While winter swimmers in the UK make the most of the cold weather, on the other side of the world the open water swimming season is well under way. The State Capital Classic, the third in the New Zealand Ocean Swim Series of six races, took place yesterday in Oriental Bay, Wellington. Nathan Capp won the 3.3km men’s race in 37mins 37secs while Emma Robinson won the ladies’ elite race in 40mins 1sec.
Capp, the current New Zealand record holder for the 1500m freestyle, took a strong lead from the start. One of only two elite swimmers to choose the left hand side of the course, his good tactical decision at the startline gave him a decisive lead on the rest of the pack by the first marker. Says Capp: “I definitely thought the left would be favoured so I kind of had 20 metres on everyone before we even came together”. Second place was taken by 2014 Commonwealth Games swimmer Dylan Dunlop-Barrett.
In the women’s race, a bit of local knowledge helped Emma Robinson win over 2014 Commonwealth Games rival Laura Crockett. At the final 1.3km, Wellingtonian Robinson swam close to the shore while Crocket took a line further out to sea. “I live here and train here,” says Robinson, “so I knew it was a big help when they turned that lighthouse and went straight in – that wasn’t the line to take.”
Race four in the State Ocean Swim Series, La Grande Swim, takes place at Akaroa on 15 February.
More info: http://oceanswim.co.nz/