Kayak coach trains Coast to Coast locals

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Queenstown multisporters are on their marks for the 30th Coast to Coast – but it’s a Wanaka athlete making the waves. 

Kayak coach Steve Norton is training six Queenstowners for this weekend’s gruelling South Island traverse. 

Norton expects them to give a strong showing – especially as the 67km kayak is the longest leg of the 243km race from West Coast to Christchurch. 

But Norton, who has competed in it five times, says all Southern eyes will be on Wanaka’s Dougal Allan – runner-up the last two years. 

“The Queenstowners will be competitive,” Norton, 44, says. 

For the Longest Day, on Saturday, Norton has coached Bernard Robinson, Mike Robins and Lucas Fornes.
They’re respectively top-10, top-20 and top-30 hopefuls, he says. 

Norton has also coached Tanya Bryson, Craig Hind and Mark Banham for their kayaking legs in the two-day event starting tomorrow. 

Norton predicts Bryson could do a top-10 paddling time and the other two, top-20 times. 

More than 800 competitors will take on the 140km cycle, 33km mountain run and kayak during either one day or two. 

Norton says: “I teach technique and performance multisport paddling. It’s all about preparing them specifically for this race. 

“I’ve taken the Queenstowners down the Waimakariri River on a trip so they can get to know it.”