10 For 10 At The New Zealand Ocean Swim Series

10 For 10 At The New Zealand Ocean Swim Series

When 5 open water swimming veterans dive into the waters of Milford Beach on Auckland’s North Shore on Saturday morning, they will be going for 10 out of 10.

Of all the 1,600 participants in the 10th annual State King of the Bays Ocean Swim, these five will be the only ones to have swum in all ten of the 2.8 km races. 59-year-old John Thompson from Torbay explains.

I was actually really surprised to learn that I was just one of five to have done all ten. But I love this event and I do it each year simply as part of my effort to stay fit and healthy. The funny thing is I’ve got better each year I’ve done it.”

The Kings of the Bays Ocean Swim is an ocean swim that is the brainchild of Scott Rice, a Takapuna businessman and swimmer. “In my early twenties I used to organize parties for my friends, quite big ones in fact. These parties taught me a lot about what makes a successful event. I loved bringing people together and watching them enjoy themselves. The idea for the race came from my O.E., and when I returned to New Zealand there were heaps of triathlons and multi-sport events, so a professionally run open water swimming race became a natural thing to get up and running.” Fast-forward 10 years and his open water parties are massively popular, one of the world’s largest open water swimming series in a relatively small country. “We have Olympic champions like boardsailor Barbara Kendall, New Zealand representatives in other sports like former All Blacks lock Ian Jones and former Silver Fern netballer Tania Dalton, while broadcasters Brendan Telfer, Michelle Pickles, Charlotte Bellis and Nadine Ross-Chalmers are all swimming too. This week’s 1600-strong field is our strongest and our most diverse yet, and we aim to be back bigger and brighter next year.”

To join the party, visit www.oceanswim.co.nz.

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