Swimmers take to lake

Te Anau Lake Swim first three placegetters(from left) Flynn Sinclair third, Jacob Blomfield first and Matthew Speight, second, all from Invercargill, after the race on Waitangi Day.

IT took Invercargill’s Jacob Blomfield just 25 minutes and 10 seconds to swim 1.9km at Te Anau Lake Swim on Saturday.

He splashed his way to first place, ahead of two other Invercargill swimmers Matthew Speight (26.43), who was also first junior home, and Flynn Sinclair (27.30).

Blomfield still wasn’t able to crack Sinclair’s 2018 record of 24.02 which he set as an 18-year-old.

Second junior home was Clark Jamieson, of Gore, in 31.56, and first local home was Richard Jongens in 29.44.

First woman home was Sophie Shallard, of Gore, in 28.06, the second time she had won the event, with Invercargill swimmers Julia Hunt (31.02) second and Ella Dougherty (33.39) in third place.

Dougherty was also the third junior home.

Thirty-five swimmers donned wetsuits and swam the endurance race, starting from Dock Bay at the foot of the Jackson Peaks in Fiordland National Park, swimming the course to Te Anau foreshore.

“Although brilliant weather and high temperatures, the water temperature was only 16 degrees, compared to other years of up to 17.9 degrees,” organiser Jansen Rogers said.

“This year’s numbers were down slightly, but the quality of the field was of a higher standard.”

Last year’s race was initially postponed as the lake was in flood and it was deemed too dangerous with the amount of floating debris.

“Going forward, in an effort to grow the event, we are hopeful that it will become one race in a series,” he said.