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Lake Taupo Three-way Relay

From Openwaterpedia

The Lake Taupo Three-way Relay (Taupo x 3) consisted of two relay teams (one male and one female) that set a world lake swimming record when they completed a 126 km (78.2 miles) triple-crossing of Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand.


  • The men’s team finished in 33 hours 31 minutes 15 seconds.
  • The women’s team finished in 33 hours 33 minutes 45 seconds.


The swimmers included Julie Bradshaw (England), Michelle Macy (USA), Barbara Pellick (Australia), Penny Palfrey (Australia), Lucy Roper (England) and Heather Osborn (New Zealand).

The men's team included Steve Junk (Australia), Mark Cockroft (New Zealand), Dougal Hunt (Australia), Chris Palfrey (Australia) and Stephen Spence (Australia) with New Zealand marathon swimming legend Philip Rush as a key support person.

Rules of the Lake Taupo Three-way Relay[edit]

The two teams adopted the Channel Swimming Association and Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation rules for relay crossings and adopted these rules:

• No wetsuits. Swimsuits must be FINA approved. • No artificial aids. • No external assistance to the swimmer. The swimmer cannot be touched (except on the relay changes) or be supported while swimming. • Relay changeovers to occur each hour. That is, one person swims for one hour, and then has five hours rest, repeating the sequence until the finish. • Each relay change to occur by the fresh person swimming up behind the retiring swimmer, tagging hands above the water and then taking over. • Swimmers to remain in their designated order. • Swimmer to clear the water at the end of each lap and immediately return and recommence swimming.

Split Times[edit]

  • Men: Lap 1 (10:22), Lap 2 (12:15), Lap 3 (10.54)
  • Women: Lap 1 (10:28), Lap 2 (12:13), Lap 3 (10:53)


A month before the swim, the two relays became aware that a world record relay lake swim had been set in Florida in September 2008. In that relay, two teams of 50 swimmers, each doing 2 km, covered 100 km in 37 hours 6 minutes and 41 hours 15 minutes, respectively.

External links[edit]