Nurs­ery­man ful­fils old prom­ise

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By JIM CHIPP

Porirua nurs­ery­man Si­mon Dearsly grabbed a handy third place in his class in this years Speights Coast to Coast on Fe­bru­ary 14.

Kapi-Mana News caught up with him at Klondyke Cor­ner at the end of day one.

‘‘ It was pretty slip­pery, but it wasn’t hot un­til we got up on to Goat Pass,’’ Dearsly said.

His in­ter­est in the event was piqued be­fore the in­au­gu­ral race in 1983.

Race founder Robin Jud­kins had come to talk to Lin­coln Univer­sity Alpine Club.

‘‘ He said, ‘ I’ve in­vented this re­ally cool event called the Coast to Coast and I just want people to do it’.’’

Dearsly was un­able to com­pete in the in­au­gu­ral event, but promised Jud­kins that one day he would.

He made good on his prom­ise in 2010, but was frus­trated when the kayak leg was shifted to the Avon River.

‘‘It was weather-af­fected and we didn’t kayak on the Waimakariri.

‘‘ I al­ways said I would come back and do it again,’’ Dearsly said.

Dearsly’s time of 15 hours 11 min­utes was fast enough for third place in the over-50 clas­sic men’s class in the two- day event and 27th over­all in­di­vid­ual.

The event be­gan at Ku­mara Beach and ended at Sum­ner Beach, Christchurch.

Con­di­tions were close to ideal, with light show­ers on Fri­day cool­ing things down on the first day for the first bike and moun­tain run legs, and warm sunny weather on Satur­day for the kayak and sec­ond-day bike legs.

Bren­don Ver­coe won the men’s two-day race in 12h 49min and Welling­to­nian Fiona Dowling blitzed the women’s two-day Speights Coast to Coast in 13h 57min.

In the one- day, world multi- sport cham­pi­onship Braden Cur­rie made it two in a row, win­ning in 11h 18min from five-time win­ner Richard Ussher.

In the women’s one-day race, for­mer Welling­to­nian Jess Sim­son led Elina Ussher home in 13h 12min.

Colourful or­gan­iser Robin Jud­kins has sold the rights to the event to Queen­stown tourism and events op­er­a­tor Tro­jan, and was fronting it for the fi­nal time.

He said he didn’t plan to set­tle down and grow old dis­grace­fully.

He had been work­ing on paint­ings, mak­ing ta­bles and he had in­vested in a record com­pany which was home to five mu­si­cians he had sup­ported in the past year.

Photo: JIM CHIPP

Tough work: Si­mon Dearsly nears the day-one fin­ish line in the 2014 Speights Coast to Coast.

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