A Queenstown tourism and ski operation giant has bought the world’s longest-running multisport race the Speight’s Coast to Coast.
Davies family company Trojan Holdings is the new owner of the event founded by colourful race director Robin Judkins 30 years ago.
The Coast to Coast involves entrants running, cycling and kayaking from the West Coast of the South Island to the east coast, finishing in Christchurch.
Judkins has always been on hand to dish out a cold Speight’s to those finishing The Longest Day – and says that won’t change.
“I love the event to bits and am really excited about its future. I intend to still be there in a supporting role for years to come, at the start to fire them up and at the finish to hand out well deserved cans of Speight’s,” he says.
The ownership changes signals a new era for the race – which can also be entered over two days.
A statement released this afternoon says it’s a great fit with Trojan’s other businesses which include great walks the Milford and Routeburn tracks, the Mt Cook Hermitage, AJ Hackett Bungy and NZSki, operator of southern snow fields Coronet Peak, Remarkables and Mt Hutt.
Judkins adds: “Since 1983 I’ve enjoyed the ultimate challenge and seeing around 20,000 competitors battle themselves, each other and the environment over 243km from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean.
“It’s a reflection of NZ at its finest, just brilliant – it really is NZ’s great race. But it’s time for me to look to a new era with a lesser role.”
Each Coast to Coast has around 3,500 people directly involved, generating local economic activity and international profile.
Judkins says: “We strive to have a world-class event in harmony with our special environment and wildlife, a passion I will continue to pursue. I deeply appreciate the fun and support over 30 years of so many wonderful people – DoC, our managers, volunteers, sponsors, competitors, crews and local communities.”