Western Leader : January 28th 2011
Discover the world while you work Get the skills and experience you need for a job in the Travel and Tourism industry by studying at MIT. Apply now for February 2011. 0800 62 62 52 • www.manukau.ac.nz/tourism 7664 MIT000133 C www.westernleader.co.nz Friday, January 28, 2011 A harbour crossing By NICOLA MURPHY Swim stars: Fay Stretch and Frank Holt will be swimming 2.5km across the Manukau Harbour this Sunday. ' A swim of that length is going to be difficult even in good conditions. ' Coastguard president Peter van Rooyen FAY Stretch couldn't swim 50 metres in a pool three years ago. But this Sunday she's joining her friend Frank Holt in a 2.5km journey through strong currents in the Manu- kau Harbour. The intrepid pair will cross from Wonga Wonga Bay at Whatipu to South Head. They hope the challenge will raise awareness about the important work of the Manukau Volunteer Coast- guard. The swimmers have never needed help from the Coastguard but admire their work. Ms Stretch from Huia and Mr Holt from Parau both moved to New Zealand from High Wycombe in Eng- land. They met watching rugby at a Huia bar, became friends and started swimming together. They have been training for six months and meet three times a week at West Wave pool. They also practise in the ocean once a week, usually at Cornwallis. Ms Stretch, 48, was a poor swimming until she went to classes a few years ago. She has since joined Mr Holt, 41, swimming the Auck- land Harbour Crossing and swimming from Rangitoto to St Heliers. Ms Stretch says the turbu- lent conditions in the Manu- kau could make Sunday's event their most difficult yet. The strong tidal flow will be a real challenge,'' Ms Stretch says. Two Coastguard boats will follow alongside them in case they need help. Coastguard president Peter van Rooyen supports their challenge. Any exposure the Coastguard gets is good,'' he says. A swim of that length is going to be difficult even in good conditions,'' Mr van Rooyen says. They are following the Coastguard's advice and heading south as the north side of the harbour is rocky and is difficult to access. Manukau Volunteer Coast- guard attends around 20 incidents and helps 120 people each year. Its work includes helping boats that get into trouble on the Manukau bar -- one of the most dangerous in New Zea- land because of the high rise and fall tide. Huge waves are created when the incoming ocean swell hits the outgoing tide. People who want to see Ms Stretch and Mr Holt complete the swim can watch from the Omanawanui Ridge Track in Whatipu. The pair will leave from Wonga Wonga Bay at 11.30am.
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