Sunday, January 13, 2008

Aussie boys 'across the Ditch' at last!

Two Australian kayakers have completed their journey across the Tasman Sea.

James Castrission, 25, and Justin Jones, 24, reached shore at Ngamotu Beach, about 4km west of New Plymouth on New Zealand’s West Coast, at 10.20am (AEDT).

Castrission told AAP it felt "awesome" to see the reception. Jones said it was "out of control".

A large tugboat gave the pair a spray welcome by shooting water high into the air as they approached.

Spokesman Alan McDonald said more than 2000 people had gathered on the beach to welcome the kayakers.

Several other kayaks and water craft had gone to sea to accompany them.

Two firbreglass Maori wakas also paddled out to accompany the pair on the final part of their journey.

Castrission and Jones have travelled more than 3300km and battled strong winds and tides that saw them go round in circles for part of the trip.

The conditions caused them to abandon their original plan to reach shore at Auckland, which they had hoped to achieve before Christmas.

Castrission and Jones will become the first people to kayak across the Tasman when they reach shore, and will have taken part in the longest ever two-man kayaking voyage.

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