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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Top Racing Down Under: Aussie vs Kiwi In La Grande Swim

There will be a classic race Down Under this coming Saturday at the State La Grande Swim in Akaroa, New Zealand.

New Zealand's Kane Radford will face Australia's Rhys Mainstone mano-a-mano in the fourth round of the State New Zealand Ocean Swim series.

The pair of 23-year-olds have both represented their countries at the World Championships and will undoubtedly swim head-to-head in Akaroa. Radford has won many times in the Ocean Swim series and is the defending champion of La Grande Swim. He started this season winning the Harbour Crossing in November last year.

Mainstone, the reigning Australian 10 km champion, is looking forward to the challenge. “The New Zealand series has always attracted me, but because I live on the West Coast of Australia it’s been difficult to come, but this year I’m very excited to be racing. Just don’t label me the favourite as I have never raced in a wetsuit before.

With tough competition from Kane and others, I think it could be anyone’s race

Radford is also gearing up for the weekend. “To be able to get someone who is top quality like Rhys definitely gives the series a massive boost. The series has pulled in some really big names from Australia this summer, and it’s going to be interesting when all of us get in the water later on and put the heat on each other."

But they are familiar with each other. Very familiar. They face each other every single day as teammates. At the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Radford beat Mainstone by a tenth of a second in the 5 km race.

Expect another close battle in Akaroa.

The State La Grande Swim is the fourth in the six-race series. The final two races are the State Sand to Surf in Mount Maunganui on March 22nd and the State King of the Bays on Auckland’s North Shore on April 12th.

Each swimmer must compete in a minimum of three of the six races. 100 points is awarded to each race winner, with double points on offer in the final round, the State King of the Bays. Just the top three performances from each swimmer count in the standings.

2013/2014 Series Standings (after 3 of the 6 rounds)

1. Phillip Ryan 296.85
2. Jarrod Poort* 199.81
3. Dylan Dunlop-Barrett* 199.60
4. Nathan Capp* 199.54
5. Ben Ruback 189.93

* not swimming this round

For more information, visit here.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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