The Legend grows.
A record field of 230 swimmers — about 60% from out of town — are competing in the third edition of The Whakatipu Legend on Queenstown’s Lake Whakatipu tomorrow.
Almost 200 swimmers entered last year, however numbers dipped by about 60 due to Covid.
Tomorrow’s finish-line will again be Kelvin Grove, and the event will reprise last year’s four courses, plus a super-long new one.
Those four courses are 1km and 2km out-and-back swims from Kelvin Grove, a 3.8km swim from the back of Kelvin Peninsula, and an iconic 5km swim across from Refuge Point, near Cecil Peak.
The new event’s a 10km marathon comprising five laps of the 2km course.
Richie Lambert, who’s again organising the Legend with Lucas Fornes, says due to Covid ‘‘we were very much walking a tightrope’’ the past
‘‘This year is definitely the year we know this is going to be a long-running event.’’
The 5km Haki-te-Kura crossing — named after a woman who, according to Māori legend, was the first person to swim across Lake
Whakatipu — has attracted 100 swimmers.
Lambert: ‘‘They get that kudos of swimming from one side of the lake to the other.
‘‘Plus, you’re suspended over almost 400m of water — to think, when you’re over in the middle of the lake, if I took away all this water, I’d be 400m in the air, it just seems crazy.’’
Tomorrow’s start times range from 7.30am to 9.05am.