Queenstowner Philip “Fish” Montgomerie, 50, (right) catches his breath last Saturday after completing the biggest mass swim of Lake Hayes.
The event – the 19th annual swim organised by Southland’s Foveaux Masters Swimming Club – attracted 42 participants.
Numbers were substantially boosted by veteran Queenstown swimmer/multisporter Tom Pryde roping in several locals.
“We’ve had triathlons out there with more swimmers but they’ve never just swum across the lake and back,” Pryde says.
All but one person went from the Wakatipu Rowing Club side to the opposite shore and back – about 2.4km.
First home in 27min 51sec was Invercargill’s Wayne Evans, 44 – a top New Zealand swimmer for his age group.
Second was former NZ rep, Southlander Joyce Wiegersma, whose sister Natalie swam in last year’s Commonwealth Games – she finished in 28.58sec, after an arm wrestle at the finish with Dunedin’s Richard Jongens.
Adam Wilson, in fourth, was the best-placed local – Montgomerie finished sixth.– Philip chandler