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The start of something extraordinary

The 2020 Epic Swim and NZ Open Water Championships

We had an awesome turn out over the weekend for the 2020 New Zealand Open Water Championships and the 2020 Epic Swim event. 628 entries into Epic Swims and over 300 for Open Water, which included 44 swim clubs.

The sun was out and the conditions couldn’t have been better, the lake on Sunday morning was like glass!

Thank you all for all competitors, clubs, sponsors, technical officials and volunteers. We hope everyone had a great weekend!


The highlight of the weekend has got to be the NZ Open Water 10km. The winner of the Men’s 10km race was Sebastien Priscott from Waterhole Swimming, who swam an impressive 1:58.50 seconds. Priscott had the lead for almost the whole race, at one point bridging a gap of almost 500m between himself and second place.

Phoenix Douglas from Capital Swim club came second with a time of 2:01.59s. Closely behind in third was David Boles from Swim Rotorua who swam a time of 2:02.24 seconds.

17-year-old Ashleigh Allred from St Peter’s Swim Club won the Women’s 10km race in 2:12.03 seconds. Mia Pugh from Evolution took second place with a time of 2:15.22s. Mia took a break from last year’s event but came third in the 2018 10km swim. Ruby Heath from Capital Swim Club came third in her first ever NZ Open Water Championship event. Ruby swam 2:19.23 seconds.

Alec Swan from Tasman Swim Club took 1st place in the 7.5km Open Water with a time of 1:31.43 seconds. Both 2nd and 3rd were also fromTasman and were extremely close! Bendi Kepess claimed 2nd at 1:32.44s just before Fergus Drummond in 3rd at 1:32.46s.

In the Women’s 7.5km event, Abbey Smale from Tasman took the title, Naia Anderson from Mt Maunganui Swim Club placed 2nd and Sierra Thomas, also from Tasman took 3rd place.

Waterhole’s Sebastien Priscott took another title in the Men’s 5km. Quinton Hurley from Jasi Swim Club was not short behind in 2nd place and Bendi Kepess brought home the 3rd for Tasman Swim Club.


Hayley Mcintosh from Phoneix Aquatics was well in front in 1st place of the women’s 5km with a time of 1:04.04s. Behind in 2nd was Asheligh Allred from St Peters who swam it in 1:05.46s. 3rd was Ruby Heath from Capital who swam 1:05.51s.

The 2.5km had the most competitors, a total of 130 swimmers. Phoneix Aquatics’ Hayley Mcintosh made another win for the women and Luke Mitchell from St Peter’s came first in the men’s.

The 2020 New Zealand Open Water championships Top Club Trophy goes to Pukekohe Swimming Club. It was a close one with Pukekohe earning 378 points and Tasman Swim Club in a close second with 373 points. St Peter's swimming club were in third with 304 points. To see the list of clubs and points, click here.

Congratulations go to Sebastian Priscott from Waterhole Swim Club, coached by Phillip Ryan and Mia Pugh of Evolution Aquatics, coached by Mike Lee. Both swimmers have secured places on the SNZ Team to the 2020 Oceania Swimming Championships to be held in Suva, Fiji between 15th-20th June 2020.


Congratulations to Axel Wohlfarth and Camille Gulick who were awarded the Epic Epic trophy this year. The fastest male and female swimmer to complete the Epic Epic, which is a 17km race combining the 5k, 2.5km, and 10km Epic races.

Axel came 1st in the Open 5km and 10km swims then placed 4th in the 2.5km. Under his age category of 40-49 years, Axel came 1st in all three swims. He swam a total accumulated time of 3:56.01 seconds. In the 10km, he swam an impressive 2:15.24 seconds.

Camille Gulick won the Epic Epic for the Women. Camille swam an accumulated time of 4:52.31 seconds for the 10km, 5km and the 2.5km.


Second in the 10km was Donal Barry in the Age 50-59 category with a time of 2:23:20s. Emma Moore won it for the women swimming 2:47.38s, Gulick coming in behind at 2nd.

Charlize Tordoff took the win in the epic 5km, just in front of Christina Harris in 2nd and Carol Prop, who is one of our Epics Honours members, came 3rd.

The event that showed the most numbers was the Epic 2.5km race. Over 200 swimmers competed and it was 2012 Olympian Steven Kent who took the title, Steven swam the 2.5km in a time of 32:29 seconds. Madison Keightley won the women’s event in a time of 36:24.

We had almost 30 children sign up and race in our Mini Epic 100m, which ranged from 7-10-year-olds. It’s great to see our junior swimmers get involved and have so much fun doing so!


Relay numbers continue to increase each year, with 4 more entries this year compared to last.

Team Towel-Poe won the Epic 4x1km Relay Team for the men with all swimmers making a lap time approximately between 11 and 12 minutes. St Pauls won it for the women!

Steven Kent also made up the fourth member to the Swimming New Zealand Team Relay alongside CEO Steve Johns, Amber Piggott and Holly Fletcher. The team came 2nd in the mixed category. 1st place was Jjll1.

One of our honourable Epic attendees, Sue Duffell from Auckland attended her 11th Epic event this year. Sue swam her first-ever Epic Epic at this year’s event and placed 4th overall in the Open category and 2nd in the female aged 50-59 years, just behind Christina Harris.

Below is an updated Epic Swim Honours List:

11 Completed events:

Susan Duffel, Marty Finch, Anna Marshall, Heather Osborne, Pauline Mills, Carol Prop, Andrew Stevens

10 Completed Events:

Brett Bradley and Lindsay John

9 Completed Events:

Mark Krynen

If you didn't get a chance to bag yourself some cool merchandise from the weekend, you're not too late! Teamline has some hoodies and men's tees still available, leftover from the event. Click on the image below to order yours now!