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