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Hard day's work ... Donald Cornwall, of Kaiwera, arrives at Klondyke Corner at the end of day one of the Coast to Coast. PHOTO: WAYNE PARSONS

It is third time lucky for Kaiwera’s Donald Cornwall who finished this year’s Coast to Coast two-day individual race in 18hr 11min 10sec.

He was 186th out of 260 competitors.

Cornwall said he had competed in the individual one-day event in 2010 but withdrew before the kayaking stage and in 2011 he did not finish the kayak stage quickly enough and was disqualified.

This year he entered in the two-day event and recorded a time.

“I finished it, finally – third time lucky,” Mr Cornwall said.

He was a little bit disappointed with his times, which were slower than when he competed in the one-day event.

Conditions on the second day were hard going.

“The river was very low so it was a really slow paddle.”

The low state of the Waimakariri made for a more hair-raising trip than when there was more water in the river.

“When it’s low you can’t take any shortcuts and miss the rapids.

“The first big rapid at the top of the gorge I came round and there’s a jet-boat parked there and people with throw ropes and there was a dozen kayaks upside down.”

Other kayakers also made negotiating the rapids a challenge.

“Other people come in and tip you out and you run into them .. you don’t get a clean run at it yourself,” Mr Cornwall said.

Fortunately he was not tipped out.

The bike ride to Sumner was also hard as the wind changed direction not long after he started.

“I went from 35ks to 25ks in about five minutes as the wind turned,” he said.

“Not only that, it’s the extra time and the extra effort made it a really hard finish.

“It was a long two days but we got there.”

Support crew Keith Pirie was a great help, he said.