A perfect race day for Torpedo 7 Peak to Peak
Hundreds of multisport athletes tackled the 23rd running of the Torpedo 7 Peak to Peak in perfect conditions. Talented multipart stars of the present and past lined up alongside the weekend warriors to tackle this longest running winter multi-sport event in the country.
The forecast was for perfect racing conditions and so it proved. The ski leg was held in near perfect soft snow conditions on the Homeward Bound, while a fast and dry Remarkables access lead to a flat lake. A changed run leg through downtown Queenstown bought the racers up through The Gorge to the uphill cycle stage up Coronet Peak.
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 7kms on Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown, run 9kms to Arthurs Point and cycle 9kms up to the Coronet Peak Base building to finish on the snow.
Avantiplus from Dunedin, racing in the teams vet division lead the way off the ski closely followed by MMMMMMM Pies and Proactive Physio. But this was just the beginning and there was much of the race to unfold before the finish line. Behind the teams the battle for the individual title was being lead by Eryn Cutler (Queenstown), from defending champion Hamish Fleming (Queenstown).
By Frankton Beach at the end of the first two legs two school teams were battling for the front with Fleming in 2nd place.
The second seed male Flavio Vianna was still off the pace arriving 19th on the beach and holding that position to Queenstown Beach. By Queenstown beach Fleming was leading the field with a group of three teams. These four athletes were almost a minute in front of the next competitor, but it was Fleming who now had a clear lead in the individual stakes. The race for top honours in the teams division was now being lead by Valley Strength and Conditioning (Dunedin).
In the running stage four teams with fresh legs in their runners moved past Flemming who’s only concern was the placing of the closest individual
“At the run - bike transition my support team told me Flavio was just a hundred meters back and this gave me extra incentive to put in a really hard effort on the lower slopes on Coronet Peak to see if I could open up a good gap” said Fleming.
Of course the support crew had feed some what erroneous information to their racer to get just that sort of reaction when in fact Vianna (Christchurch) was almost 6 mins back. Fleming went on to win in a time of 2hrs 11mins and 19secs, just over four minutes from Vianna who himself finished almost seven minutes ahead of third place getter Eryn Cutler.
In the women's field, Joanna Williams (Wanaka) winner in 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2015, who able to make it five wins, in a time of 2hrs 31mins and 33 secs. Williams was racing in the Veterans division which made her win even more impressive with the fastest womens time of the day. This time was more than 12 mins ahead of her time from last year and 19th in the entire field.
Second place women across the line and winner of the open womens division was Flootje Grimmett in 2hrs 9 mins and 46 seconds (Wanaka) with Rosie Hill third in 2hrs 56mins.
The vet mens division was hotly contested by Shaun Portegys and Steve Gurney with Portegys taking the win on the line by just 36secs. Both athletes were speechless on the line with Portegys spending some time lying on the snow recovering. He was heard to mutter something like ‘the toughest hill climb I have done.’ third place in the vets was Pete Sharlott (Auckland) with a time of 2hrs 37mins and 18 secs.
The largest section of the race is the teams division and the hotly contested open teams was won by the winners from last year racing with a new sponsor. From Dunedin Valley Strength and Conditioning who arrived second at the last transition lead across the finish line by just under 7 mins after a starling 32min and 30 sec climb the Coronet road by their team cyclist.
The team finished in a exceptional time of 2hrs and 47 secs which will go down as one of the fastest times in the events history.
Second on the line was Avantiplus Dunedin in 2hrs 7mins and 24seconds. They also took home the Golden Boot as the fastest of the veteran teams. Third across the line Proactive Physio (Queenstown) were second in the Open teams in 2hrs 7 mins and 58 seconds.
A strong school teams field entered with 10 teams contesting the win and with high finishes in boys and girls teams showed that the future of multi sport is in good hands. The winners again this year for the second year in a row were the Dislexic Moments Dunstan High School team (Alexandra) in a time of 2hours 11mins and 12secs.
This would have placed them 6th overall in the teams division. Witness the Litness (Queenstown) placed 2nd in a time of 2hrs 18mins and 02 secs with James Hargest Cobras 3rd in 2hrs 24mins and 10 secs.
The womens Team division was won by the Farmer Chicks from Lawrence. With just two teams members and racing for the first time they finished strongly in a time of 3 hrs and 3 mins and 1 sec. The Mixed team was won by Wolverine ( ) with womens vets wines the Shady Ladies.
Nailed it (Quuenstown) won the Business House division from the local boys in blue, team Stratos (Queenstown) with Colliers Otago (Queenstown) third.
The story of the day however was played in the middle of the field by two groups. Team 7 Torpedos and Remarkable Kids. These two teams were made up of 9, 10 and 11yr old athletes from Queenstown, who having seen the event all their lives, convinced their parents that it was a great idea and asked permission to enter.
With a adult accompanying each leg both teams finished strongly 61st and 68th place. The 7 Torpedos featured on TV3’s The Story and more footage from their race efforts will feature again this week.
Torpedo 7 Peak to Peak
Individual Male Individual Female
1st Hamish Flemming 1st Flootje Grimmett
2nd Flavio Vianna 2nd Natalie Jakobs
3rd Eryn Cutler 3rd Rosie Hill
Individual Vet Male Individual Vet Female
1st Shaun Portegys 1st Jo Williams (fastest womens time)
2nd Steve Gurney 2nd Sarah Kennedy
3rd Pete Sharlott
Team Open Team Mixed
1st Valley Strength and Conditioning 1st Wolverine
2nd Proactive Physio 2nd Kinga’s First Beer
3rd Around the Basin 3rd Winter Mules
Team Women Team Vet Women
1st Farmer Chicks 1st Shady Ladies
2nd Ulitmate Hike Girls
Team Veteran Team School
1st Avantiplus Dunedin 1st Dislexis Moments
2nd Team Arrowfield 2nd Witness the Fitness
3rd Team RJP 3rd James Hargest Cobras
Team Business House
1st Nailed It
2nd Blue Stratos
3rd Colliers Otago