Know before you go - AdventureSmart

Hundreds of multisport athletes tackled the 24th running of the Torpedo7 Peak to Peak in near perfect conditions.

Talented multisport stars of the present and past lined up alongside the weekend warriors to tackle this longest-running winter multisport event in the country.

The forecast for the Torpedo7 Peak to Peak was dire in the week leading up to it but everyone awoke to starry skies and a calm lake.

The 44km race starts on the top of the Remarkables, followed by a 17km mountain bike ride down the Remarkables access road. The competitors then paddle 7km on Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown, run 9km to Arthurs Point and cycle 9km up to the Coronet Peak Base biking to finish on the snow.

The ski leg was held in near perfect soft snow conditions on the Calypso run in the Shadow Basin. Fresh overnight snow had melted on the upper access road and the mountain bikers arrived at Frankton Beach coated in mud. The smart racers had tear-offs on their googles but these lasted only a short time and there were many reports of cycling semi blind peering through mud splattered lenses.

The race faced big waves in ‘the neck’ and a decision was made to shorten the paddle rather than face the white caps of the lake.

Runners rejoined the marked run on the waterfront and the race continued up the Gorge to the uphill cycle stage up Coronet Peak.

Avantiplus Dunedin, racing in the teams vet division, lead the way off the ski followed closely by the entire field.

But this was just the beginning of the race and there was much to unfold before the finish line. Behind the team skiers the battle for the individual title was being lead by Eryn Cutler (Queenstown), from defending champion Hamish Fleming (Queenstown) and Rikki Griffin (Invercargill).

By Queenstown beach Fleming was leading the individual field with only three teams ahead. The race for top honours in the teams division was now being lead by Proactive Physio followed at the last change over by The Filaments (Dunedin).

Proactive Physio left the bottom of Coronet Peak with 4.30secs advantage over The Filaments but this was all but clawed back by superb riding by Kees Duyvestein and on the line Proactive crossed only secs ahead making for one of the tightest open teams race in recent years.

In the individual field Fleming went on to win comfortably but was heard to comment on the finish line “the hill does not get any easier”. This comment was also reflected by the winner of the Vet Mens division Shaun Portegys (Alexandra).

Hamish Fleming in the 2016 Peak to PeakHamish Fleming in the 2016 Peak to Peak
(Photo: James Allan; click to enlarge)

The largest section of the race is the teams division with teams racing in the Open, Business, Mixed, Veteran and Womens divisions.

AvantiPlus Dunedin continued to set the pace in the Vet teams division and successfully retained the ‘Golden Boot’ trophy for Vet teams. Their 11th straight win in this field, and their stranglehold will be very hard for any team in the future to break.

A strong school teams field entered with 7 teams contesting the win and with high finishes in boys and girls teams showed that the future of multisport is in good hands. The winners of the Junior School Division this year were the James Hargest College Junior with Team Team JR in second place.

Last year the event opened up a Junior School division with two teams racing, Team 7 Torpedos and Remarkable Kids. These two teams were made up of 9, 10 and 11yr old athletes from Queenstown The team 7 Torpedos backed up this year but are joined by three other local teams.

With an adult accompanying each leg all teams finished strongly with some of the young athletes riding the entire Coronet Peak road.

The High Schools Division was won by Southland Boys with a 4th place overall.

The Womens Team division was won by Back on Track Physio (Queenstown) from the Weekend Warriers (Qtn and Dunedin) while the Mixed team was won by Funk Nose.

Hirepool (Queenstown and Christchurch) won the Business House division from the Hiko (Queenstown) with QLDC Sports and Rec third.

One long time competitor decided that paddling the length of the lake was too easy and opted to swim. Luca Fornes swam from the Frankton Marina to the narrows and still finished strongly on the climb up Coronet Peak. He was awarded a spot prize from Torpedo7 for his efforts

Overall times were a little slower this year as all competitors were slowed by head wind and lake conditions.