Massive congratulations to all the Five Passes riders who battled it out in the Coast to Coast over the weekend. After the disruptions of last year, it was great to have the race staged on its regular course once again. It was fantastic to see so much support for the competitors out there- its clear people are as enthusiastic about the race as they’ve ever been.

Four of the six podium places in the Longest Day went to Five Passes riders. An appropriate theme song for new men’s champion Sam Manson could be ACDC’s It’s a Long Way To The Top If You Want To Rock And Roll. After more than a decade of racing the various events associated with the Coast to Coast, Sam finally achieved his dream of stepping onto the top spot of the podium in the Longest Day.

But what a battle! Ryan Kiesanowski has a wonderful CV in the event, and his previous best effort in the Longest Day was a third. The pair were both around ten minutes back off the mountain run, but eventually came out of the kayak together at Gorge Bridge. They traded places twice through transition with Ryan making a quicker start as they rode up out of the Gorge. But eventually up near the top of South Eyre Road, Manson made his move and slowly pulled away. The pair really lit it up throughout the day and it was a battle that people really enjoyed following. Top two podium spots to Passes riders!

And how awesome were Fiona Dowling and Rebecca Kingsford! Fi scored her best result with a second placing behind Simone Maier who measured and managed her day superbly. Fiona was as organised as ever in terms of managing her race plan and rode particularly well on the final leg to New Brighton. Catching Maier was always going to be a tough ask, but she took care to make sure Kingsford couldn’t close on her. Rebecca is still very much a rookie in terms of one day experience. Fourth in 2022, this time she went one better and has well and truly fired a warning shot across the bows of other competitors for the years ahead. The Tirau flier got into the first bunch off the beach and built a handy lead with Deborah Lynch heading into the mountain. The run started well, but issues between Doreen Creek and Goat Pass saw her slip back down the field. At this point, character kicked in, and remarkably she toughed it out to eventually smash her way back to third overall.

Other Longest Day results for Five Passes riders…….

  • Sarah Jenkins – finished 8th in the women’s elite field – 14 hours 29 minutes.
  • Mike Draper – 52nd out of 138 in the men’s field – 14 hours 24 minutes 34 seconds.
  • James McCone – 5th veteran home, 35th male home. 13 hours 54 minutes 43 seconds.
  • Duncan Rutherford – 42nd male home – 14 hours 04 minutes 27 seconds.
  • Jeremy Mckenzie – 33rd male home, 4th out of 34 in the veterans – 13 hours 54 minutes 12 seconds.
  • Flavio Vianna – FIRST MEN’S VETERAN WOOP WHOOP WOOP! 12th overall – 12 hours 59 minutes 22 seconds.
  • Hamish Chamberlain – 46th male home – 14 hours 19 minutes 51 seconds.
  • Simone Faulkner – unfortunately a DNF, hopefully back to smash it next year.
  • Paul Gow – 17th man home, 18th overall – 13 hours 21 minutes 14 seconds.
  • Nathan Cohen and Richie McCaw. First home in the two day Tandem Teams! Great effort. Nathan really gave it heaps on the first cycle and showed a ton of guts coming into Klondyke Corner after the mountain run- the last hour saw him battling cramps. Useful having Richie as a partner because he’d had the same issues a few years ago. Well done Nathan.
  • Matt Mustchin – Super strong on the bike and in the boat, a beaut debut in the two day race, 43rd male home, 10th place out of 69 in the 40-49 veterans – 14 hours 30minutes 59 seconds.
  • Finn Mckenzie – first school’s competitor home. 5th overall! 12 hours 35 minutes 47 seconds.

Great work!

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Written by Brian Ashby