Whakatane's Sam Clark has defended his Coast to Coast title after staging a remarkable comeback today.
After starting the 243-kilometre race across the South Island at Kumara Beach at 6am, he crossed the finish line 11 hours two minutes 43 seconds later in Christchurch.
Clark needed a remarkable comeback to deny Wanaka's Braden Currie a fourth title.
Currie held a 12-minute lead over Clark at the start of the 67km kayak, but Clark pegged him back to slash the deficit to just four minutes ahead of the final leg - the 70km cycle across the Canterbury Plains.
Clark appeared a man possessed when he got out of his kayak and wasted no time hacking into Currie's lead on the bike.
He went past Currie with about 25km to go and never looked back, beating him by almost eight minutes.