Multisport athletes defend title
A Wanaka athlete took her fifth win in the country’s longest running winter multisport event on Saturday, while a Queenstown athlete also defended his title.
Hundreds of athletes competed in the Torpedo 7 Peak to Peak race in Queenstown.
The 44km race starts on the top of the Remarkables, followed by a 17km mountain bike ride down the Remarkables access road. The competitors then paddle 7km on Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown, run 9km to Arthurs Point and cycle 9km up to the Coronet Peak Base building to finish on the snow.
In the women’s field, Wanaka’s Joanna Williams, winner in 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2015, was able to make it five wins, with a time of 2hrs 31mins and 33 secs.
Race director Geoff Hunt said Williams was racing in the veteran’s division, which made her win even more impressive with the fastest women’s time of the day.
The 41-year-old was more than 12 minutes ahead of her time from last year and 19th in the entire field. Second placed woman across the line and winner of the open women’s division was Wanaka’s Flootje Grimmett in 2hrs 9 mins and 46 seconds.
Queenstown’s Hamish Fleming, 26, won with a time of 2hrs 11mins and 19secs, just over four minutes from Flavio Vianna who finished almost seven minutes ahead of third place getter Eryn Cutler.
‘‘At the run - bike transition my support team told me Flavio was just a hundred meters back and this gave me extra incentive to put in a really hard effort on the lower slopes on Coronet Peak to see if I could open up a good gap,’’ Fleming said.
The veteran men’s division was hotly contested by Shaun Portegys and Steve Gurney, with Portegys taking the win on the line by just 36 seconds.
The largest section of the race was the team’s division and the hotly contested open teams was won by the 2015 winners, Dunedin Valley Strength and Conditioning, who finished in an ‘‘exceptional’’ time of 2hrs and 47 secs. It would go down as one of the fastest times in the event’s history, Hunt said.
A strong school teams field entered with 10 teams. The winners for the second year in a row were the Dislexic Moments Dunstan High School team, of Alexandra, with a time of 2hours 11mins and 12secs.