2km – south to black boat, across to the jetty on the island and back to the ramp.

Check back here after the swim for results, photos, points, story.

Next week we’ll have a relay, barbecue and prizegiving.

Interislander Big Tahuna, 2019

What an amazing day. When the first three men and women in the 3km race stood on the podium, five of them were from Nelson. In the men, Luke Kelly, Fergus Drummond and Alec Swan took the first three places overall, while Abbey Smale was the first woman home, taking eighth overall, one place ahead of Sierra Thomas, second woman overall.

Not only that, the weather was amazing and we grabbed a swag of medals all the way through the various distances.

At a preliminary count, we achieved 28 age group medals in the 3km race – eight gold, 15 silver and 5 bronze:

Gold: Derek Eaton (M75-79), Hamish Neill (M55-59), Terry Bone (M45-49), Matt Hansen (M40-44), Rebecca Hollingsworth (F30-34), Luke Kelly (M20-25), Abbey Smale (F15-19), Fergus Drummond (M15-19).

Silver: Ralph Hetzel (M75-79), Stuart Hebberd (M70-74), Ben Van Dyke (M65-69), Malcolm Anderson (M60-64), Janis Crampton (F60-64), Christina Harris (F55-59), Andrew Martin (M55-59), Kerry Mathieson (F50-54), Wendy Healey (F45-49), Matt Newberry (M40-44), Ruth Thomas (F35-39), Ben Marshall (M30-34), Hayden Squance (M20-24), Sierra Thomas (F15-19), Alec Swan (M15-19).

Bronze: Steve Clements (M60-64), Jude Vincent (F55-59), Flossie Van Dyke (F25-29), Caitlin Abbott (F20-24), Oxford Bayley (M15-19).

Added to that, we gained three gold medals in the non-wetsuit division: Kerry Mathieson F50-54, Rebecca Hollingsworth F30-34, Lisa Gant F45-49

In the 1km swim we gained eight gold medals: Isabella Thurlow F14-19, Brooke Swan F10-13, Kate Kempthorne F20-19, Stuart Hebberd M70-99, Ned Smith M60-69, Charlotte Thynne F30-39, Natalie Gallagher F40-49, Sale Matthews F50-59.

In the 500m swim, we gained at least two gold medals, but our poor old statistician didn’t recognise some of the younger names (if you can help, please email Stuart Edens M50-59, Eileen Beattie F60-69.

There were plenty of good local results in the 100m, 200m and 300m too – again, it was too hard to pick out the local swimmers

Here’s some local photos

Results – click here

Here’s a story on Sportzhub

Port Nelson swims, February 28, 2019

Turned out to be a rough one. Out of kindness to those swimming on Saturday, the course was shortened to 1100m, with a short version of about 450m.

Results in finish order, click here

Results in age group order, click here.

Photos by Sandra McGregor click here.

Points to date, click here

Port Nelson Swims, Thursday February 21

Interesting venue – rotten getting in and out due to the very low tide, but a nice swim.

Here’s the results in age group order, click here

Here’s the results in finish order, click here

Here’s a lot of photos by Sandra McGregor – click here

Here’s a funny little video

Story now on The Nelson App on your mobile device (news tab) – also on Sportzhub (click here)

Points to date (sorted on the best 12 of each swimmer’s results), click here

The Interislander Big Tahuna is coming up in just over a week – on Saturday March 2. If you haven’t entered yet, please do. Use the code SWIMNELSON10 to get a discount on your entry.

It’s easy to take events like this for granted, but getting it here was the result of some serious lobbying. Christchurch want it back. We believe the event does the sport of sea swimming in our area a lot of good and we’d like to keep it. The things we can do to make it attractive include being our friendliest and most welcoming to visitors (we’re offering a free Thursday swim next week to all those who have travelled here), to ensure that entry numbers are as big as we can make them, and to provide plenty of volunteers to help with setup and running of the event.

For Friday next week (March 1), we need as many people as possible at 2pm to set up the main structures – fences, tents, etc. Even if you can only spare an hour in your lunch break, please consider coming and helping with this. We need a few more on Friday to help with preparing race packs and other tasks, but it’s the donkey work of getting all the materials carried to the beach that we need to most help with.

On race day, Saturday March 2, our resources will be stretched. We need 15 volunteers to help with a variety of tasks – registration tent, clipping off race numbers at the finish, keeping the finish line clear, helping the race director, being a gopher to and from the timing tent and so on. Although competitors can do some of this, these tasks are mostly for people not competing. That means your mother, father, brothers sisters, husbands, wives, friends and workmates. You can help by shoulder tapping someone you know.

If you can help, or know of someone who can on either day, please email or phone me, Peter Gibbs, on 026 2406 933

Newsletters: If you enter any of our events online, we add you to our mailing list for regular newsletters. However, if you’re an on-the-night entry, you may not be on our mailing list. If you’d like to be added, please email us ( – all we need is your name and email address.

Port Nelson Swims – Thursday February 14

A bit rough early on, so shorter courses. However, things died down a bit, so it became a shorter preparation for Sunday’s long swim.

