Steven Kent held off the challenge of Sebastien Priscott to take the win in the main race at Long Bay - ScottieTPhoto
London Olympian Steven Kent of Coast Swimming won race two of the O Swim Autumn series at Long Bay on Saturday. The former NZ representative with a time of 40:59 for the 3 km distance pipped current New Zealand representative, Sebastien Priscott (41:01) of the Waterhole club West Auckland to win a close race.
The two went toe-to-toe around the 1 km triangular course, in the end, Kent's sprinting experience secured him the win. Priscott is a national champion in his own right, he won the Epic 10 km open water in Taupo in January.
Kent and Priscott were competing in the first race after lockdown with thirty other swimmers. Finishing third was 15-year old, Alex Dunkley. The race at Long Bay was the only live sporting event held in Auckland on the weekend.
The first ocean swim event in Alert Level 2 was well controlled. Swimmers started ten at a time and fifteen minutes apart.
Ella Crowe, 15, won the women's 3 km race. Another teenager Elizabeth Brennan was the winner - overall - in the 2 km race; and Grace Crowe (U13) won the all-female lineup in the 1 km distance.
The other meaningful tussle of the morning was between two thirteen-year-olds, Jack Potier and Palepua Afoa; Potier took out this race by a good margin.
The Long Bay race was the first swim for most swimmers after the 7-week lockdown. It was a chance "to blow out the cobwebs" in perfect sea swimming conditions.
The autumn series has three more races to go; race three is at Maraetai on Sunday. The last two races are on Queen's Birthday weekend at St Heliers and Browns Bay. The series includes a Swim-Run event at Orewa on Sunday 31st May.