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Racing from Peak to Peak

High profile events such as Queenstown’s winter multisport race, the David Reid Homes Peak to Peak, are an increasingly important part of the Southern Lakes tourism dynamic.

The iconic one-day winter event scheduled for September 12 attracted a record number of competitors from outside the district when entries opened three months earlier.

“The response was instant from people outside the area who were obviously champing at the bit to come and spend a weekend in Queenstown and compete,” says race director Adrian Bailey. “The numbers were up significantly for the first day of early bird entries opening with competitors from as far as Christchurch, Dunedin, Oamaru, Rotorua, Kaikoura, Invercargill and Timaru signing up.”

“We have even received an entry from an Australian team so that’s a positive forecast from the Aussies wanting to get over to Queenstown and make it happen. These are the kind of events that Queenstown needs right now to encourage regional tourism spend while supporting people to keep up their winter training and active lifestyles.”

The Peak to Peak is one of a kind in New Zealand with competitors racing from The Remarkables ski area to the finish line at Coronet Peak.

Last year’s individual winner Queenstown’s Hamish Fleming has teamed up with world class adventurer Sam Manson from Christchurch to enter the event as a duo.

“Hamish and Sam will make a strong pair and we are looking forward to them bringing their A game to the event. It also opens up the field for the male solos and the ultimate Peak to Peak trophy,” says Adrian.

The race began over 25 years ago and was designed as a way to link the mountains with the town during the annual Queenstown Winter Festival. With five race stages, Adrian says it is a challenge that many people want to take on.

“It starts at The Remarkables with a set ski or snowboard course down to the end of Homeward Run where competitors link into the mountain bike section to Frankton Beach. Stage three is a kayak leg from Frankton Beach to Queenstown Bay followed by a run from Queenstown Bay to Arthurs Point while the final stage is a cycling leg from Arthurs Point up the Coronet Peak ski area road to the finish line.”

“The Peak to Peak is one of Queenstown’s most stunningly scenic events and a true showcase of the town and our mountains with the event very well supported by NZSKI as the official host and David Reid Homes, the title sponsor,” says Adrian. “Last year’s event was a sell-out with over 450 competitors racing. It was an amazing day with such a broad range of competitors from school kids to seniors and everyone went home with a real sense of achievement and a bit of an adrenalin rush. This year’s event will be no exception.”