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NORTHERN OUTLOOK, MARCH 30, 2013
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NEARLY THERE: Dan Abel swam across Cook Strait in six hours and 15 minutes on March 22; seen here on the home stretch. INSET: Guide
Philip Rush puts vaseline on Dan Abel to protect him from chaffing before the big swim
Feat means crossing
off the bucket list
By CATE BROUGHTON
TRAINING RUN: Cook Strait
swimmer Dan Abel during a
training swim in Lake Pearson.
SWIMMING ACROSS Cook
Strait might not be on most
people's bucket list, but for
Kaiapoi swimming guru Dan
Abel, it was the pinnacle of his
career to date.
The open water swimming
coach and competitor fulfilled
his greatest goal so far on
March 22 -- in just six hours
and 15 minutes.
With expert guidance from
marathon swimming legend
Philip Rush, Abel faced the
mental and physical challen-
ges of the 26km swim.
He said the distance was
the biggest mental hurdle.
When you are standing on
the South Island looking at
the North Island, it can be
He was advised by Rush not
to look ahead but to concen-
trate on his supporters in the
boat beside him.
The scale of the swim was
broken down into half-hour
time slots, punctuated by
mouthfuls of energy bars and
At just 15 degrees Celsius,
the water temperature was a
bit of a concern'' as he had
been used to training in war-
mer temperatures in Pegasus
At the halfway point he was
encouraged to increase his
pace, which he did for the next
two hours -- until he hit a tidal
rip which turned the rela-
tively calm seas into a wash-
The last hour was exhaust-
ing as he battled the rip with
depleted energy, before crawl-
ing ashore, tired but exhil-
arated by the achievement.
Apart from friendly dol-
phins and some seaweed, the
swimmer said he was not con-
cerned about the marine life.
When not competing, the
lifelong swimmer shares his
passion with others through
his swim coaching business
Fit and Abel in New Zealand
After spending his forma-
tive years dedicated to com-
petitive swimming -- including
time at the University of Iowa
on a swimming scholarship --
Abel was exposed to open
water swimming in Britain in
2009. Since then he has run
swimming tours for Swim-
Trek in locations worldwide
and developed his own open
water coaching business.
He said New Zealand would
catch up with the enthusiasm
for open water swimming in
Europe, where it had become
New community centre opens
A community celebration is planned for the
opening of the Woodend Community Centre next
Sunday, April 7, from 1pm till 5pm.
The event will mark the opening of the new facility
where activities and community groups in
Woodend and the wider district will be on display.
Free entertainment, music and a sausage sizzle
will be available.
For more information contact Tessa Sturley
TV recycling specials
As part of the Government's TV Take Back
campaign, the Waimkakariri District Council is
accepting a maximum of 2100 television sets at
the cost of $5 each and will then return to usual
charges. In the Waimakariri the two drop-off sites
are Southbrook resource recovery park and the
Oxford transfer station.
The Hurunui Council is offering the opportunity for
the first 500 televisions to be recycled for a cost
of $5 each. In Hurunui, television sets can be
recycled via the council's transfer stations at
Amberley, Cheviot, Culverden, Hanmer Springs
and Waiau during transfer station normal opening
The Falcon Fairlane Club of Christchurch is hosting
the South Island Nationals over Easter in Kaiapoi.
The Woodend Hotel will be hosting the registration
and prize-giving over the weekend, while the
Kaikanui Tavern will host visitors after the show.
The show itself will be held at the Kaiapoi Cool
Stores on Hilton St, behind Countdown, today from
10am till 3pm. Come along to see all things Falcon
and bring your own if you've got one.
Wicked comedy season extended
Extra performances have been added for Rangiora
Players' latest show STiFF after the first eight
shows sold out within three weeks. The
international hit comedy play by April Phillips
promises to entertain with its double meanings
and dark humour based on mixing prostitution with
an undertaker business. Three extra shows are
now open for bookings, on Tuesday, April 16;
Tuesday, April 23; and Wednesday, April 24. All
tickets can be booked online at
www.rangioraplayers.org or with cash or cheque at
the Kaiapoi iSITE. For more information, call Julie
on 03 313 3721.
Sculpture and drawings on show
The latest exhibition at the Chamber Gallery in the
Rangiora Library is Endangered Species,
sculptures by Alison Erickson and drawings and
sculptures by Sam Mahon. Exhibitions at the
Chamber Gallery are organised by the Waimakariri
Community Arts Council.
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