10 Dec 1996"Winners: Debbie Tanner and Brent Foster"

  • St Helier's Bay
  • |
  • Swim: 1000 metre
  • |
  • Run: 3 kilometre

Superb conditions were laid on for competitors in the third race of the Series with bright sunshine and only a gentle breeze.  The 1000 metre swim was over a boxed course and the women’s field was well spread apart as they returned to the beach.  First to emerge from the water was top New Zealand swimmer Nikki Tanner with a 15 second gap back to a chasing group that was lead in by previous Series Champion Jo Craddock and then a procession of competitors including Marisa Pentecost (also a previous Series Champion), Naomi Calder, Debbie Tanner (Nikki’s younger sister), Nicola de Lautour, Heidi Alexander and Suzanne Clark.

On the 3 km out and back run the positions were shuffled and when the first women hit the beach with 100 metres to the finish line it was the pocket rocket Debbie Tanner that was leading by just metres from the winner of the previous two races, Heidi Alexander.  Heidi Alexander’s determined sprint up the beach to the finish line got her up to Debbie Tanner’s shoulder but the wonder kid held on to win her first ever Stroke & Stride.

When Debbie Tanner had exited the water and heard that her sister Nikki was leading she used this as an incentive.  “I thought – I’m going to catch up to her,” she said afterwards.

Catching her sister also propelled her to first overall and at just 14 years of age this victory is certain to be sending shock waves through the women’s field.  Naomi Calder improves with every race and on this occasion had a strong run and claimed third spot ahead of Suzanne Clark who pipped that other youngster, Nicola de Lautour for fourth place.  Nikki Tanner’s race didn’t end with the swim as she ran through for a splendid seventh place finish.

The men’s field were lead around the buoys by some of New Zealand’s outstanding swimmers.  The man at the front of this talented field is not just an ace New Zealand swimmer, but one of the world’s best freestyle exponents in Trent Bray.  After 1000 metres of aquatic action Trent Bray had opened up a 40 second lead over Adam Jackson who was closely followed by John Munro, Brent Foster, Bryan Rhodes, Malcolm McGregor and Nathan Richmond.

Brent Foster has won the Stroke & Stride Series for the past four years.  For the first and second races of this season he has twice placed second.  For the third race he took no chances, after being handily placed after the swim he turned up the heat and recorded the fastest run leg of the day to decimate his opposition and convincingly win this event.  Brent Foster was rightfully pleased but stressed it was a “tough race” and that, “the last five minutes hurt the most,” as he caught his breath and waited for his competition to finish.

John Munro is another who improves with each race and for this event he added a quick 3 kilometre run to his renowned swim and claimed a comfortable second ahead of the top triathlete, Bryan Rhodes.  Nathan Richmond managed to catch early leader Trent Bray during the final stages of the run to grab fourth place and some valuable points in his quest for the Series Grand Prix.  Swimming star Trent Bray ran very determinedly to hold on for fifth place and his best result in the Series to date.

Special accolades to Charles Wentworth, Adam Jackson and Ryan Coom who not only had top finishes in this event but also took out the first three placings in the 800 metre freestyle at the Auckland Swim Champs the next week.



Brent Foster

23m 24s


John Munro

24  17


Bryan Rhodes

24 27


Nathan Richmond

24 40


Trent Bray

24 43


Malcolm McGregor

24 55


Charles Wentworth

24 57


Vaughan Skiffington

25 02


Jan Steenkamp

25 06


Craig Tulloch

25 27


Paul Duffy

25 31


Dean Foster

25 35


Adam Jackson

25 39


Cory Steinhauer

25 42


Ryan Coom

25 54



Debbie Tanner

27m 52s


Heidi Alexander

27 53


Naomi Calder

28 13


Suzanne Clark

28 20


Nicola de Lautour

28 23


Marisa Pentecost

28 30


Nikki Tanner

28 38


Jo Craddock

29 28


Roxane Benney

29 39


Lisa Jack

29 50


Toni Bradshaw

29 51


Sue Attwood

29 57


Tanya Lee-Parker

29 59


Gayle Clark

30 13


Sue Prebble

30 35

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