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Boiler swim set to make splash

Wednesday 28 April 2010 | Published in Regional


The boiler is back, and a good line-up is expected for the popular annual event.

Tomorrow afternoon sees the start of triathlon week, and the first event is Thursday’s Trader Jacks sponsored round the boiler swim.

If you want one of the special Trader Jacks shirts, then be on the start line to score one either by placing well in the race or drawing one from the several spot prizes on offer.

Colloquially known as ‘the Boiler’ and embedded in local lore as such, this sea mark is part of the remains of the Union Steamship Company’s vessel Matai which sank on the reef around 1913.

This event has regularly had between 40 and 80 swimmers enter however with this year’s numbers for the Air New Zealand International Triathlon almost doubled at 115 individuals plus 22 teams, so there is likely to be many more in this exciting blast out around the Boiler and back.

The race record set in 2001 for the out and back swim is nine minutes exactly and is held by former Olympic Games triathlete Nathan Richmond from New Zealand.

There are some classy swimmers rumoured to be on the beach for the triathlon on Saturday so, Thursday’s Boiler swim race will give an indication of form for Saturday.

A safety boat will monitor swimmers, and contestants are asked to be at Traders early, from at least 4pm, to get entered with your name on the start board and a race number on the right leg to allow for a start at 5.15pm. Prior to this at 3.30pm a race briefing for the Saturday Triathlon will be held. Those wanting information on the course and rules are encouraged to attend.

The Boiler swim start will be a deep water start and swimmers are reminded not to enter by the boat ramp as it is slippery and risky. Even the speedsters at the front of this swim will find it an underwater spectacle, crossing the remains of the Matai steamship with portals and plates visible on the sea floor nearer the protruding boiler.

Don’t forget to grab your special Air New Zealand International Triathlon pull-out supplement in tomorrow’s Cook Islands News.