Open water swimming rookie blitzed the field in the annual Flannagan Cup swim at New Plymouth’s Ngamotu Beach.
But the celebrations were shortlived.
The 53-year-old was stripped of the title after a protest, with second placegetter Adam Fraser, of New Plymouth, promoted to first in the 3.6km harbour swim.
“There was no way he should have swum that sort of time and he’s been disqualified,” said race convener and last year’s winner Craig Dent, of New Plymouth.”
His handicap time was way off the mark. He started first off `go’, whereas he should have been off 20 to 25 minutes. His handicap simply didn’t correspond with the time he actually swam.”
The first out of the water swimers time was a tick over one hour, five minutes, more than 10min ahead of Fraser.
Dent said swimmers gave a time for 400m when they entered and the handicaps were worked out from that.
“His time was 9min 50sec for 400m. He swam a 1hr 5min race which equates to a 5min 30sec to 6mins. He’s saying he’s only been swimming for a couple of months, but there’s no way his time can improve that much in the two weeks since entries were received.”
Dent said four official complaints had been lodged after the race. “The protest committee had to look into the matter and they did.”
Fraser was shocked to hear he had been promoted.
“I had wisdom teeth out four days ago and have been in bed since,” he said. “It’s a bit of a
shock to win this, very unexpected.”