Pow­er­ing across a Grand Tra­verse


A Porirua mul­tisport event got a dose of star power with Olympian Mahe Drys­dale prov­ing his sport­ing prow­ess be­yond the wa­ter.

The two-time Olympic sin­gle sculls gold medal­list took on not one, but two events, in the an­nual Porirua Grand Tra­verse held on Sun­day morn­ing.

Drys­dale, along­side team­mates, Porirua Mayor Mike Tana and Kiwi moun­tain run­ning cham­pion Dou­gal Thor­burn, came sec­ond in the mul­tisport team event with a time of just over five hours 20 min­utes.

In­stead of en­joy­ing a well de­served rest af­ter the main event, Drys­dale joined his wife Juli­ette and 11-week-old son Boston in a 7.5km fun run/walk.

He took to so­cial me­dia soon af­ter the event, shar­ing a photo of him­self with his son com­plete with four Olympic medals and, next to them, NZ row­ing great Richard Joyce.

‘‘Fun week­end at the Porirua Grand Tra­verse. Great to share some time with one of the all time leg­ends of New Zealand Row­ing Dick Joyce - gold in 1968 and 1972 in the four and the eight.’’

Es­tab­lished in 2006, the mul­ti­fac­eted race around Mana’s iconic hills, forests, coast­lines and water­ways has be­come an an­nual high­light.

Now in its 12th year, the race drew more than 800 par­tic­i­pants, in­clud­ing de­fend­ing cham­pion Daniel Jones who once again took out the men’s ti­tle.

‘‘It’s great that high pro­file ath­letes like Mahe are keen to be in­volved in grass roots sport,’’ event man­ager Michael Jac­ques said.

‘‘It’s a chance for week­end war­riors to kayak or run along­side an Olympic gold medal­list.

‘‘And fam­i­lies can bring the kids along for a pic with one of New Zealand’s big­gest sport­ing suc­cesses.

‘‘They can even try out a row­ing erg to see how they rank along­side the best in the world.’’

Reign­ing Coast to Coast two­day cham­pion Kathryn Bunck­en­berg was vic­to­ri­ous in the women’s event, tak­ing the ti­tle from her twin sis­ter Lizzy who chose to only race in a women’s team this year.

Over­all, or­gan­is­ers were pleased with the event and happy to have day­light sav­ings on their side this year.


Windy con­di­tions did lit­tle to de­ter the hun­dreds of en­trants from tak­ing part in the Porirua-based event.

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