Rivalry creates record-breaking win

Sam Thornbury of Verdon College (left) and Flynn Sinclair of Southland Boys High heading to the...
Sam Thornbury of Verdon College (left) and Flynn Sinclair of Southland Boys High heading to the finish line of the Te Anau Across the Lake Swim. Photos: Julie Walls
Kerry Mathieson of Stoke, Nelson, first woman home in a time of 27.26.
Kerry Mathieson of Stoke, Nelson, first woman home in a time of 27.26.
15 year old Riku Darroch and his mother Izumi of Te Anau. Riku has undertaken the event three...
15 year old Riku Darroch and his mother Izumi of Te Anau. Riku has undertaken the event three times, since the age of 12.

17-year-old Flynn Sinclair of Invercargill retained his overall and first male titles, in a time of 24.02 on Tuesday, February 6 and cracked the record for the 1.9 km Annual Te Anau Across the Lake Swim to win by 1 sec from fellow swimmer Sam Thornbury also of Invercargill in a time 24.03.

The previous race record was broken in 2014 and held by Robert McDonald of Invercargill, with a time of 25:11.

Third place was Daniel Hayes in a time of 27.17. Youngest swimmer Frankie Campbell of Te Anau aged 12, a time of 40.49 and first junior home was 14 year old William Wallace of Winton in a time of 31.00.

First woman home was 48 year old Kerry Mathieson of Stoke, Nelson in a time of 27.26 and 4th overall. Kerry was instrumental in starting the inaugural event in 1985 at the age of 16. Her first time back since 1992 in the race was at the 30th anniversary in 2015. Kerry donated a trophy the first local swimmer home and recipient was Neville Thorne in a time of 29.31.

55 swimmers which include some Open Water swimmers form Invercargill and triathletes who will be participating in Godzone teams donned wetsuits and swam the endurance race, in a water temperature of 17.9 degrees.

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 Café assisted by Fiordland Amateur Swimming Club Inc. who collect the data.

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

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

- Julie Walls

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