|By: News Release|
The Peak to Peak quickly settled into a one horse race as Milne stamped his authority on the field, and with a time of 2.09.31secs he set the third fastest time ever with only Richard Usher (’04/’05) and Hayden Key (’01) posting faster times Milne had previously won the title in 2010.
Gavin Mason chased hard all day but was unable to challenge Milne who moved to over 10 mins ahead by the finish line on Coronet Peak. Mason himself was chased by first time competitor Flavio Vianna from Brazil (and Christchurch) who finished just under two minutes later to claim a great third place finish in his first attempt at this iconic event.
The field attracted 51 individuals, slightly down on the 56 from 2011, but 91 teams started the race, a 8% increase on 2011. The 44km race started at the top of The Remarkables with a shorter than normal ski run due to the current snow conditions. A slightly longer run to the skis separated the field and some chicanes were used to control the speed as the racers hurtled down the Alta Blue Trail on the Remarkables. This section finished by the base building before the 17km mountain bike ride down the high altitude road finishing at Frankton Beach.
Perfect lake conditions were a big change from 2011 when the kayak course was shortened due to rough lake conditions. The 142 kayaks streamed down the Frankton Arm with almost the whole length of the arm separating the first and last competitors.
It was the team racers who lead the way into Queenstown Beach at the end of the paddle with the Fergburger team setting the pace.
From Queenstown Bay it was a 9km run to the Coronet Peak turn-off followed by the 9km cycle up the Coronet Peak access road to the finish line at the ski area base buildings.
Wanaka’s Joanna Williams took back the title she had won in ’09 taking just over eight minutes off her previous best time. (2.34.35) Second place Ailsa Rollinson from Wanaka 2.39.38, and third place Kate Colbran (Christchurch) 2.54 .15 joined Williams on the podium.
The Fergburger team was determined to secure the trophy again and lead the field to well up the Coronet Peak road, but a storming ride by Dave Rush (Oamaru) of the “Where Gavin?’ team pulled in Mike Kelly (queenstown) of the Fergburger Team and then moved away to win by almost three minutes with local team Outside Sports in third just 28secs later.
Shotty Big Reds completed the course in 2.22.43 to win the business team title ahead of Team Hirequip in 2.25.28.
The NZSki area challenge set up this year to encourage inter-ski area competition was won by the Remarkables team in 2.36.53 with Remarkables Ski Patroller Will Borg winning the individual challenge.
Twelve school teams entered from around the region which organiser Geoff Hunt says is “a fantastic sign for the future of multisport. It was great to see the young athletes out there recording some excellent times. There are some names there that I am sure we will hear a lot more about.”
The winning school team was the Dunstan High Five in 2.30. 05, comprised studets aged 14-18, who only narrowly beat the Central Southland College pupils (Winton) in 2.33.28 ahead of the Dunstan MacSpeed Demons in 2.36.35.
Three individual junior males competed with Sam McCulloch (2.48.31) beating last years winner Henry Buckingham (Invercargill) to second place (2.51.46)
The veteran men’s title went to Pete Sharlott (Auckland) in 2.33.32 and Maria Gamble (Mosgiel) took out the women’s title in 3.18.44. The veteran team winner was once again Avanti Plus Dunedin in 2.12.59 well ahead of Queenstown based Peak Projects (2.37.36).
Team GDS (Wanaka) won the women’s team section in 2.59.43 and the mixed team title went to Dovedale Daredevils (Christchurch) in 2.30.08.