Kayakers complete Cook Strait crossing ahead of schedule

Last updated 19:31 10/12/2013

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Prepared to be camping out in the Marlborough Sounds tonight, two adventurers beat their own expectations and completed the full crossing of Cook Strait in a kayak today. Their reward – a comfortable bed.

Grant Rawlinson and Alan Silva are in the middle of the Peak to Peak challenge, an attempt to travel 1200 kilometres from Mt Ruapehu to the summit of Mt Cook by climbing, cycling and paddling.

They expected the 60km Cook Strait crossing to be done over two days, but reached Picton at 4pm, ten hours after departing from Makara Beach, Mr Rawlinson said.

‘‘We came much faster than we thought.’’

Their journey to the South Island under favourable weather conditions proved to be far more successful than that of the road bikes they planned to use to travel 700km to Mt Cook.

‘‘The bicycles came over on the ferry this morning, but never got taken off and have gone back to Wellington. So we’re stuck waiting for the bicycles.’’

Paddling the Whanganui River in an inflatable kayak dubbed the Divorce Machine – for its ability to start arguments – proved perfect training, Mr Rawlinson said.

‘‘It was a very good build-up to the Cook Strait, strength-wise we were in very good shape. . .We feel great at the moment.’’

Both are experienced adventurers and hope their journey can raise money for a number of volunteer rescue departments, including those who saved the life of Mr Rawlinson’s sister.

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- The Dominion Post

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