A record number of ‘birthday suit’ swimmers joined the epic Round North Head Classic on Saturday.
The annual open water swim event, run by Devonport Swim Club, is a firm fixture among peninsula swimmers and open water competitors from around Auckland.
At around 9.30am 25 swimmers made their way to a floating IRB anchored just of Windsor Reserve Beach, where they ‘de-togged’ and passed their kit to the crew who stored it in numbered bags. The boat then took off to wait just in front of Cheltenham Beach, ready to meet the swimmers before they swam the last 100 metres and ran to the finish line.
In all there were 200 swimmers on the day, most swimming the 2.5km from Windsor Reserve Beach around North Head to Cheltenham Beach. Some chose the alternative, shorter 1.3km course that started from Torpedo Bay.
Conditions were near perfect, with the sun shining, a water temperature of just over 18 degrees, and a slight tail wind. The outgoing tide gave all swimmers some extra acceleration, whipping the fastest swimmers home in just over 24 minutes. The event attracts a loyal following, and all enjoy the hot bacon and egg pie and plentiful spot prizes in Balmain Reserve. The club also puts on the annual Cheltenham Swim, which covers 2.4k from Narrow Neck Beach to Cheltenham Beach. March 9th is the date for the next event.