Wanaka athletes continued their domination of Queenstown’s arduous Peak to Peak race on Saturday.
Hamish Fleming took advantage of defending champion Dougal Allen’s absence to win the men’s race – in a time of 2hrs 15mins and 15sec.
And defending women’s champion Joanna Williams scored her fourth victory – finishing in 2:46:15. All three competitors live in Wanaka.
Fleming says: “I knew Dougal Allen was offshore and saw this as my chance to join the prestigious list of athletes who have claimed the title in this race.
“I was forced to work hard for the win by Flavio [Vianna] and was not sure of the win until the final stretch on Coronet Peak Road.”
More than 450 people took part in the race from the top of The Remarkables to the Coronet Peak skifield base building.
The 22nd running of the 44km race, competitors skied down the Homeward Bound run of The Remarkables skifield in foggy conditions, before mountain biking 17km down the access road.
That was followed by a 7km paddle on Lake Wakatipu from Frankton to Queenstown, a 9km run out to Arthurs Point, and a gruelling 9km cycle up to the Coronet Peak base building – a steeper climb than many Tour De France stages.
Christchurch competitor Vianna was just three minutes behind Fleming, once again finishing second, while Alexandra’s Fiona Dowling was second in the women’s race, also three minutes behind the winner.
Queenstown’s Natalie Jakobs finished third in 2:51:28.
The largest section of the race is the team’s division, which was won by newcomers Bike Barn Dunedin in 2:07:40.
Wanaka’s Mike Greer Randoms won the women’s team section in 2:42:34 while Christchurch’s How Do I get in there Boss won the mixed in 2:23:16.
Queenstown construction firm Rationale Ltd won the Business House division in 2:20:57.
Dislexic Moments Dunstan High School team was the fastest in the school’s division, 2:25:25, just 30 seconds ahead of schoolmates Wii Not Fit. Queenstown’s Wakatipu High Schol was third in 2:31:30.
Alexandra’s Shaun Portegys took his first win in the veterans, 2:32:13, beating nine-time Coast to Coast champion Steve Gurney into second just two minutes behind.
And at the back, individual racer Laura Shaw and team of Maori Medical health professionals from North Island, put in gutsy displays to finish – after seven hours, in the dark and with only support crew to welcome them.