For the second year in a row but just the third time in 97 years, a woman has won the Flannagan Cup open water swim.
New Plymouth’s Alice Doig followed the lead of last year’s winner Dee Nagle when taking line honours in the gruelling 3.6km handicap swim.
Swimming Taranaki operations manager and event co-ordinator Julie Owen believes only three women have won the cup in its long history.
Choppy seas and a stiff south-easterly wind blowing off New Plymouth’s Ngamotu Beach tested competitors.
Doig, 29, made the most of her scratch handicap and reached the finish line first in one hour, six minutes, 33 seconds-15min ahead of the next swimmer, John Kahu, of Manaia, who also started off the front mark. Third was Idelle Hiestand (1hr 27min 43.89sec) starting 31min behind.
The fastest time of 40min 41sec was recorded by Jay Cadman-Kennedy, of New Plymouth, who started off the biggest handicap of 48min.
“Pretty enjoyable,” was how an out-of-breath Doig described the previous 66 minutes.