Hong Kong’s Singha Chau speeds past rivals to become youngest to complete 15km Cold Half swim

The 16-year-old demolishes field to slash nearly 50 minutes off the course record in an incredible three hours, four minutes and 31 seconds

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 30 January, 2016, 11:17pm
UPDATED : Monday, 01 February, 2016, 2:00am

A “perfect day” saw 16-year-old swimming sensation Singha Chau demolish the competition at the 15km Clean Half ocean swim on Saturday, finishing more than one hour and six minutes ahead of the rest of the field and becoming the youngest swimmer to complete the race.

His effort also saw him take almost 50 minutes off the existing course record in the race that began at Stanley Main Beach and finished at Middle Island within Deep Water Bay.

READ MORE: Cold comfort – Hungary’s Attila Manyoki using Hong Kong Cold Half race to prepare for Europe channel swim

“He’s in great form. The last 3km he was going full speed ahead and didn’t even look like he was tired,” said race director Doug Wooding about Chau’s incredible three hours, four minutes and 31 second finish – an average pace of almost 5km/h in the open seas. The previous record was three hours, 53 minutes and 48 seconds.

The last 3km he was going full speed ahead and didn’t even look like he was tired
Doug Wooding

“We just had a perfect day for it – it’s easily been the best conditions for this race in the last four years; it was definitely faster, calm and warm,” added Woodring.

Rob Hart was the second solo swimmer in a wetsuit in four hours, 10 minutes and 10 seconds.

“Ocean’s Seven” contender Attila Manyoki, 42, from Hungary was the first swimmer home without a wetsuit, in four hours 26 minutes and three seconds. The swim star was impressed by Hong Kong’s open water swimming scene.

“If someone wanted to open water swim here, I think they’d find everything – sunny weather, shallow, rough, water like a pool – all sorts of conditions. It was nice to swim here,“ he said.

Next across the finish, without a wetsuit, was Jack Yim in four hours and 39 minutes flat.

In the men’s relay with wetsuit, 15-year-old Sam Thorley and 16-year-old Ethan McGrath were minutes behind Chau in a time of three hours, eight minutes and 41 seconds, breaking the previous record by almost 30 minutes. 

It was also a great day out for the women, with Edi Hu, 40, becoming the first woman to complete the course solo and without a wetsuit in four hours, 47 minutes and 40 seconds.

In the women’s relay, the girl power duo of 15-year-olds Jemima Ridley and Aneekah Styles took first in wetsuits in three hours, 23 minutes and 46 seconds.