• Napier Port Ocean Swim returns after Cyclone Gabrielle cancelled it last year

Napier Port Ocean Swim returns after Cyclone Gabrielle cancelled it last year

The Napier Port Ocean Swim, an annual event that was cancelled last year because of Cyclone Gabrielle, will go ahead at Perfume Point, Ahuriri beach on Saturday, 17 February.

Napier Port said in a statement that the event continues to grow year-on-year, with 186 people competing in 2021, and then 207 in 2022. It is the 12th time the event is being held and organisers are hopeful for an increased turnout.

Event organiser, Trevor Adsett says: “We were so disappointed that we had to cancel the event last year but really encouraged to see such strong entry numbers this year. There is a great vibe down at the beach leading into event day and I think people are looking forward to challenging themselves and maybe their fears. It’s all about participation and having a fun time with friends and family.” 

The Napier Port Ocean Swim attracts people from all ages and abilities with races ranging from kids 200m through the 500m and 1km distances to the ultimate 2.5kkm race – which has proved the most popular.

Napier Port is the key sponsor of the event and CEO Todd Dawson says: “We’re delighted to be supporting this event for a seventh year. Open water swimming is certainly gaining in popularity in New Zealand and the Napier Port is excited to support a local event that promotes an active lifestyle and encourages people to challenge themselves.”

Napier Port Marine Linesman, Jeff Reid, has been taking part in the Napier Port Swim for the past nine years.

It was this event that got him back into swimming after a successful crossing of the Cook Strait at 14-years-old and then many years out of the ocean as an adult. 

“A co-worker asked if I would participate and I ended up signing up for the 2.5km.  Not knowing my history, she asked ‘Are you sure you can manage that?’   ‘I’ll give it a go’ I answered.  I’ve pretty much been swimming every day since.”

"I spend a lot of time in the water, and I really enjoy it.  The swimmers here are a great community and it is always a pleasure to meet new people who want to try it for the first time or like me after an absence from swimming.”

“Ocean swimming is a challenge both physically and mentally.  What I love most is the feeling after getting out of the sea – you have achieved something.   You never regret a swim no matter how far it is. Ocean swimming is a form of therapy and I’d encourage anyone to give it a go.”

Adsett said they are delighted wit the response from the local community and “look forward to another successful event with Hawke’s Bay’s summer trademark - calm seas and blue skies. Entries for this weekend’s event are filling up fast, so get in quick to avoid missing out."