BENDIGO beat Ballarat in Sunday's inaugural Splash for Cash swim challenge.
Racing in home waters at the Bendigo Aquatic Centre in Barnard Street, Bendigo's squad scored 1546 points.
Ballarat finished an action-packed program on 1261 points.
There was $5000 to be won in this challenge.
Swim stars from the goldfields rivals vied for points in the 50m and 100m duels across all four swim strokes - backstroke, breast-stroke, butterfly and freestyle.
First events on the program were the open 200m individual medley won by Bendigo clubmates Kahlia Marsh and Angus Verbeek.
Bendigo won all six of the 4 x 50m freestyle relays in the finale to the 126-race card.
The closely-fought relay battles were in the 10-under, 14-under and open classes.
The 14-under line-up of Callum Moloney, Mitchell Sherlock, Bailey Harriden and Angus Verbeek will compete in the 4 x 50m relay at next month's Australian Age Championships in Sydney.
Bendigo won the girls challenge, 785 to 601, and triumphed in the boys class, 761 to 660.
Next leg in the Ballarat-Bendigo challenge will be at Ballarat in winter.
Organisers of the inaugural challenge are confident the meet will continue to grow in terms of competitor and spectator numbers.