Oamaru multisporter Dougal Allan has chalked up another big win.
Allan and team-mate Braden Currie showed their world-class credentials in sweltering temperatures to win the two-day elite category at the Red Bull Defiance event around Wanaka last weekend.
The talented pair finished the gruelling race in a time of 12hr 14min 48sec.
It was their 16th race together and their experience shone through as they beat home Hamish Fleming and Bobby Dean by more than 50min.
The day dawned clear as the 85 teams jumped in their kayaks on the Wanaka foreshore and set off on the 20km paddle to Oxbow.
The pace was fast and furious as the strong kayaking combos battled to gain a buffer on their rivals before they hit the brutal 28km (1200m elevation) ride that took them up through Criffel Station to the Pisa Range.
The mercury was already beginning to rise as the teams began the leg- burning climb and as they sweated their way to the top and hooned down to the final transition in the Cardrona Valley, it was already nearing a searing 30degC.
It had been a few years since Allan raced off-road, having focused on ironman racing recently, and he said the Defiance was as challenging as anything he had raced.
“It’s as good as it gets for this format of racing,” Allan said.
“The two-person team thing makes for quite a cool racing dynamic. It’s pretty hard to fault. It would definitely be one of the best races I’ve done in the world.
“You have got to push pretty hard but you are always rewarded for that work.”
He particularly enjoyed the 30km final stage which took in Wanaka’s spectacular skyline traverse.
“Along the tops, it was just spectacular.”
There was a special guest in the event.
Making his debut was former All Black captain Richie McCaw, who finished in 14hr 30min to win the sport category with experienced team-mate Bob McLachlan, a world adventure racing champion.
McCaw had slimmed down from his rugby weight and packed in hours of endurance training to prepare for the race.