Range of Success at NZ Open Water Champs

Ace Swimming Club had their largest ever entry in the NZ Open Water Championships that took place over the weekend 12th & 13th January at Lake Taupo. 12 athletes were in action with many completing a week of long course training in Taranaki.

The team pause for a moment for the obligatory team photo

Hayley was our youngest female entrant from the club

There were a range of distances and opportunities to compete including 100m, 500m, 1km, 2.5km, 5km, 7.5km & 10km.

This year the events were split into two categories:

  1. ‘NZ Championship Events’ that are operated under FINA rules.
  2. Epic Swim Series Events that are operated under the Ocean Swim Series rules

Under FINA rules, wetsuits must be worn under 18c, are optional between 18-20C and are inadmissible above 20c. In the Epic Series the rules are more lenient, and wetsuits can be worn regardless. The lake measured above 20c on both days and so those entering the NZ Champ events had to swim in their togs alone.

The calm before the storm at NZ Open Water Champs 2019

The start is always fast and furious at the NZ Open Water Champs!

Saturday saw moderate surface conditions until the wind picked up for the afternoon. It made for some tough swimming. On the Sunday conditions were much calmer and probably closer to what most swimmers were used to.

Wins in the Epic 500m & 1000m 

In the 500m Epic event, Orlando Hardie was 1st in his age group and 3rd male overall. Hayley McIntyre collected 5th in her age group and was 19th female home. Ryan Leeming also picked up a bronze medal in his age group and finished 5th overall.

Orlando beams after winning gold in his age group for the 500m event.

Ryan Leeming collects his medal finishing 3rd in his age group for 500m event

One of the highlights was seeing all three of the boys, Danyon Hardie, Carlos Hardie and Caleb Parsons take home 1st 2nd and 3rd place overall medals in the 1km Epic event. Maddie Chapman collected a bronze medal for her effort. Sean Young finished 6th in his age group in the 1k & 21st overall male. Ryan Leeming was 7th in his age group & 29th overall, Ryan Roche was 14th in his age group & 59th overall.

An awesome achievement with boy Danyon, Carlos and Caleb picking up a 123 in the Epic 1km event

Maddie Chapman delighted with her bronze medal in the 1km Epic Swim

Conditions rough up for 2.5k with or without a Wetsuit

The afternoon saw some rougher conditions as the wind picked up. In the NZ Open Champ 2.5km event, Carlos Hardie took home a silver medal in his age group and finished 6th overall. Taniko Shane took home a bronze medal in his age group without the use of a wetsuit, finishing 14th overall. Maddie Chapman finished 6th in her age group and 15th overall.

In the parallel Epic event, Danyon Hardie collected yet another Gold medal and was first athlete home in the 2.5km. Haydn Leeming chose to do battle in the same race, finishing 7th in age group and 11th overall. Emma Parsons finished 8th in her age group and 18th overall.

Danyon Hardie collects the win in the Epic 2.5km open water swim for 2019.

Taniko delivered a bronze medal in his age group for NZ 2.5km event

There was a very somber mood on the close of play on Saturday as the team learned of the passing of Ken Nixon, Head Coach of Fairfield Swimming Club. Several swimmers would have trained under Ken at points in their career. On Sunday the swimmers gathered in solidarity to show their support.

Furthest 5k Event & Distance Relay Success

Carlos collects a silver medal for his age group in the NZ 2.5km Open Water event.

Emma, Caleb, Carlos and Danyon crowned 4x1000m Mixed relay champions at 2019 NZ Open Water Champs

Sunday saw the athletes take on the NZ 5k event, the furthest distance they would tackle. Again, the temperature of the lake pushed above the 20c limit and wetsuits were inadmissible. Danyon Hardie was 4th in his age group and 8th person overall. Carlos Hardie followed suit and finished just outside the top ten with a close finish in 11th, placing 20th overall.

Ace Swimming Club ganged together for the 4 x 1000m relay. It was the first time that this had been offered as an event. The team finished proudly in 1st position in the Epic event.

Overall Results

Overall the club picked up 7 overall medals (3 Gold, 1 Silver, 3 Bronze) and 10 age group medals (4 gold, 2 silver, 4 bronze).


🏆Gold 3x 🏆🏆🏆

🥈Silver 1x 🥈

🥉Bronze 3x 🥉🥉🥉


Age Group

Gold 4 🥇🥇🥇🥇

Silver 2🥈🥈

Bronze 4🥉🥉🥉🥉

Results in Detail

Danyon Hardie

Danyon exits the water at full steam during the Epic Swim series, the timing stopped after crossing the line

  • Epic Wetsuit 1km – 🏆1st Overall & 🥇Age Group 9:39
  • Epic Wetsuit 2.5km – 🏆1st Overall & 🥇1st in Age Group
  • NZ Open Water 5k (non-wetsuit) – 8th NZ male & 4th In NZ Age Group
  • Epic Wetsuit Mixed 4 x 1000m Relay – 🏆1st Overall

Carlos Hardie

  • Epic Wetsuit 1km – 🥈2nd Overall & 🥈Age Group 10:19
  • NZ Open Water 2.5km (non-wetsuit) – 6th overall & 🥈2nd in Age Group
  • NZ Open Water 5k (non-wetsuit) – 20th NZ male & 11th In NZ Age Group
  • Epic Wetsuit Mixed 4 x 1000m Relay – 🏆1st Overall

    Carlos breaks into a jog towards the finish line

Caleb Parsons

  • Epic Wetsuit 1km – 🥉3rd Overall & 🥉Age Group 11:50
  • Epic Wetsuit Mixed 4 x 1000m Relay – 🏆1st Overall

Maddie Chapman

  • Epic Wetsuit 1km – 🥉3rd Overall 11:19
  • NZ Open 2.5km (non-wetsuit) – 15th Overall & 6th in Age Group

Sean Young

  • Epic Wetsuit 1km – 21st Overall 11:50 (6th in Age Group)

Ryan Leeming 

Caleb makes it look easy on the way to the finish line

  • Epic Wetsuit 1km – 29th Overall (7th in Age Group) 12:20
  • Epic Wetsuit 500m – 5th boy Overall & 🥉3rd in Age Group

Ryan Roche 

  • Epic Wetsuit 1km – 59th Overall (14th in Age Group) 13:32

Emma Parsons

  • Epic Wetsuit 1km – 27th (6th in Age Group) 12:13
  • Epic Wetsuit 2.5km – 18th Overall & 8th in Age Group
  • Epic Wetsuit Mixed 4 x 1000m Relay – 🏆1st Overall

Haydn Leeming

  • Epic Wetsuit 2.5km – 11th Overall & 7th in Age Group

Orlando Hardie 

Ryan exits the water strongly on his open water swim

  • Epic Wetsuit 500m – 🥉3rd boy Overall & 🥇1st in Age Group.

Hayley McIntyre 

  • Epic Wetsuit 500m – 19th Female & 5th in Age Group.

Taniko Shane

  • NZ Open 2.5km (non-wetsuit) – 14th Overall & 🥉3rd in Age Group