It wasn't an auspicious way to depart but Nathan Capp's immediate swimming future appears far more favourable.
The Tauranga star heads to the North Shore today, taking up a spot in the New Zealand high performance squad training under coach Mark Regan.
His final act in local waters was finishing third in yesterday's 4km Round the Mount swim, however, stymied in his title defence by jellyfish and a dodgy stomach.
Wellington's Ben Campbell-MacDonald won his second title in the Amcal Mount Dispensary-sponsored swim, though the pair were side by side halfway through the race, heading out through the Tauranga Harbour entrance.
"I vomited at the very beginning and then again when I got to the entrance, and immediately after that one was when I got stung in the face," Capp said.
"I've been feeling sick all morning. It was just a bad day."
Capp pulled up and stopped in visible discomfort, then waited for the next group of swimmers to arrive and easing home in 52m 16s, nearly 6min adrift of Campbell-MacDonald and just behind Auckland masters gun Richard Smith.
But he'll be following in a different wake as he heads north, emulating his cousin Moss Burmester, who made the same move six years ago.
"Moss said I don't really have to go this early but when you get to the international level, you've definitely got to make that move.
"I'm excited - hopefully it's going to take my swimming to the next level, with the gym work and every thing that comes with it."
Capp canvassed a range of people before making the move, including his own coach Tai Daniella and Burmester's former coach Clive Power, but the prospect of studying construction management at Massey University swayed him.
Campbell-MacDonald, meanwhile, emulated his Round the Mount win two years ago and gained a measure of revenge on Capp, who beat him last year.
"It wasn't my plan to swim the whole thing by myself and I was swimming with Nathan out into the entrance but then he just stopped - I thought he was adjusting his goggles so I put my foot down and held the pace from there," Campbell-MacDonald said.
He finished in an impressive 46m 20s in stunning conditions, just 2min off Burmester's race record set in 2005 of 44m 28s, but the 30-year-old policy analyst for the Ministry of Health was just delighted to take part again.
"There's a whole lot of wildlife out there and you see heaps of stingrays and it's a bit more technical than some of the other swims, making sure you get the right lines going through the rocks and fighting the waves. It's a beautiful place and definitely my favourite swim."
Sid Salek certainly thinks so too. The 80-year-old Mount Maunganui legend completed his 25th official circumnavigation of Mauao, finishing in 1h 31m 21s.
"That's about right - I always try and finish around double the winner's time," the indomitable Salek said. "There was a moment as I was coming out of the entrance where I thought 'never again' but then I got my second wind and started to feel alright again. But I have to say it is getting harder!"
Team Shorebreak's Sheryl McLay, who organised the event, was delighted with the entries.