Adventure Sport

McGregor, vd Walt defend title

2011-08-14 18:35
Grant van der Walt and Hank McGregor (Photo provided)
Cape Town - Despite Mother Nature's best efforts to put a dampener on affairs at day two of the SA flatwater marathon champs at Shongweni dam on Sunday, on the water the action was sizzling hot and there was simply no stopping Hank McGregor and Grant van der Walt as the pair powered their way to front of the pack and crossed the line just seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

With no less than five former world champs on the senior men's start line and a wealth of marathon experience to add the race always promised to be a humdinger of a contest and the small crowd who braved the cold and wet was certainly treated to a tremendous encounter as each of the top four pairs exchanged blows and tested one another throughout the race.

It was the superiority of McGregor and van der Walt though that saw the pair narrowly edge out the experienced Ant Stott and Graeme Solomon and the rising talent of Michael Mbanjwa and Eric Zondi over the final hundred metres.

"We're obviously really stoked with the win today. Grant (van der Walt) and I came here knowing it was always going to be a tight race but we felt pretty comfortable throughout and we had a good final portage which put us on the front foot going into that final sprint," explained a relaxed and well-pleased McGregor.

"Its awesome to be able to defend our title and from a personal point of view to have claimed the double this weekend after winning in the K1 yesterday is really great," he added.

Van der Walt shared his partner's sentiments. "It was really a good battle out there and it was good fun as well. It was hard racing but we had a good time whilst we were out there and we'd anticipated it coming down to the final sprint and to have come out on top at the end of it all is great," said van der Walt.

Youngsters Brandon van der Walt and Cam Schoeman, having been very much in the mix throughout the entire race, had an unfortunate mishap on their final take out which saw them have to battle a water-logged boat ashore which cost them crucial time and so the pair had to settle for a solid fourth place overall.

In the women's race it was a one horse race from the word go as Michelle Eder and Donna Winter made their way around the course unchallenged throughout and came home well ahead of second placed Debbie Germiquet and Carmen Blakeney.

"I've only recently switched from sprints to marathon and this is my first marathon ever so its great for us to have been able to have finished and to have won today," said Eder.

"It would have been great to see more girls in the field and it certainly would have be good to test ourselves against some of top ladies around but when we saw there weren't going to be many boats out there we just tried to stay focused on getting the job done and making sure that the guys didn't catch us," she added.

Earlier in the day the junior boys' race saw the Cape duo of Craig Flanagan and Dominic Notten put in an incredible performance in the closing stages to recover from a dramatic spill midway through the race with the pair ultimately getting the better of their fellow U18 paddlers in the final sprint to claim the overall honours.

"It was a tricky situation as we all came into the portage quite close together and the guys behind us tried to switch sides as they approached the jetty and in so doing they just clipped the back of our boat and over we went," said Notten.

"At that moment I really thought it was all over but we got up and put in a really strong portage and when we put in again the others were only twenty or so metres ahead of us and we knew we weren't out of it just yet."

"We dug deep and once we caught them we decided the next portage was where we were going to make our move and fortunately it all worked out for us," he added.

The cape storm continued its successful ways in the juniors girls section as junior boys winner Craig Flanagan's younger sister Kirsten and her partner Jodi Cleworth, despite both still being under sixteen, resoundingly paddled their way to the top step of the podium ahead of Emma Horner and Catherine Atkinson.

With the SA champs having been completed both paddlers and canoeing enthusiasts alike now eagerly await the announcement of the names of those who have been chosen for the national squad to represent South Africa at the World champs in Singapore in October.

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1.Theo Moses/Bradley Ruiters 1:35.16
2.David Meihuizen/Nhlonipho Shinga 1:35.46
3.Sphiwe Ndlovu/Thabani Msiya 1:44.42

1.Jamie-Lee Robertson/Cana Peek 1:19.59
2.Bianca van Zyl/Kelly Biljoen 1:20.52

1.Louis Hattingh/Andrew Woodgate 1:45.13
2.Emmanuel Kirk/Mthobisi Cele 1:47.30
3.Daniel Buys/Wilner de Swardt 1:47.35

1.Kirstin Flanagan/Jodi Cleworth 1:29.47
2.Jordan Peek/Frances Beresford 1:36.18
3.Camilla Pennefather/Kerry Shuter 1:38.55

1.Craig Flanagan/Dominic Notten 1:39.08
2.Donavan Wewege/Gavin Shuter 1:41.56
3.Jordan Zeelie/Luke Stowman 1:41.57


1.Kirstin Flanagan/Jodi Cleworth 1:29.47
2.Emma Horner/Catherine Atkinson 1:31.09
3.Jordan Peek/Frances Beresford 1:36.18

1.Hank McGregor/Grant van der Walt 2:14.18
2.Ant Stott/Graeme Solomon 2:14.20
3.Michael Mbanjwa/Eric Zondi 2:14.23
4.Brandon van der Walt/Cameron Schoeman 2:14.45
5.Codey McKittrick/Byron McKie 2:25.31

1.Michelle Eder/Donna Winter 2:11.23
2.Debbie Germiquet/Carmen Blakeney 2:26.02

1.Wayne Wilson/Dave Hamilton-Brown 1:40.32
2.Marc Germiquet/Warren Valentine 1:40.46

1.Angela Scruby/Shirleigh Delpech 1:39.27


1.Quinton Rutherford/Bryan Taylor 1:43.15
2.Andrew Cooper/Nicholas Warren 1:43.17
3.Simon Russell/Wayne Volek 1:44.47

1.Robyn Henderson/Debbie Lewis 1:36.08

1.Paul Scruby/Derek Hauptfleisch 1:44.49
2.Bruce Banfield/gavin Steyl 1:48.35
3.James Tutton/Bruce Pender-Smith 1:48.44

1.Bruce Wenke/Paddy Strickland 1:41.01
2.Colin Simpkins/John Edmonds 1:43.17
3.Hennie Roos/Richard Tebbutt 1:43.46


1.Hilde Lapere/Katarzyna Lapacz 1:36.21
2.Solly Peckett/Terry Everson 1:42.54

1.Allan Hold/Tim Cornish 1:28.22
2.Nigel Briggs/Robin Davey 1:30.48
3.Shaun Butler/Christo Smit 1:30.50


1.Carrol Evans/Minnie Kretzschmar 1:26.58

1.Rob Maclean/Enslin van Riet 1:26.19
2.Geoff Dyer/Stephen Guest 1:42.11


1.Len Jenkins Snr/Vincent Buttrick 1:39.38
2.Roy Swingewood/Willem Deyzel 1:44.04

Read more on:    grant van der walt  |  hank mcgregor

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