In the State Paihia Classic, Round 1 of the State New Zealand Ocean Swim Series, English Channel record holder destroyed the field and nemesis Kane Radford.
In Round 2 of the series, two more heavyweights are going mano-a-mano in the State Harbour Crossing in Auckland on December 2nd. 31-year-oldKy Hurst of Australia and 27-year-old Troy Hercules Prinsloo of South Africa, both two-time Olympians, lead the star-studded fielding the State Harbour Crossing, on Sunday week.
Prinsloo finished 12th in the 2012 London Olympics marathon swim after switching gears from the pool where he competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 1500m freestyle.
Nicknamed Killer, Hurst is a legend in surf lifesaving across the Tasman, winning 28 Australian surf titles and 7 Ironman championships. He also finished fifth in the 2011 World Swimming Championships, 11th in the 2008 Beijing Olympics marathon swim and 20th in the 2012 London Olympics.
But expectations are being strategically downplayed by Hurst, “The Harbour Crossing is my first big race since the Olympics in London. I’m not expecting to be brilliant, but I’m very competitive and want to win it.” That is a strong statement given the fact that Trent “Trento” Grimsey and his little bro’ Codie will also be in the field.
Besides the thousands of all ages who will come out to participate, volunteer and watch the event, event director Scott Rice says, “[[The addition of]] this pair now mean the quality of the field for the State Harbour Crossing is the strongest it’s ever been.”
Another battle is expected in the women’s elite race with defending champion Cara Baker going head to head with Taranaki’s Charlotte Webby who convincingly won in Paihia in Round 1. Baker, who unexpectedly failed to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics, seriously considered retiring. But a good showing in the FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup race in Hong Kong reignited her engines.
“That result [in Hong Kong] was a turning point for me. I was in a bad way mentally and physically after failing to get to London, but I’m now really looking forward to swimming on Sunday week in an event which is one of my favourites.”
The State Harbour Crossing is Round 2 of the 6-race series. The 2.9km traverse goes across the Waitemata Harbour from Bayswater to the Viaduct The remaining 4 races are held in Wellington, Akaroa, Mount Maunganui and Takapuna with NZ$20,000 for the top man and woman.
Photo of Cara Baker by Photosport.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
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