Zoutkloof - The infamous third stage of the 2016 Berg River Canoe Marathon saw
plenty of drama in contrasting men’s and women’s races as the international duo
of Adrian Boros and Petr Mojžíšek matched eventual stage winner Hank McGregor
right up to the final end sprint while Nikki Russell claimed her maiden stage
win on Friday.
The 72km stage from Bridgetown to Zoutkloof threatened to produce the goods
following an exciting bunch start in the morning which set off at a blistering
pace and the front group of four, including McGregor, Boros, Mojžíšek and local
stalwart Edgar Boehm Jnr, opened a significant gap at the first portage at the
Misverstand Dam wall.
“I have done an 80km paddle before but this was way more difficult
because it is in a race,” World Marathon K2 Champion Boros said after the
“We tried to get the group down to four early on and when we managed to do that
we shared the work for the rest of the stage.
“I am happy with how everything went and I am glad that the stage is done and I
cannot wait to get to the finish tomorrow,” a happy Boros added.
Despite the running repairs overnight Euro Steel/Kayak Centre star Hank
McGregor shrugged off the ordeal and won a well contested end sprint on Friday
and with it cemented his place at the front of the race with the final 60km stage into Velddrif the final obstacle between him and an eleventh
“I tried to manipulate the bunch across the dam and unfortunately for Simon as
he was the closest to me I wanted him off but Edgar was the lucky guy to be on
the back of the diamond and then just worked together for the rest of the
“It was interesting that the two internationals were both guys that have
finished in second place behind me at the World Marathon Championships so that
was quite something!” McGregor commented.
Although McGregor has ten Berg titles to his name he maintains that there is no
one that doesn’t suffer on such a long stage of paddling but having put in the
bulk of the hard work in the first three days he believes the final stage into
Velddrif will be an enjoyable one.
“A 72km stage is never going to be easy and it hurts, it doesn’t matter who you
are so I was just really chuffed to be on the front bunch at the end and I
appreciate the great sportsmen that I was racing with.
“I had a lot of fun out there and I am really looking forward to the stage
tomorrow and I’ve got a significant gap back to Simon so I am hoping that I
might be able to enjoy the final day for a change.
The women’s title race was turned on its head on Friday when Nikki Russell
blitzed the other ladies in the race to take her first stage win in her debut
Berg following a her patient wait for the flatter final two stages.
“I am not a good river paddler and I haven’t tripped the river at all so I knew
that I had to wait for the final two stages and I was looking forward to the
stage today and through my training I was really prepared for this long, flat
“The last ten kilometres today were really tough but I really should have
listened to my coach and come and tripped before the race because yesterday was
a disaster but I really enjoyed today even though I was crying inside!” a
satisfied Russell mentioned.
Despite finishing second on the stage Century City/Pink Lady’s Bianca Beavitt,
who struggled throughout with a cold that left her battling to breathe
properly, consolidated a significant overall lead and will take a
close-to-unassailable, 28 minute lead into the final 60 kilometres into
In the age group battles Thomas Lovemore takes a slender lead into the final
stage over Tyron Maher whilst his brother Hamish leads the Under 18 boys
contest from Emanuel Zaloumis with Jenna Ward and Kyeta Purchase controlling
the Under 23 and Under 18 women’s battles respectively.
The weather conditions once again smiled kindly on the field of Berg
aficionados, as the light early morning rain did little to dampen the
enthusiasm in the warm and windless weather, after two days of unseasonably
warm winter sunshine.
Saturday's fourth and final stage of the Berg River Canoe Marathon is a 60km
stage from Zoutkloof to Velddrif on the West Coast.
More information can be found at www.berg.org.za
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – 2016 BERG RIVER CANOE MARATHON
DAY THREE (BRIDGETOWN - ZOUTKLOOF)
1. Hank McGregor 5:24.50 13:20.07
2. Simon van Gysen 5:31.10 13:27.44
3. Adrian Boros (HUN) 5:24.55 13:36.57
4. Graeme Solomon 5:31.11 13:43.39
5. Josh Kippin (AUS) 5:31.08 13:44.14
6. Edgar Boehm Jnr. 5:25.36 13:45.26
7. Petr Mojžíšek (CZE) 5:24.56 13:52.17
8. Brendon Rice (AUS) 5:41.50 13:54.52
9. Stu Maclaren 5:41.48 13:58.27
10. Louw van Riet 5:31.12 13:58.31
11. Gavin White 5:41.49 14:21.35
12. Paul Marais 5:41.49 14:23.42
13. Thomas Lovemore (U23) 5:55.34 14:37.20
14. Tyron Maher (U23) 5:59.05 14:38.54
15. Hamish Lovemore (U18) 5:57.05 14:38.55
16. Jermaine Pietersen 5:57.07 14:48.57
17. Emanuel Zaloumis (U18) 5:57.02 14:50.26
18. Joseph Williams 5:57.02 15:07.03
19. Anders Hart (U23) 6:01.10 15:07.49
20. Greg van Heerden 5:59.23 15:08.37
1. Bianca Beavitt 6:21.36 15:30.19
2. Nicole Russell 6:17.41 15:58.29
3. Jenna Ward (U23) 6:28.07 16:01.06
4. Kyeta Purchase (U18) 6:28.07 16:18.40
1. Thomas Lovemore 5:55.34 14:37.20
2. Tyron Maher 5:59.05 14:38.54
3. Anders Hart 6:01.10 15:07.49
1. Jenna Ward 6:28.07 16:01.06
1. Hamish Lovemore 5:57.05 14:38.55
2. Emanuel Zaloumis 5:57.02 14:50.26
3. Tristian Bernstein 6:17.40 15:56.27
1. Kyeta Purchase 6:28.07 16:18.40