Big swim challenge



Organisers of Queenstown’s Whakatipu Legend swimming event, which ran for the second time last Saturday, have started a seven-swim challenge.

‘The Seven Great Whakatipu Swims’ — modelled on The Ocean Seven — also take place on Lake Whakatipu.

Launched just under seven weeks ago, the event challenges swimmers to complete
seven courses, ranging from 3km to 13km, in their own time, then post their times on The Whakatipu Legend’s website.







‘‘We wanted something people didn’t have to pay to do, but something that was a challenge,’’ event co-organiser Richie Lambert says.

‘‘We know the distances are long distances, but we didn’t want something people could do in two weeks.

‘‘People could do this over the space of two years, three years, some people might just do three of those big swims.’’

‘Seven swims’ includes two 13km gutbusters, from Walter Peak to Queenstown Bay and around Pig and Pigeon Islands, while there’s a 7.2km crossing from Hidden Island, near Cecil Peak, to Kelvin Peninsula, by the golf course.

Lambert says they’d not expected anyone to knock out all seven swims this season, but Jordan Roach has already completed six, with just the islands one to go.

He’s advising anyone taking on the challenge to have someone on a vessel accompany them.

Meanwhile, 129 swimmers participated in The Whakatipu Legend last weekend, comprising four races.

Lambert says despite probably losing 50-plus swimmers to Covid, they wanted to carry on so they didn’t lose momentum, ‘‘because next year we want 300 to 400 swimmers’’.

The 5km winners were Jackson Arlidge and Anne Gray, Connor Paton won the 3.8km  and Anna Hutchens was fastest female, her sister Sophie was first female and overall winner of the 1.9km event and Adam Evans was fastest male.

Sam Paardekooper was the 1km winner while local Sydney Alva, who’s only 12, took
out the female title and was second overall.