5 Dec 2007"Winners: Nicky Samuels and Brent Foster"

  • Mission Bay
  • |
  • Swim: 1000 metre
  • |
  • Run: 3 kilometre
punching through the Mission Bay sets Nicky Samuels leads from start to finish staying wet on the run Carmel Hanly settles for second this time

Nobody wants to miss the final Stroke & Stride of 2007 and that includes the low-pressure system that rushed down from the tropics to join the fun at Mission Bay.  So while hundreds of Stroke & Stride competitors lined up on the beach for the start they faced head on into a very brisk breeze and stared into the teeth of the advancing squall who’s arrival coincided precisely with the blast of the start horn.

The four hundred metres out to the first can was plain hard work punching through the one to two metre chop with navigation crucial, as straying off course in these conditions would be very costly.  Nicky Samuels was having her first start for the season however she happily went to the front of the women’s field and led the way recording the time of 14 minutes 15 seconds for the undulating 1000 metre swim.

With the thick low cloud, persistent precipitation, sea spray and failing light the visibility wasn’t optimum however all the faster male and female swimmers held good lines around the swim course.  The master of these punishing conditions is always Brent Foster and he didn’t appear to be slowed much at all recording 11 minutes and 47 seconds for his swim and most importantly gaining more than ten seconds of lead over the closest of his pursuers.

The first half of the run was over in no time with the breeze propelling all towards the turn cone, the price was paid in the second half as it was a hard slog into the wind and horizontal rain all the way back.  There’s only 3 kilometres of running in this event and even if it was longer it may not have made any difference as Nicky Samuels backed up her lead from the water with the day’s fastest run split to record a resounding victory, her first first in nearly three years.  Defending Series Champion Carmel Hanly won a fortnight ago but this time had to settle for second place.  Kirsty Wannan is having her best season ever and confirmed that with her best place ever finishing in third just ahead of Nicola McKay and Teresa Adam.

It’s déjà vu time.  This event is our traditional pre-Christmas outing and while Santa visits every 12 months without fail there is one other occurrence that can be relied on at this time of year.  We’re talking about Brent Foster winning the December Stroke & Stride, something he has done every year since 1992.  So while we may have been amazed to see Fozzie running down the beach to victory this time, we were not surprised to see him bank his second win of the season.  At race number one it was South Island based Tony Dodds triumphant and here he was returning to the Stroke & Stride for a fine second place.  James Elvery’s flying run got him onto the podium heading home Will Green and James Upton.

Currently leading the overall Series Grand Prix are Kirsty Wannan and Brent Foster.  Brent has been in this position on countless occasions, over many, many years.  Possibly more years than young Kirsty has been alive.

We now break for seven weeks and when we resume we’ll see if the experience of Brent Foster can hold off the agile Liam Scopes, James Elvery, Tony Dodds, Will Green, Lee Greer and James Upton in their charge for the top spot.

Can the youthful exuberance of Kirsty Wannan keep the talent of Carmel Hanly, Sophie Corbidge, Julia Scopes, Jacqui Seebold and Teresa Adam in her rear vision mirror over five more races?



Brent Foster

22m    16s


Tony Dodds

22m    44s


James Elvery

23m    06s


Will Green

23m    15s


James Upton

23m    45s


Stephen Sheldrake

23m    23s


Lee Greer

23m    28s


William Curtayne

23m    32s


Liam Scopes

23m    42s


Blair Jordan

23m    48s


Ben Pattle

23m    50s


Andrew Mackay

24m    02s


Dylan McNeice

24m    09s


Ben Visser

24m    17s


Martin van Barneveld

24m    18s



Nicky Samuels

25m    47s


Carmel Hanly

26m    20s


Kirsty Wannan

26m    42s


Nicola McKay

26m    53s


Teresa Adam

27m    16s


Anna Elvery

27m    31s


Belinda Harper

27m    49s


Nicole Silver

27m    53s


Tracey Steens

28m    05s


Marisa Carter

28m    28s


Rebecca Clarke

28m    36s


Jennifer Cooper

28m    54s


Michaela Guy

28m    58s


Julia Cree

28m    31s


Claire Macky

29m    38s

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