Rivalry creates record-breaking win

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Sam Thornbury (left) and Flynn Sinclair head to the finish line in the annual Te Anau Across the Lake Swim. Photo: Julie Walls

FLYNN Sinclair, of Invercargill, retained his overall and first male titles and cracked the record for the 1.9km annual Te Anau Across the Lake Swim on Waitangi Day.

The 17-year-old Southland Boys’ High School pupil posted a time of 24 minutes 2 seconds. He beat Verdon College pupil Sam Thornbury by just 1 second.

The previous race record of 25.11 was set in 2014 by Robert McDonald, of Invercargill.

Third place went to Daniel Hayes, in a time of 27.17.

First woman home was 48-year-old Kerry Mathieson, of Stoke, Nelson, in a time of 27.26. She was fourth overall.

Kerry Mathieson of Stoke, Nelson, was the first woman home. Photo: Julie Walls

Mathieson was instrumental in starting the inaugural event in 1985 at the age of 16. She donated a trophy for the first local swimmer home. The recipient was Neville Thorne, in a time of 29.31.

First junior home was 14-year-old William Wallace, of Winton, in a time of 31.00, and youngest swimmer was Frankie Campbell, of Te Anau, aged 12, in a time of 40.49.

Fifty-five swimmers, including some open water swimmers from Invercargill and triathletes who will be taking part in Godzone teams, donned wetsuits and swam the endurance race in a water temperature of 17.9degC.

The event, which was part of the Waitangi Day Te Anau 2018 Festival, was organised by Jansen Rogers, of Invercargill, and sponsored by The Sandfly Cafe assisted by Fiordland Amateur Swimming Club Inc.

Rogers said he was very pleased with the numbers, given the short lead-in time around organising the event, and hoped to double it next year.

“All entry fees were donated 50/50 with Fiordland Amateur Swimming Club and St John Te Anau,” he said.

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