South Africa

Birkett edges McGregor

2014-01-19 17:35
Andy Birkett (Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media)

Johannesburg - Andy Birkett snatched his maiden title at the N3TC Drakensberg Challenge Canoe Marathon on Sunday, exploiting a mistake by triple champ Hank McGregor in the closing stages of the race, while Abby Adie won her fourth women's title.

Racing on a low uMzimkulu River in Underberg, KwaZulu-Natal, Birkett and McGregor started the 23km final stage from Callaway Bridge to Hopewell Farm side by side.

The pair challenged each other through the final stage, but were locked together as they entered the Lower Gorge, just 20 minutes from the finish.

McGregor raced to the bottom of Mkhulu Rapid where he got stuck on some rocks, while Birkett took another line and managed to get a 50m lead on McGregor.

"For the next two kilometres I looked back over my shoulder at every corner and every rapid to see if Hank (McGregor) was chasing me," Birkett said in a statement on Sunday.

"Only when I realised that he had given up the chase did I start thinking about the fact that I might win the title.

"I am really stoked with the win because it helps me prove to myself that my paddling is improving, and that I can mix it up with McGregor and the flatwater marathon paddlers."

Defending champion Grant van der Walt grabbed the last spot on the podium from K1 Dusi champ and top Under 23 Lance Kime, with Len Jenkins holding off the gutsy visiting Australian Josh Kippen for the fifth place.

Damon Stamp was in a class of his own as he romped to a comfortable win in the junior boys ranks.

The women's title fell for a fourth time to Abby Adie, who got engaged on the weekend to her boyfriend Kyle Solms.

"I started in elapsed time and Robyn (Kime) was in the first batch, which made it very difficult to keep track on where she was relative to me," said Adie.

Adie can now turn her full attention to her bid for the 2014 Dusi Canoe Marathon title, as her partner Ana Adamova arrived back in South Africa for the final run-in to the big race in February.

Kime won the silver medal with Michelle Burn racing consistently to grab to third step on the podium, with fifth placed Jenna Ward taking home the Under-23 gold medal.

Results:

Overall
1. Andy Birkett 2:53:45
2. Hank McGregor 2:54:39
3. Grant van der Walt 2:57:09
4. Lance Kime (U23) 2:57:11
5. Len Jenkins Jnr 3:00:30
6. Josh Kippin (AUS) 3:00:32
7. Jacques Theron 3:00:32
8. Thulani Mbanjwa 3:00:35
9. Siseko Ntondini (U23) 3:02:03
10. Owen Gandar (U23) 3:02:08
11. Shaun Griffin 3:02:09
12. Don Wewege 3:03:19
13. Damon Stamp (U18) 3:03:20
14. Zonele Nzuza 3:03:35
15. Andrew Houston (U23) 3:03:56
16. Mmele Cele (U23) 3:04:17
16. Don Wewege (U23) 1.47:40
17. Ben Biggs 3:05:32
18. Louis Hattingh 3:05:43
19. Sbonelo Zondi 3:05:45
20. Trenton Lamble 3:07:14

Women
1. Abby Adie 3:15:18
2. Robyn Kime 3:18:20
3. Michelle Burn 3:24:29
4. Alex Adie 3:27:40
5. Jenna Ward (U23) 3:28:07

Under-23 Men
1. Lance Kime  2:57:11
2. Siseko Ntondini  3:02:03
3. Owen Gandar  3:02:08

Under-23 Women
1. Jenna Ward 3:28:07
2. Brittany Petersen 3:29:00
3. Jordan Peek 3:35:37

Read more on:    drak challenge  |  hank mcgregor  |  canoeing
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Floyd 'Money' Mayweather v Conor 'The Notorious' McGregor ... who've you got in Saturday's mega fight?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.