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A full year’s training paid off on
Saturday as the Greymouth High
School team won the schools section of
the Kathmandu Coast to Coast.
After finishing second in the 2016
event, cyclist George Rubbo, runner
Ben Williams and kayaker Blake
Robertson set a target to win this
year, which they achieved despite stiff
competition from a growing schools
section. Palmerston North Boys’ High
School was runner-up and Cambridge
High School third.
The Greymouth team’s winning time
also made them third fastest team
While pleased with their winning
performance they still see room for
Williams’ time in the mountain run
was just two seconds off the fastest
two-dayer and so he is already targeting
a top time in 2018. Before that, he
will compete in the Ghost Road Ultra
marathon on February 25 — 85km of
trails with 2800m of ascent.
Robertson, in the kayak section, had
been unable to train as much as he
would have liked and came out of his
kayak. For the next Coast to Coast he
hopes to reduce his time by a further
A 10-minute saving this year
would have helped the ner ves of the
Greymouth supporters at the finish
The Greymouth team started day
two with a 25-minute lead, knowing
that Cambridge High School had an
elite cyclist. When Palmerston North
and Cambridge schools came into the
finish line ahead of Greymouth, the
clocks were ticking. Out on his bike,
Rubbo kept his cool and finished with
a running sprint through the New
Brighton sand to claim first place, 4min
53sec ahead of Palmerston North Boys.
Greymouth High School principal
Andy England said he was proud of the
team and the work they had put in to
gain their significant victory.
England noted the strength of the
team’s support crew and the
atmosphere created by the other
Greymouth teams. The school plans to
hold a special assembly in honour of
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
COAST TO COAST
Greymouth High School Coast to Coast team members George Rubbo, left, Blake Robertson, Max Rubbo (who raced
in the team Two and a Half Men) and Ben Williams.
Victorious Grey High
team sets 2018 targets
Dunollie’s Ivan Davidson set his
own record at the Buller Gorge
Marathon last weekend — as the
only competitor to finish every
one of the half-marathons in the
history of the event.
The former coalminer’s feat was
recognised on Saturday at the
completion of the 35th marathon
when the Buller Marathon
Committee presented him with a
commemorative rimu wall clock
Davidson, sponsored by the
Nelson Building Society, said
that after 34 races Saturday was
not about a personal best, but
completing the distance.
Well into the race he told his
supporter Gavin Cook, who
encouraged him to enter his first
half-marathon in 1982, that he
was feeling good, but soon after
he was not feeling so great and
was more than happy with his
time of 2hrs 10mins.
Davidson does not class himself
as an athlete and does not
consistently pound the streets
to train. Come Christmas time
he dusts off his road shoes and
begins training for Buller.
A couple of years ago other
members of Davidson’s family
told him that if he was still
running in the Buller Marathon
once he turned 60 they could
join him in the walk section.
He turned 60 in November,
and a month ago his two older
sisters, Carol Cook and Sharleen
Davidson, took up the challenge
and joined him at the start line.
A niece, Abbie Cook, also walked
with them and provided the pace.
Davidson has his own training
regime in the build-up to Buller,
including running out the Coast
Road and over Point Elizabeth.
As for the future, he will
continue to look for ward to the
second Saturday in February and
will keep lining up for “the half ”
for as long as his body lets him.
Ivan Davidson is presented with a commemorative clock
on Saturday as the only person to complete all 35 Buller
Davidson’s 35th Buller half-marathon
The West Coast premier club
rugby league season kicks off on
Saturday as the league attempts to
avoid the “dodgy” winter weather.
West Coast Rugby League
president Peter Kerridge said
today senior clubs had been asking
for the last three to four years for
the season to start earlier and the
board had been resisting until
“ We decided to give it a trial this
season in the hope players could
train and play with better ground
and overhead conditions,” Kerridge
He acknowledged it was possibly
not the best year to start the trial
due to the wet start to 2017, “but
the clubs want it so we are doing
“ We are being flexible and an
earlier playing season will see the
competition over before the worst
of the winter.”
The competition begins with a
None of the earlier games will be
played at Wingham Park, which
will be reser ved for the Thacker
Shield match, on March 11.
“ We are not playing any club
games at Wingham Park until
the third round begins on April
7, which is about when the season
would normally start,” Kerridge
The second round will start on
the weekend of March 17-19 and
round three on April 7-9.
Semi-finals will be played at
Wingham Park on Sunday, May 7
with the grand final set down for
Sunday, May 14.
The draw for this Saturday
v Waro-rakau, O’Brien Park.
Suburbs v Cobden-Kohinoor,
Senior league kicks off early
Bristol have won what they say was
a fierce battle for the signature of
All Blacks forward Steven Luatua.
The versatile Luatua, 25, has signed
a one-year deal with the relegation-
threatened English club which will begin
later in 2017.
A flanker and lock for Auckland and
the Blues, Luatua has played 15 tests
since 2013 but has struggled to pin
down regular selection. He was a highly-
promising prospect when playing 11
tests in his debut season but injury and
fitness concerns reduced his appearances.
His lone test in 2016 was against Italy in
Luatua will link with his former Blues
coach Pat Lam at Bristol. Lam takes over
there next season from Mark Tainton.
“I have a fantastic relationship with Pat
and I enjoyed working with him at the
Blues,” Luatua said. “Bristol Rugby is
one of the most ambitious clubs in the
United Kingdom and that ’s backed up
by a really passionate fan-base. I’ve heard
great things about the environment that
is being built there.”
Tainton says securing Luatua is a
breakthrough for the club. “ The signing
of Steven — beating off competition
from a number of high profile clubs —
underlines the ambition of Bristol. Since
bursting onto the scene as a 19-year-old,
Steven has been a consistently formidable
presence, both at Super Rugby and for
the All Blacks. He’s a standout performer
at the very highest level.”
Luatua is the third young All Black to
announce his departure offshore. - N ZN
Rising NZ forward Luatua signs with Bristol
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