Kapiti Island to Mainland Swim 2009

By Graeme Trask

Last Saturday (14th March) saw the annual swimming event from Kapiti island to the Mainland organised by the Raumati Swimming club in which there were 12 entrants.

The Kapiti Boating Club opened up their clubrooms for the event and also organised support boats for each individual swimmer.

All swimmers were given a briefing at 9-30am on the rules of the race and assigned to a support boat before travelling to Kapiti Island where the race started at 11-30am from Rangatira Point.

Tides were running fast on the day and for some a strategy had to be put in place to allow for drift however for one person in particular this wasn’t of concern.

stephanie-benningtonStephanie Bennington a 15 year old from Wellington, blitzed the field to take out this year’s race in a time of 1hr 57mins.

andrew-bondIn second place was Andrew Bond  2hrs 43mins, and in third place was Emily Soper 2hrs 48mins.emily-soper

Andrew was the first male veteran swimmer (over 35).

hana-walzakHana Wolzak was the first female veteran swimmer in and was 6th overall. Her coach Phillip Rush ( ex 2 time Cook Strait swimmer) can be seen here coaxing Hana along at about the halfway point.

Speaking to several swimmers after the race they all said that the sea and tide conditions made the swim this year quite difficult and times to complete were extended considerably.

The Kapiti Island to Mainland swim started in 1963 and is organised by the Raumati Swimming Club.

One entrant who has been swimming the yearly event for the past 44 years is Ray Gough. Ray is now 67 years of age and finished this year in 9th place. He said he still enjoys coming along and participating in the race each year. “Having won the race one year and holding the record for a time in its early days and then another year coming second was a great feeling. My interests now are coaching mainly and to see the Kapiti/Mainland swim become more of an advertised and reported event to entice more of the young into swimming”.

For further information go to www.raumatiswimming.co.nz

Updated 26th March 2009