Adventure Sport

McGregor takes control of Berg

2011-07-12 19:45
Hank McGregor (Photo provided)
Paarl - Hank McGregor delivered the first telling blow in the defence of his Windhoek Berg River canoe marathon title with a runaway victory in the pre-race time trial in Paarl under unseasonably sunny skies.

McGregor covered the five km individual time trial from the start above the Market Street bridge to the Dal Josephat weir thirty five seconds faster than any other paddler on the water, with Maties student Pierre-Andre Rabie providing the closest challenge of the other 92 invited elite racers.

Last year's runner-up Lance King was third fastest, with the race's established stars Heinrich Schloms, Graeme Solomon, KZN racer Marc Holtzhausen and Gauteng stalwart Michael Stewart all showing glimpses of their solid form going into the race.

Former winner Jacques Theron also showed his familiar turn of speed, even though he is talking down his chances due to a lack of training time on the water.

Another surprise came from surfski ace Tom Schilperoort, who was drafted into the ultra-marathon to be part of Lance King's team. He posted a time almost identical to Theron's and another former winner Robbie Herreveld.

The time trial was held on a modest 11 cumec river flow, giving the paddlers a taste of the tough paddle that lies ahead over the four days and 243km to Port Owen in Velddrif, given that the warm, clear and critically, rain free weather looks set to continue to the weekend.

The race starts with a 62km first stage from Paarl to Zonquasdrift, close to the town of Gouda, with the seeded men leaving at 9am. The special race "legends" batch will be next off the line, followed by the seeded women's batch.
Summary of results

Time trial:

1.Hank McGregor 12:40
2.Pierre-Andre Rabie 13:14
3.Lance King 13:19
4.Heinrich Schloms 13:22
5.Marc Holtzhausen 13:29
6.Michael Stewart 13:39
7.Graeme Solomon 13:40
8.Tom Schilperoort 13:41
9.Jacques Theron 13:41
10.Robbie Herreveld 13:41
11.Edgar Boehm Jnr 13:42
12.Alasdair Glass 13:47
13.Nick Longley 13:53
14.Lance Kime 13:56
15.Greg van Heerden 14:06
16.Wayne Wilson 14:08
17.Andrew Birkett 14:11
18.Rory Sandberg 14:14
19.Graham Monteith 14:14
20.Gert van Deventer 14:16


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