All but two swimmers from a Christchurch contingent of 40 swimmers hit the water on the opening day of the Mayfair Pools New Zealand Age Group Swimming Championships in Wellington.
There was massive support from competitors and supporters for the Christchurch-based swimmers, who have been mostly unable to train since the earthquake.
Organisers held a minute's silence and a collection was taken at the Wellington Aquatic Centre in Kilbirnie.
Counties Maunkau swimmer Hayden Church provided the highlight in the pool when he broke a national record in winning the 13 years 50m freestyle.
Max Polianski, son of former Olympic gold medallist Igor Polianski, winning the 14 years age group.
Top performance of the night went to brilliant Christchurch swimmer Sophia Batchelor who earned 793 FINA points in winning the 15 years 200m backstroke.