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Sea swim, January 11

That was one big hairy swim. The long course was 1500m but seemed much longer with some choppy seas to bash into.

Luke Kelly (featured image) emerged a second ahead of Hayden Squance, followed by a group containing Matai McGuinniety, Bendi Kepess and Sierra Thomas, the first woman.

Aliesha and Mathew Peacock continued to dominate the short swim.

Someone left a heavy duty watch in the men’s change rooms. If it’s yours, drop us an email at and we’ll reunite you with it.

Results in finish order

Results in age group order

Photos, by Janice Coyle

Points to date

Story available on mobile devices at The Nelson App

If you like swimming in the sea in a more relaxed fashion, join other swimmers most days – see what others are doing at

Don’t forget the next big swim:

8.30am, Sunday January 14, Clements Endurance Swims, 3.8km Ironman Challenge.

As part of our support for the Interislander Big Tahuna, we are helping out with signs advertising the event. If you live on any busy street or road in the region and have a nice front fence or lawn, would you like to volunteer a space for a few weeks leading up to the March 31 event? Email us at if you can help.

There are four different distances on offer at the Big Tahuna. To enter and obtain a 20% discount, go to and use the discount code NLESONSWIMSERIES18

Port Nelson Sea Swims, Race 7, December 31, 2015


Great swim – about 1400m for the long swim, 400m for the short.

Here’s the results.

Here’s some photos by Bryony Marriott

Series points to date

Here’s the Nelson Mail story from the Stuff website, click here

Port Nelson Sea Swims, Race 6, December17, 2015

Feature photo, Simon Kneebone, left,  was 8th, followed by Caitlin Delany and Jon Linyard. Photo Jean Hodson

Lovely swim in good conditions. Here’s the results

Points table to date, click here. Please email with corrections.

Story in the Nelson Mail, click here

Photos by Peter Gibbs and Jean Hodson, click here



Clements Windows and Doors Endurance Series, Opening Splash, December 13

Here’s the results, click here

The story from the Nelson Mail

Port Nelson Sea Swims, Race 5, December 10


Conditions were perfect.

Featured photo: Hayden Squance and Thomas Heaton took it all the way to the finish, with Thomas, on the right, taking it by a whisker. (Photo: Emily Trengrove)

Here’s the results, click here

Photos from Emily Trengrove, click here

Points to date, click here Any corrections, please email

Points table after four swims

Sorry this has taken a while to catch up with. From now on, it’ll be updated weekly. Keep an eye on your points and let us know as soon as possible if there are mistakes.

For the table so far, click here

Port Nelson Sea Swims, Race Five, December 3

Conditions were marginal with wind and rough conditions and because of the difficulties that would be experienced with support boats and kayaks, the race was cancelled.

Don’t forget the first Clements Windows and Doors Endurance Race, The Opening Splash, 2km from the beach to the yacht club, 11.30am Sunday December 13. The short option is 600m, Richardson St Steps to the Yacht Club – everyone must sign up and be at the beach for the race briefing by 11.15am.

Following the swim on December 17, there will be a barbecue – fish/sausages provided. Bring extra food and drinks and enjoy some time winding down after the swim.

No swim on Christmas Eve, December 24. There will be a swim on New Year’s Eve, December 31.



Port Nelson Sea Swims, Race #4, November 26


The most challenging swim yet, with distances up and the tide vs wind combo making for some interesting sections on both short and long course.

It didn’t make any difference at the front of the field, with Thomas Heaton and Hayden Squance repeating their one-two at the head of the long course for the fourth time and Finella Gibbs-Beal reasserting herself at the head of the short course.

Featured photo: Thomas Heaton makes it four from four with a win by ten seconds from Hayden Squance. Photo: Emily Trengrove

Results – click here

More photos by Emily Trengrove, click here

Time to think some more about Samoa. Start planning now for August next year. Details, Samoa Sea A4 flyer16

Swim tips from Lionel Padial #1

Pace your Sea swims

Getting your pace right in a sea swim is crucial to achieving the outcome you want, and can prove very difficult for relatively inexperienced and experienced swimmers alike. Good swimming coaches spend a fair chunk of training time encouraging their swimmers to develop a feel for their most effective swim pace so that it is second nature come competition time.

Here are a few ideas to help you get the most from your swims:

1) Practise – swim and time yourself for each of four reps of – 50 metres for beginners / 200 for intermediates – and give yourself a 15 second rest in between each rep. Aim for a repeatable and sustainable pace, a pace at which you feel in control of your stroke, and your breathing. Sighting every 6-12 strokes will make this experiment more accurate. Adjust your pace up or down till you find that zone where it feels strong yet controlled. Once you have a time for your reps try and swim those times repeatedly taking note of how it feels. The more you practise this pace the more you will be able to find it in your races.

2) Warm up – A five-minute swim will get your aerobic system up and running so that you can start faster in the race and reduce the chances of you feeling wrecked at the first marker. It will also help you find your stroke, rhythm and pace. Doing a shortened rep or two of your race pace swims after five or so minutes of warming up will make it easier for you to latch straight into that pace both mentally and physically once the race starts.

3) Start slower – With all the race-start adrenalin the first one hundred metres or so can feel easy but if you do not hold back you will be hit by a wave of oxygen debt and find yourself either having to slow right down to get it back together or thrashing your way round swimming in-effectively.

Aim for a starting pace that feels steady if not “easy”, definitely not fast – this is only for experienced sea swimmers who are fit enough to recover whilst maintaining form and pace.

4) Finish stronger – Gradually ramp up your pace as you approach approx. 150 metres from the finish or alternatively (depending on what suits your physical make-up best?) aim to swim at a faster steady pace throughout aiming to run out of steam at the finish line.

5) Evaluate your race – When you get home think back over how you paced your race and decide how you might improve it next time then plan how you might achieve it next time.

Remember – Swimming faster is less about maximum effort and more about focus / concentration / discipline and stroke precision. Yes you do need to work hard but just like anything in life there is a point of breakdown. In water we often don’t notice the breakdown as they are subtle and we cannot see them. We have to feel the extra leaning on the arms or long stalls in the stroke when we breathe for too long or notice our hips, legs and feet dragging behinds us (yes, even in a wetsuit) when we lift our heads too high out of the water.

Generally speaking a strong yet controlled stroke is close to your most effective stroke. Once it feels ragged – IT IS – at that point regardless of how much you are thrashing yourself you will more than likely be going slower and worse still re-patterning your stroke to be more in-effective. Even worse again it is rarely enjoyable!

Swim well, have fun!


PS – If you enjoyed this article and would like to watch swim video clips or read more about swimming please go to the “Oneflow coaching” facebook page or website –

Port Nelson Sea Swims, Race three, November 19

For the third consecutive week it was a one-two for Thomas Heaton and Hayden Squance , with Xavier Anderson and Luke Kelly close behind.

Talya Harwood and Bailee Spriggs were not far from the front leading the women’s field

Brendon Hughes burgled the short swim from Finella Gibbs-Beal.

Featured photo: Medical official Carolyn Bennison and shore supervisor Paul Peacock ensure things go well in Thursday’s swim.

Here’s the results, click here

Photos by Emily Trengrove – click here

Nelson Mail story – also on Stuff, click here