McGregor on a mission at Dusi
Pietermaritzburg - Having previously claimed almost every major river racing title in the country together the powerhouse combination of world marathon champ Hank McGregor and Len Jenkins have again reunited ahead of this year’s Unlimited Dusi canoe marathon as they go after the one title which has eluded them for so many years.
After initial plans of McGregor combining with last year’s runner-up Ant Stott were dashed when Stott suffered a debilitating Achilles tendon injury the doorway opened for the tried and tested McGregor/Jenkins combo to once again take to the water together and the Team Best 4 Kayak Centre team-mates have been putting in many hours together in recent weeks.
“Len (Jenkins) and I go way back. We’ve raced and won a lot of races together over the years and so have developed a really good understanding of one another which is crucial when racing in a K2,” said McGregor.
“We’ve also done a couple of races together recently just to get things going again. The Café Barber, which we won, and then the Best 4 Healthcare Rietvlei Rumble two weeks ago in Jo’burg so we’ve tried out a couple of things and have seen what worked for us and what didn’t.”
“Now it’s just about trying to fine tune a couple of smaller things before the race gets underway in a couple of weeks’ time,” he added.
McGregor and Jenkins once again demonstrated their incredible paddling abilities in the K1 Global Trader Drak Challenge in Underberg this past weekend where, after two days of tough racing and the lead going back and forth between the two , it was an end sprint which finally decided the winner.
“It was great for Len and I to both put in really good performances at the Drak. It was nice to get the confidence up again and good to see just where we are with our paddling preparations at the moment,” said McGregor.
“We’ve been putting in a lot of time both on the river and on the road recently and are feeling really good at the moment so now it’s just a matter of putting it all together when it really counts,” he added.
Having had a relatively quiet 2011 the unpredictable yet immensely talented Jenkins will be hungry to build on the momentum he and McGregor gained from the Drak.
“I am definitely quite excited for Dusi!” said Jenkins. “Hank (McGregor) and I have won a lot together in a K2 before but not Dusi so it would be great to be able to cross that one off the list.”
“I’ve been feeling good on the run and it was nice to hard a good race with Hank at the Drak so we’ll just have to see what happens on the day,” he added.
Despite each being a top competitor in their own right it will be just how well the pair are able to work together that will determine how competitive this duo are throughout the gruelling three days of racing.
“We’re very familiar with each other’s style and are very similar when it comes to sitting in the front of the boat,” said McGregor. “It will just be a matter of taking as fewer risks and making as fewer mistakes as possible, especially on day one and after that we’ve just got to be as consistent as possible throughout the three days.”
“We’ll obviously discuss things together beforehand regarding how we’re going to approach the various obstacles but once that gun goes off I won’t be a backseat driver. Len’s the once with the pedals and I back him one hundred percent,” he added.
The Unlimited Dusi canoe marathon from Camps Drift, Pietermaritzburg to Blue Lagoon, Durban takes place on 16-18 February 2012. More info can be found at www.dusi.co.za.