The ever-growing, always popular multi-race (0.3K tag team relay, 0.7K and 2.8K) Sovereign New Zealand Ocean Swim Series has gotten off to a great start with its first two races of the Southern Hemisphere summer season: the Harbour Crossing Auckland and Russell to Paihia Bay of Islands have been completed.
In the first race of the season, Bryn Murphy (34:54) and Charlotte Webby (38:15) won by comfortable margins in the 2.8K Harbour Crossing Auckland.
Simon Millar of Los Angeles who flew across the Pacific to specifically do the race said, "Because it was so choppy, it was difficult to stay in a pack or even draft. I haven't done a race in California this choppy to be honest. During the race, a press chopper was flying above following the race which created noise and a choppy sea, but then the sun started to shine. It was an incredibly well-organized event. This series is hugely popular in New Zealand and draws Australians and several Olympians, including Moss Bermester who finished second in this race and fourth in the 200 butterfly at the 2008 Olympics."
In the second race of the season, Bryn Murphy won the 3.3K race comfortably again (39:51) with world championship medalist Kate Brookes-Peterson winning the women's race (43:34) with an impressive eight-place finish overall in the Russell to Paihia Bay of Islands. In the 0.75K race, Ashlee Crane won overall in 7:02 with 8 women taking the top 11 spots. Bryn said, "I'm still new to ocean swiming and learning all the time. I knew that the finish was important and so was concious of saving some legs for that."
Bryn, who finished third overall in the 2008-2009 season, is looking good to capture the 2009-2010 season title with the Capital Classic Wellington, Corsair Classic Christchurch, Sand to Surf Mt Maunganui, and King of the Bays North Shore City races yet to go.
Copyright © 2009 by Steven Munatones