Wearing a wetsuit will no longer prevent a competitor from winning Taranaki’s big open water swimming event, the Flannagan Cup.
The 2009 Flannagan Cup, for which entries are now open, is being held at New Plymouth’s Ngamotu Beach on Waitangi Day, Friday, February 6.
Swimmers in wetsuits have been able to compete in the 3.6km race in the past, but have been barred from winning the Flannagan Cup. They have been eligible to win other trophies.
“Allowing a wetsuit – clad swimmer to win the cup has brought the event into line with other open water swimming races in New Zealand,” said Flannagan Cup convener Ross Doyle, of New Plymouth.
The race would remain a handicap event.
Olympian Shane Reed, formerly of New Plymouth and now of Woodbourne, will compete in the race as a celebrity.