Rhys Mainstone has claimed round four of the State New Zealand Ocean Swim Series by winning the men’s La Grande Swim in Akaroa.
The 23-year-old swam competitively in a wet suit for the first time but that didn’t seem to hinder his performance against a strong field including training partner and New Zealand number one Kane Radford.
Mainstone and Radford pulled away from the rest of the field throughout the 2.8km swim, but Mainstone was always just ahead of his training partner, and proceeded to pull away towards the finish to take the victory.
“It’s been really good to come here and win. Racing in the wetsuit was horrendous, but only because I’m not used to it,” Mainstone said.
“I’ll need do more training with it before my next race, which is back here in New Zealand next month.”
Mainstone becomes the fourth different winner in the series this season. The others are Radford, new Australian 10km open water champion Jarrod Poort, and a third Australian George O’Brien.
“All four of us are capable of beating each other on any given day. The last two races of the season are going to be very interesting,” Radford said.
Race five in the six race series is the State Sand to Surf in Mount Maunganui on March 22 and the final race is the State King of the Bays on Auckland’s North Shore on April 12.
Each swimmer must compete in a minimum of three of the six races. 100 points is awarded to each race winner, with double points on offer in the final round, the State King of the Bays. Just the top three performances from each swimmer count in the final standings.
2014 Men’s La Grande Swim Results:
1. Rhys Mainstone (Perth) 27:46
2. Kane Radford (Rotorua) 20:50 +0:04
3. Phillip Ryan (Auckland) 28:52 +1:06
4. Michael Sheil (Gold Coast) 29:09 +1:23
5. Troy Balvert (Cambridge) 29:25 +1:39