Hunt Returns to C2C Following Border Shutout
Covid and climate change calamities have made it pretty tough going for Kathmandu Coast to Coasters in recent times. Spare a thought for the international competitors who until now, have been pretty much locked out.
To find the last time an international star won the men’s Longest Day, you have to trawl your way back to 1993 when the great John Jacoby won the last of his three titles. Since 2013, the top spot has been dominated by three names: Braden Currie, Sam Clark and Dougal Allan. The two most likely to end the dominance of the trio, are perennial contender Sam Manson and Tasmania’s Alex Hunt.
Interestingly, in 2020, both Hunt and Manson combined with Ryan O’Connor in the TopSport Kayaking2 team to finish third overall in the Three person teams race. That was the last time Hunt got to kit-up for the big race, as Covid kicked in, and the Government circled the wagons to try and keep the virus at bay. Prior to that, his Kathmandu Coast to Coast Longest Day career was trending in the right direction and as his experience levels grew. He finished third in 2016, sixth in 2017, second in 2018, and third again in 2019.
In 2020, he wanted to be involved but didn’t feel he was in good enough shape. “I’d just bought a house and it was in pretty bad condition- life got in the way really!”
Then of course Covid kicked in and limited his options, although that was probably a blessing in disguise from a home improvement point of view. “I enjoyed being at home and getting stuff done, but by last year I started to get a bit over that and get itchy feet again!”
Tasmania managed to avoid the massive long-term lockdowns that afflicted mainland Australia. Training opportunities weren’t really restricted, and local races started to come back on line in Tasmania last year. “Not many Multisport races as such, but I’ve done plenty of running races, bike races and kayak events to keep it interesting”
By the time the 2023 Kathmandu Coast to Coast comes around, Alex Hunt’s 32nd birthday will have passed, and he’s conscious of the fact that he’s probably entering his peak years. “My partner and I have just had our first kid- a daughter, about ten weeks ago, so things are going to get busy. I’m at that point where I want to do it and I want to do it well.”
The engineer says he’s probably going to look at going half time at work until the race. “It’s just about that extra bit of volume which I think I’ve lacked in the past. A bit of extra strength at the back end of the boat and on that final bike to New Brighton”.
Hunt is grateful to be living in Hobart where he says the surrounds come close to replicating the South Island course. “Having said that, there’s nothing quite like spending time on the course, so I think the plan is to come over in December and spend a bit of time with the Top Sport crew on the river and the run course”
Conditions wise, Hunt says he struggles a bit in the heat; “that’s probably a little unusual for an Aussie, but being from Tasmania, it’s probably a little more in line with the South Island. I prefer it to be a bit colder and more miserable to be honest!”
Whatever the conditions, and whoever else lines up, it’ll just be great to finally welcome back Alex Hunt, and all the other international competitors who’ve been locked out for the past couple of years!See All Event Posts