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Leaders...The top three placegetters in the 1.5km swim, winner Ben Smith (13) of Christchurch, left with his sister Holly Smith (12) who was third and Arianne George (15) of Timaru who placed second.

by Chris Tobin

Riley Taylor’s first ocean race proved an easy workout as he took out the PrimePort 2.5km Ocean Swim on Sunday morning.

Taylor (18) made the most of flat water conditions to plough his way from Evans Bay to Caroline Bay in 32min 08.95sec finishing well ahead of New Zealand age group triathlon representative Jared Millar (26), of Timaru, who was followed closely by Lynette Griffiths (56), of Christchurch.

“It was great conditions,” said Taylor, a former Timaru Boys’ High School pupil who has represented New Zealand in pool swimming and is taking up a joinery apprenticeship with Paterson Joinery in Timaru.

Christchurch’s Ben Smith (13) won the 1.5km in 23m 24.28sec from Adrianne George (15), of Timaru, and Holly Smith (12), of Christchurch.

Organiser Rob Naylor who finished fourth in the 2.5km swim said entries had risen since the event was first held three years ago with 80 taking part on Sunday. The event follows on from a harbour swim that was held in Timaru for many years until going out of existence in the 1970s, then reintroduced in 2016.

Mr Naylor said PrimePort had been very supportive.

“They closed the harbour for us and shuttled competitors between Caroline Bay and Evans Bay.”