“I can’t believe it … it’s a lovely surprise. This is my first open water race. I only bought my wetsuit before Christmas and tried it out on New Year’s Day. I’ve been out in it two or three times since.”
Nagle, one of two swimmers to start off the front mark–go–for the 3.6km race, said her lack of open water swimming experience had her zig-zagging over the course to the first two buoys.
“I was everywhere. That first lap was a long one. I didn’t know where anyone was and I just kept going. I train in the pool and only had a couple of swims in the ocean in preparation for this.”
Nagle said she naively thought the paddleboarder beside her for the final lap was there for safety reasons. “I thought the guy was just looking after me because I was a scratch swimmer. I never thought I was leading, it never dawned on me. All I know, I was out there a long time, about an hour and a half.”
For the record, Nagle took one hour 25 minutes 41 seconds, with Arnold in the water for 1hr 26min 4sec.
The 33-year-old New Plymouth project manager, who has ambitions of tackling a half-ironman race, is two thirds of her way to achieving another goal–completing three long distance events over the summer.