Juan Cruz Luna, Allan Van der Nagel, Avi Duckor, Francisco Blaha, Pablo Salcedo and Carys Templer

A team of six spirited swimmers are taking to the waters around Waiheke this month to raise money for the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust.

The trust’s annual Westpac Chopper Swim has been reworked this year in light of Omicron, and rather than swimming 20km from Waiheke to Auckland, teams and individuals can select a course from three suggestions.

They can also choose any day in March to undertake their fundraising feat.

Waiheke’s team of six is made up of experienced ocean swimmers: Carys Templer, Allan Van der Nagel, Pablo Salcedo, Juan Cruz Luna, Avi Duckor and Francisco Blaha.

The team has been training around Waiheke in the lead-up to their official swim, which they plan to undertake on the weekend of 12 and 13 March, depending on the weather.

Their 20-kilometre route will see them swim from Matiatia Bay, past Oneroa Beach to Palm Beach and out to Thompsons Point, then past Onetangi to Te Whau Point before finishing at Onetangi Beach.

Long-distance swimming devotee Francisco Blaha says team members will cover different sections of the route.

“So far, three of our team are swimming three legs of around 7km each. A couple will do 10km each and I’ll try to do the full 20km. • Sophie Boladeras

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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