No State Secret - New Zealand Ocean Swim Series Is Serious

No State Secret – New Zealand Ocean Swim Series Is Serious

The State New Zealand Ocean Swim Series has boosted its presence on the global open water swimming map with a major increase in prize money.

Round One at the 3.3 km State Paihia Classic on November 10th will kick-off the biggest and richest open water swimming series held in any single country. With a total of NZ$46,000 (US$37,000) up for grabs, all kinds of world-class swimmers will head to New Zealand.

State New Zealand Ocean Swim Series event director Scott Rice said a number of world-class swimmers, including two-time Australian Olympians Ky Hurst and Melissa Gorman, English Channel record holder and 2012 FINA Grand Prix champion Trent Grimsey, RCP Tiburon Mile two-time champion Kane Radford and New Zealand’s top professional marathon swimmer Cara Baker have already confirmed their participation.

The series offers six races held throughout New Zealand on some of New Zealand’s most beautiful harbours and beaches and are the highlight of the New Zealand open water swimming calendar. The events include the following:

1. 3.3 km State Paihia Classic in Bay of Islands on November 10th, 2012
2. 2.9 km State Harbour Crossing in Auckland on December 2nd, 2012
3. 3.3 km State Capital Classic in Wellington on January 27th, 2013
4. 2.8 km La Grande Swim in Akaroa, Christchurch on February 23rd, 2013
5. 2.6 km State Sand to Surf in Mt Maunganui on March 16th, 2013
6. 2.8 km State King of the Bays in King of the Bays, North Shore, Auckland on April 6th, 2013

Each State New Zealand Ocean Swim Series event consists of several races. The I’m Going Long swims are between 2.6 km and 3.3 km. Wetsuits are recommended, but are not compulsory. There are 4 or 5 wave start groups and are split based on the estimated time selected during the entry process. There is novice-only wave for swimmers who are new to the longer swims and would like a little more space and less pressure on the starting line.

The series also includes the Step It Up 1000m swims that are ideal for swimmers who like a challenge, but are not quite ready to enter the longer swims. The Cut-off time for the 1000m swim is 40 minutes. There are 2 or 3 wave starts in this event. There is also the Give It A Go 300m swims that serve as an introduction to ocean swimming. These shorter swims are triangular courses close to the beach with a cut-off time of 13 minutes.

To be eligible for the series prize money, each swimmer must compete in three of the six events. The winner of each race will receive 100 points, with the remaining competitors awarded points based on a percentage of the winner’s time. The series concludes with double points on offer for the final event, the State King of the Bays on April 6th next year.

While the series winners pull in a nice NZ$20,000, the second-place man and woman each receive NZ$2000 with the third-place man and woman pulling in NZ$1000 for a total of NZ$46,000 (US$37,000) distributed in cash prizes.

Radford, who is always tough in races under 5 km, is the two-time defending champion and will be hard to beat on his home surf. Gorman, nearly unbeatable in short ocean races, is the defending champion and may be even a better bet to win the $20,000 than Radford. But Baker and 2010-11 series winner Charlotte Webby will give her a battle every meter of the series.

Rice explains, “We wanted to ensure a dramatic conclusion to the series, and this was the best way to do it. The quality of swimmers competing in New Zealand over the summer will be outstanding. For more information, swimmers can visit”

Here is a taste of personal challenge accepetd by thousands:

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