Webby dominates, Boles wins on debut at NZ Open Water Swim Champs

Rotorua swimmer David Boles claimed his debut win on the second day of the New Zealand Open Water Championships in Taupo.

The 16-year-old led a charge of young up-and-comers in the men’s 5km event with some of the more experienced swimmers bypassing the race after yesterday’s 10km championship, to focus on the upcoming Australian Championships.

The women’s field was led by Charlotte Webby (Aquabladz New Plymouth) who retained her title from last year and completes the double-double after winning the 10km yesterday after claiming both races in 2016.

The New Zealand Championships form part of the successful annual Epic Swim which has attracted over 700 swimmers including internationals, competing in a range of open water swims from 100m for children to the 17.5km event.

Boles, from the same club as five-time New Zealand Open Water champion Kane Radford, was excited to come away with the win ahead of the tough competition from his peers.

“It was good fun, there was a lot of good competition, especially Sebastien, and it was just a good race, a hard race though,” Boles said. “The plan was to just go hard and do the best I could.”

It’s back to the pool now for the young swimmer who is looking to make his mark at the New Zealand Age Group Championships.

Webby again proved her dominance in the women’s field coming home in 1:04.14 ahead of Sammy Winward (Waterhole, Auckland) in 1:06.26 and Stefannie Gillespie (Zenith, Dunedin) in 1:06.27.

“I was thinking I would just go out there and sit with the field and practise sitting on people’s feet and then go but I got into race mode and just went for it,” Webby said.

This weekend also doubled as the New Zealand Secondary School Championships with more than 100 swimmers competing across the 1km, 2.5km and 5km distances.

Honours in today’s 5km women’s age group events went to Milla Theobald, 13 (John Paul College), Mia Pugh, 15 (Bethlehem College) and Talya Harwood, 17 (Waimea College). In the men’s Quinton Hurley, 15 (St Andrews College) and Boles (John Paul College) finished tops.

Waimea College proved to be the top school overall claiming 12 podium finishes over the weekend.

NZ Open Water 5km Results:

Men: David Boles (Rotorua) 1:00.52, 1; Ben Ruback (Capital) 1:01.12, 2; Sebastien Priscott (Waterhole) 1:01.13, 3; Jordan Gadsby (Aquabladz New Plymouth) 1:02.36.2, 4; Thomas Raymond (Matamata) 1:03.12.6, 5.


Women: Charlotte Webby (Aquabladz New Plymouth) 1:04.14, 1; Sammy Winward (Waterhole) 1:06.26, 2; Stefannie Gillespie (Zenith) 1:06.27, 3; Talya Harwood (Tasman) 1:06.29, 4; Claudia Ashby (Fairfield) 1:07.06, 5.

NZ Secondary School Results:

1km Women


12-13 years: Sierra Thomas (Waimea College) 11:41, 1; Piper Riley (Waimea College) 11:59, 2; Sophie Alexander (Waimea College) 12:15, 3.

1km Men

12-13 years: Nathan Rowland (Taupo Nui-A-Tia College) 12:51, 1; Joshua Amyes (Nelson College) and Alexander (Taupo Nui-A-Tia College) 13:32, equal 2.

14-15 years: Seffie Figgins (Taupo Nui-A-Tia College) 10:56, 1; Bendi Kepess (Waimea College) 11:38, 2; Cody Shaw (Rosehill College) 17:06, 3.

2.5km Women

12-13 years: Sierra Thomas (Waimea College) 37:01, 1; Piper Riler (Waimea College) 38:17, 2; Sophie Alexander (Waimea College), 38:52, 3.

14-15 years: Paris Cutler (Freyberg College) 35:41, 1; Kate Allen (Hastings Girls High School) 36:13, 2; Bree Anderson (Waimea College) 36:39, 3.

16-18 years: Jacey Cropp (North Shore) 33.19, 1; Rebecca Cheyne (Pukekohe High School) 34.29, 2; Hannah Knighton (Waikato Diocesan) 35:42, 3.

2.5km Men

12-13 years: Fergus Drummond (Waimea College) 34.49, 1; Ivan Abele (Taupo) 39:19, 2; Joshua Amyes (Nelson College) 42:58, 3.

14-15 years: Thomas Bishop (Taupo Nui-A-Tia College) 34:42, 1; Tyler Tapper (Matamata College) 34:43, 2; Seffie Figgins (Taupo Nui-A-Tia College) 34:58, 3.

16-18 years: Andrew Jeffcoat (Hamilton Boys College) 32:08, 1; Sam McKenzie (Waimea College) 33:26, 2; James Fleury (Garin College) 34:48, 3.

CAPTION: David Boles in action in the 5km national open water championships in Taupo. (Credit: BW Media)

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