Long distance swimmer Rhys Mainstone is up to fourth in the World Cup rankings after clinching the FINA Open Water Event in Noumea last week.
The 25 year old braved choppy conditions throughout the 10km race, holding off a world class field by two lengths.
“I was very motivated to swim well in this event as it’s the only event in the Oceania region and very happy that FINA have put a series event close to home” Mainstone said.
With swell conditions building and the prevailing winds getting worse the West Australian made a brave decision to go it alone from the half way point, and with 6km to go he had opened up a lead of more than a minute.
But with a pack including previous World Cup winner Axel Raymond chasing, it was never going to be a casual swim to the finish.
“I mentally needed to stay tough and continue to work on the distance I’d gained, but it’s much harder to swim alone than within a pack of swimmers so the field was slowly gaining.
“With this win it should put me in good position with maximum points going towards my goal of taking the series for this year.”
Until Noumea, Mainstone had taken a two year break from the World Cup Series, instead choosing to focus on World Championship and Olympic qualification.
Next up will be the Hungary event in June, which will be the first of five events over a two month stretch including races in Portugal and Canada.