Johannesburg - Spectators were treated to a stunning performance by the newly crowned world marathon canoeing champion, Hank McGregor, and Grant van der Walt on Sunday at The Unlimited Ozzie Gladwin Canoe Marathon near Pietermaritzburg.
McGregor and Van der Walt took the race by the scruff of the neck as they beat an in-form Michael Mbanjwa and partner Eric Zondi.
"Initially I was going to paddle the race with my Dusi partner Ant Stott, but he is carrying an injury," said McGregor. "Grant and I did a 50km downwind surf-ski paddle on Saturday and it went so well that I suggested to him that we do the Ozzie.
"His answer to me was that he would love to do it, but was concerned that we might be late for our flight to a race in Hong Kong which departed on Sunday afternoon at 15:00.
"I said to him well then we better paddle fast and we did - enough to win".
The pair went head-to-head with Mbanjwa and Zondi until they got to Cascades approximately 6km from the finish.
It was there that they literally opened up the taps and won by almost two minutes.
One of the surprises of the day was the pairing of Len Jenkins and Greg Louw who won the Vaal marathon last week.
They were tipped to win, but slid into third place behind Michael Mbanjwa and Eric Zondi.
In the ladies race, the Adie Twins battled it out with the Dusi Queen Abby Miedema and Robyn Kime.
After a long and arduous battle the Adie Twins managed to win the event.
"We are very happy with the way the event has grown over the last few years," said race chairman Paul Firman.
"We had the biggest field in over 10 years and what is very encouraging is that we had more guppies (12 and younger) then we have ever had.
"In fact, it is the biggest field of guppies outside of South African schools Championships which includes the whole country".
The Unlimited Ozzie Gladwin is traditionally the largest one day canoe race in South Africa and Sunday was no exception with over 750 paddlers taking to the water.
It is the first Dusi seeding race of the season which makes it a must on the calendar.
All eyes are now on the various combinations for The Unlimited Dusi which promises to be one of the best yet.
The event which takes place on February 16, 17 and 18 is approaching fast for paddlers who are preparing for the event. The Unlimited Ozzie Gladwin is a K2 (doubles) race as is the Dusi.