Adventure Sport

Lance aims to be Berg 'King'

2011-07-05 19:22
Lance King (File)
Cape Town - 24-year-old Cape paddler Lance King has devised a battle plan to try and dethrone the reigning king of the Windhoek Berg River Canoe marathon Hank McGregor, and says that he can learn from his successes as a junior in his bid to reach the top step on the podium.

“As a junior I had a few races that I could call perfect races,” says King. “No mistakes and carefully taking all the opportunities that came my way. That’s exactly the way to be successful on the Windhoek Berg.”

“In the last few years I haven’t been able to do that and Hank McGregor has been flawless. He has taken his chances and made me pay every time,” says King. “The starting point is making no mistakes at all over the whole race, and then to look to grab that fleeting chance when that split-second opportunity arises.”

The 24 year Montevista star has valiantly immersed himself in combat with seven times champ Hank McGregor and come off second best every time. This year, however, he says that he plans to approach the race differently.

“To beat Hank McGregor someone is going to have to do something different this year,” says King. “He has totally dominated for the last six years and a bit like Len Jenkins he can go an entire race without making a mistake.”

“But I believe it is going to be faster and tighter this year with more guys challenging at the front, which might create more opportunities,” he added. “There will be more jostling in the bunches, and with some grit and determination I believe that he can be beaten.”

King is also bullish about his current form and says he is comparing it to his successful days as a junior racer. “I genuinely haven’t felt this good since I was a junior and I’m absolutely loving my new Velox race boat.”

King has been doing the groundwork as well. At a recent Hermon to Gouda race, he paddled 20km from Grensplaas to the start to get in extra race training, and then mixed it up in a ferocious team tussle over the one day race with top contenders Graeme Solomon and his Berg team.

He is also cautiously putting together a team that will be there to help him as much as to vie for the team prize. “It is a tactical team that I am putting together carefully,” says King.

The Berg River Canoe Marathon takes place from 13 to 16 July 2011, preceded by a time trial on 12 July.

Read more on:    berg river canoe marathon

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