No coasting home

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Queenstowner Mike Kelly is chuffed with his fifth in the Coast to Coast Longest Day – particularly after a course change that didn’t suit him. A blast of heavy wind and rain forced the hand of Coast to Coast organiser Robin Judkins who made changes including shifting the kayak from the challenging Waimakariri River to Christchurch’s gentle Avon River. Kelly, a strong kayaker, says he’s happy with his result given the race became more of a road cyclist’s event – not his best discipline. “I was happy with fifth – it was a course that didn’t suit me at all.” Kelly, 32, was among a handful of Queenstown multisporters to finish well during the gruelling 243km race from the West Coast to Christchurch. Newcomer Josie Cederwall, 34, was seventh in the two-day women’s race. Jo Phelan, 41, came second in the two-day veteran women’s and another experienced athlete, Tom Lucas, finished 19th in the men’s Longest Day.