Breca Wanaka 2018 – the swimrun season has begun.

The Breca Wanaka swimruns rank alongside New Zealand’s most challenging single-day events. The rugged trails; long, cold swims and changeable conditions add a layer of difficulty to an already arduous format.

This year, 120 swimrunners from nine countries formed up on the Breca Wanaka start lines. The teams were racing either the 54km full course – almost a full circle around the lake – or the 19.5km “sprint” course.* Both are classic swimrun routes - endurance adventures through the less-travelled corners of Lake Wanaka - on-trail, off-trail, across bays and hopping over islands.

Both races started under clear skies and brilliant sunshine. But, the benign waters on the lakefront belied conditions on the race route’s outer reaches. The 2.5km swim from Stephenson’s Arm to Colquhoun’s beach was particularly challenging for the full course teams. Jeff McGrath and Merv Hunger, team jMe, likened the experience to emerging from the water as a different person, such was the effort expended completing this stage.

The swim to Ruby Island and back proved to be the crux of the sprint course. As the afternoon wore on, the prevailing northerly wind whipped up the water, sending small white-caps scudding across the lake. Teamwork, hard swimming and a dose of grit were needed to successfully complete these legs.

Congratulations to everyone who raced, what an achievement.

Thanks to our fantastic volunteers and safety team for supporting the athletes on the course and for making the event possible. Thanks too to our event partners: Orca, QLDC, PURE Sports Nutrition and Edgewater Lake Wanaka.

View the 2018 Breca Wanaka Race Gallery

Next, we look ahead to the second race in our Southern-Hemisphere series: Breca Bay of Islands, 15th April 2018. I hope to see you there.

All the best,

Ben

*We need a new name for the mid-distance course – a sprint it is not! We’d love to your ideas, send them by email to ben@brecaswimrun.com

Breca Wanaka Results

Full course results

MEN’S
1st - jME, Jeff McGrath & Merv Hunger, 7:36
2nd - Team Chroma Photography, Ben Wolstencroft & Dave Provan, 7:47
3rd - SBKS, Kim Sarkin & Simon Barber, 8:37

WOMEN'S

1st - The Hoki Tokies, Stephanie Barker & Jade Winter, 10:26
2nd - Someone said fun!, Sidonie Carpenter & Liz Butler, 11:22

MIXED

1st - Part-time Penguins, James Haslam & Hilary Totty, 9:19
2nd - Les Expatries, Stephane Torrens & Lisa Torrens, 10:32
3rd - HolidayFun, Gemma Chaters & Rob Critchlow, 11:18

Breca Wanaka Sprint Results

Sprint course results

MEN’S
1st - Swim 360, Carl O'Donnell & Matt Stanford 2:20
2nd - Brown Bear Express, Neil Kench & Axel Wohlfarth, 2:35
3rd - Pete & Mark, Mark Cockroft & Pete Smallfield

WOMEN's
1st - True Blue Swimrunners, Laurence Gay & Emily Rowbotham, 2:40
2nd - Baddass 2, Sandra Boubee & Roxanne, 2:44
3rd - Swim 360 Girls, Rachel Hare & Natasha Bowyer, 2:49

MIXED
1st - The Toblerones, Anna Barnes & Pete Orchard, 2:39
2nd - Frash, Ashley McDougall, Fraser Haywood, 2:48
3rd - I blame Nemo, Anna Marshall & Paul Preston, 2:50