Regional Aquatics Centre receives golden glow!

The 2024 Apollo Projects New Zealand Swimming Championship held last week at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatics Centre, powered by PAKn’SAVE Hastings, has received glowing praise from two recent World Champions in Lewis Clareburt and Erika Fairweather.

Clareburt – the current 400m Individual Medley World Champion - couldn’t be more encouraging in his assessment of the 18-month-old facility.  “There are not many pools you can jump down the bottom of one end and see all the way to the other end.  The water’s very clear, and we’ve already shown that it’s a pretty fast pool.  There’s been a few NZ records broken this week already.”

“I was really excited coming here, knowing that I was wanting to swim fast.  I’ve got quite an awesome team and there has been a few of us fighting for those Olympic spots so it’s cool training alongside those guys – we’ve all got the same goals.”

Clareburt broke several New Zealand Records (NZR’s) throughout the week, as well as swimming some Personal Bests (PBs), on his way to qualifying for Paris.  One of the records – his first of the meet – was a 16-year-old record in the 4x 100m freestyle relay, jointly held by local club Heretaunga Sun Devils coach Willie Benson, who broke the record back in 2008 on their way to the Beijing Olympics.

“It was pretty special, that record has been held for so long and just shows the quality of what those guys did back in 2008, and that qualified them for the Olympics.  We did well obviously and showed that we have depth here in NZ for sprint freestyle which is cool.”

Fairweather – the current 400m Freestyle World Champion - had a busy week in the pool, swimming PB’s and NZR’s along the way too.   She has really enjoyed her time in Hawke’s Bay and has relished the opportunity to spend time here at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatics Centre.  “It has been a great week of racing, the atmosphere has been on fire, and there has been some great swimming to show for it.”

Like Clareburt, Fairweather was very complimentary of these facilities.  “I really enjoy it, coming from Dunedin we don’t have massive pools down there so it’s nice to have this complex here.  I really enjoy swimming in this pool – it’s a fast pool and I’m really excited to be here racing in this meet.”

Clareburt and Fairweather both took Gold Medals at the World Champs in Doha in February this year, and with their fast times and excellent results in the pool last week, all eyes will be on Paris in July.

Photo: BW Media for New Zealand Swimming


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