A dozen local businesses donated prizes for the the annual Cheltenham Swim, an annual fixture in the calendar of ocean swimmers across the peninsula and from outside Auckland.
The 2.1km swim is run by the Devonport Swim Club which operates from the navy pool at HMNZS Philomel on Queen’s Parade.
Around 150 swimmers set off on the starter horn at 9.30 am on Saturday morning, 5th May, from Narrow Neck beach. Aided by the current, the quickest swimmers were out of the water and bounding up Balmain Reserve on Cheltenham Beach in less than 22 minutes.
The annual Cheltenham Swim and the Round North Head Classic swim, held in November, have established a reputation over the years as being very well organised, and particularly friendly events, with little of the aggressive jostling often seen at larger ocean swim meets. This is also to do with the mix of entrants, which include many local swimmers out to enjoy a scenic swim around the coast.
Sponsors this year included Baked Devonport, Vondel restaurant, Skin Sense, Makoto Japanese restaurant, Cosi fan tutte, The Vic Cinema , 2 degrees mobile, Glengarry Wine, Just Workout Devonport, Riba Fish n Chips, Corelli’s Café, the gift shop Nord and Devonport Hammer Hardware, who also put on a mobile warm shower.
Devonport Swim Club had been running at half steam for the past two years while the navy pool had a complete upgrade and the steep bank directly behind it secured.
Regular swim squads have only been able to run sporadically over the period as the club has had to rent lanes from Takapuna Primary School and Takapuna Grammar School. Unfortunately, the TGS pool is only swimmable in February and March as it is unheated and exposed to winds.
However with the navy pool recently open again, swim squads have filled up quickly. The junior squads were at capacity within a week of the club’s relaunch.