Results in age group order, click here

Results in finish order, click here

Points click here (Note that the table is now sorted on your best 12 swims – your worst results are discarded)

Photos by Simon Alexander, click here

Following the most recent Banana Boat Ocean swim at Mt Maunganui, Sierra Thomas now sits on top of the national women’s standings. Sierra (pictured with fellow medal winner club president Dick Bennison) is also the national secondary schools champion over the 2km and 500m open water swim distances – great achievements.

Ocean Swims, Race Four, Sand to Surf, Mt Maunganui

Another good day for Nelson swimmers. The long swim of 2.6km was shortened to about 2km due to the rough conditions, with a particularly difficult section through the surf from the shore out to the first buoy. Of eleven swimmers, seven won age group medals, while Sierra Thomas added the gold medal for the first woman overall and Luke Kelly added a bronze medal for third overall.

In addition, Sierra Thomas, Bendi Kepess and Sophie Alexander added secondary school medals in the long race and added to them in the 500m race.

Full Nelson results here when available.

Photos, click here

Official results

2km results (to be confirmed)

Luke Kelly, gold M20-24 (also third overall)

Bendi Kepess, bronze M15-19 (also fourth overall)

Sierra Thomas, gold F15-19

Sophie Alexander

Hamish Neill, silver M50-54

Steve Clements, gold M60-64

Janis Crampton, silver F60-64

Dick Bennison, bronze M65-69

Brian McGurk

Peter Gibbs

Renato Melo

Port Nelson swims, February 7

It was a wonderful swim tonight, with the long swim stretching out to about 1600m, taking in the area south to Richardson St, north to a buoy off the Haulashore jetty, then back to the ramp.

Age group results, click here

Results in finish order, click here

Photos, click here

Points, click here.

Story – here Friday or Saturday

Following the highly successful showing of Nelson swimmers at the Capital Classic in Wellington, many of our swimmers are featuring on the age group lists in the Banana Boat Ocean Swim Series.

Most notable is Andrew Martin, who is fifth in the overall male standing after swimming in all three races so far (Bay of Islands, Omaha and Wellington).

In the age group standings we have many in the top three (although swimmers who have swum in all three races have an advantage so far, final points are taken from the best three results of the seven race series):

Sierra Thomas 1st= F15-19

Luke Kelly and Fraser Neill, 2nd= M20-24 (One win each)

Andrew Martin 1st M55-59

Janis Crampton 1st F60-64 (A perfect record of three wins)

Maggy Johnston 2nd F60-64

Peter Gibbs 1st M70-74

Stuart Hebberd 3rd M70-74 (after just two swims)

Derek Eaton 1st M75-79

For the full series points so far, click here. The next Banana Boat event on the calendar is at Mt Maunganui this Saturday

Clements Endurance Series Race Three – Haulashore Circuit

A perfect day – especially appreciated after a summer of rough swims. With a long weekend and the attraction of pool competition for the younger swimmers, number were down to 80 – 12 in the short swim and 68 in the full circuit.

Times in finish order click here

Times in age group order, click here

Photos by Annie Odienne, click here

Here’s the story on Sportzhub, click here

Here’s the best times for the circuit over the years, click here.

Port Nelson Swims, Thursday January 31, 2019

It was a testing swim after all. The tide was right, there wasn’t a huge current, but it was in opposition to a good wind, which whipped up a decent amount of choppiness, adding a couple of minutes at least to the times of most people, compared to last week on the same course. We had a near-record turnout of 179 swimmers – certainly the biggest number for several years.

Age group results click here

Results in finish order, click here

Photos by Niamh Berry-Kilgour, click here. Sorry that we didn’t get the full set of photos for green and red cap finishers – we’ll make sure we get you all next week.

Points, click here

Story on Sportzhub, click here. Story also on The Nelson App

Have you seen this month’s Wild Tomato? A good summary of our two swim series. We’ll get a copy of it online soon.

Coming up are two swims in the Clements Endurance Series. First, the Haulashore Circuit (2.8km), this Sunday February 3 at 9.30am. Start and finish at the yacht club, with a short option of swimming about 900m to the dolphin and return. Two weeks later, it’s the 3.8km Ironman Challenge, at 8.20am, starting and finishing on the beach. The short option then is a swim of about 1300m from the Richardson St Steps, starting at 8.50am (but you have to register at the beach and listen to the race briefing first. You can go into the registration page online and add those swims to your existing entries (don’t remove the current ones), or you can just turn up before the race and register. Your race number is the same as it is on Thursday nights, (if you’re already doing those swims).

Two weeks after that, on March 2, is The Interislander Big Tahuna, where the country comes to Nelson. Watch the video

We have a discount code for the Big Tahuna, in Nelson on March 2. If you enter using the code SWIMNELSON10 you’ll get a 10% discount to the Nelson race.

You can read more and put in your entry to other Banana Boat Ocean Swim events at

You should also start thinking about Swim Fiji – your late winter getaway, August 22-26, 2019. Several Nelson swimmers have already flagged an interest. Check the website –