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Great summer boosts Ocean Swim Series

April 8, 2013
Melissa Gorman and Ky Hurst (photo : facebook)

Melissa Gorman and Ky Hurst (photo : facebook)

The Ocean Swim Series wound up on Auckland’s North Shore this weekend with the 10th anniversary of the King of the Bays event.

Australians Melissa Gorman and Ky Hurst took out the women’s and men’s events respectively, disappointing Kiwi fans – but it could easily have been different.

“The Kiwis, they put everything on the line out there on Saturday,” says event director Scott Rice.

“Kane Radford, our fastest open water swimmer [was] only three or four seconds [behind]… In the shallow water of Takapuna Beach [Hurst] got to his feet first, a beautiful dolphin dive, and that’s what took it in the end.”

Gorman finished only 12 seconds behind the leading men, a pace that was just too good for the other women to keep up with.

“The two Kiwi girls – Cara Baker and Charlotte Webby – [have a] little bit more work to do to get up to Melissa Gorman’s level, that’s for sure.”

Despite the sweep, Rice says it’s good to have Australians competing.

“I think you’ve always got to have a few Aussies in it you know, to mix it up, the trans-Tasman rivalry,” he says.

The winners take home $20,000 each, which Rice says is the biggest prize available in swimming in New Zealand.

“I think that level of prize money for a swimmer that probably doesn’t have a lot of sponsorship, it can go a long way and fund probably another 12 months of their development to be a lead athlete.”

About 6500 people took part in the Ocean Swim Series, about 20 percent growth on last year.

“People want to get out there and want to test themselves,” says Rice.

“Also, we’ve had the best New Zealand summer that anyone can remember, so that’s been really good to us too.”


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