Sunday, November 21, 2010

NZ State Ocean swim series

November 21st 2010

For immediate release from the State NZ Ocean Swim Series, for further information visit

Dominant victories at State Harbour Crossing

Top Australian swimmer Codie Grimsey upset arguably the strongest field ever assembled at the State Harbour Crossing today. He dominated the men’s race, winning ahead of a clutch of world class Kiwis including defending champion Bryn Murphy who came in second some twenty seconds behind. Australian based Kiwi Cara Baker dominated the women’s field ahead of Lauren Boyle.

The 19-year-old, Grimsey led the field from the beginning. An impressive victory considering the line-up included five of the six previous winners of the event, including three time winner Kane Radford (Rotorua) who had to settle for fifth place on an overcast and rainy Auckland morning.

It is the only day of the year when harbour traffic gives way to swimmers and over 1200 people took advantage of that making their way from Bayswater on the North Shore to the Viaduct in Auckland City in an event that is becoming iconic to the city of Auckland and the Waitemata Harbour.

The men’s podium was rounded out by relative unknown local swimmer Matthew Stanley, the promising youngster out sprinted the more experienced ocean water swimmer, Phillip Ryan.

Grimsey was pleased to go one better than his older brother (Trent) who finished second at this event in 2008.

“While my brother has been over to do the event, it was my first time, so I just thought it would be safest to follow the swim buoys as much as I could – so I just stayed on them the whole way.

“With such a strong field I knew I would have to get off to a fast start – so I did, swimming as hard and as straight as I could.”

Having got a taste for beating the Kiwis, Grimsey is planning on coming back to take on some more of the State New Zealand Ocean Swim Series.

This will please second place getter and first Kiwi home – Bryn Murphy, disappointed to lose today but happy he will get another shot at beating the Australian on his home soil.

“You never want an Aussie to beat you in a race like this but he had a really good race and I’m pleased with my swim, I actually swam a minute faster than last year.

“Codie and I took slightly different lines out there and then came together at the end. He had the little bit of a gap on me which I wasn’t able to catch him unfortunately. I look forward to having another crack this season.”

Three-time winner of the State Harbour Crossing, Kane Radford, was disappointed to not be able to repeat his usually dominating performance at the event.

“I had a really tough day at the office unfortunately. Everything just seemed to go badly. But you have days like that – I’ll be up at Russell for the next swim to hopefully make amends.”

As with the men’s field, there was also an Australian influence in the women’s race with current Australian resident Cara Baker winning the women’s title. The Kiwi-born swimmer confirming her dominance in this series and adding to her State King of the Bays title which she won in April 2010.

“I’m really happy with my swim today, I just went as hard as I could the entire way, I didn’t know where any of the other girls were – I was pretty worried they were right there.”

Baker is planning on making the trip back to her homeland a few more times this season, however is keeping her plans close to her chest.

“I’ll definitely be back for a few more events as part of this series – I’m not going to say which ones – I’ll keep the other girls guessing.

Two swimmers keeping an eye on her movements will be Lauren Boyle and Mellissa Ingram, the two Auckland swimmers taking second and third respectively.

While not challenging the leaders, there was one participant who was more accustomed to being on the water rather then in the water – earlier this year Shaun Quincey was the first person to kayak the trans-Tasman. He crossed the line happy to have ticked off another crossing on his to do list.

“I really enjoyed it actually, I’m a bit out of shape but I made it so happy with that. It’s pretty good to be back in the water, right now I’d rather be on the water but pretty good to be in it and doing other challenges – so it was good fun.”

Scott Rice, Event Director of the State Ocean Swim Series, was extremely pleased with today’s event.

“It was such a great atmosphere at the finish line today, all the swimmers seemed to have a great time and everyone was just buzzing.”

Today was the seventh staging of the State Harbour Crossing, the event is the first in a series of six swims as part of the State New Zealand Ocean Swim Series.

For State Insurance, the support of the series is part of the biggest sponsorship deal in its one hundred year history of supporting New Zealand communities.

The next event in the State New Zealand Ocean Swim Series is the State Russell to Paihia Swim on Saturday 11 December 2010.

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