Pietermaritzburg - South Africa’s Hank McGregor (Jeep
Team) edged out fellow countryman and defending champion, Sean Rice, to claim
the 2015 Hong Kong Dragon Run title on Saturday. This is the
second time McGregor has won the Dragon Run.
McGregor, who first won the race in 2013,
crossed the line in 1:32:20, a mere 40 seconds ahead of defending champion, Rice, who completed the race in 1:33:00.
Hungary’s marathon kayak world
champion, and debuting in his first ocean race, Adrian Boros, finished third
in 1:46:46, followed by South Africa’s Clinton Cook in fourth (1:49:14)
and Hong Kong’s Andrew Watts in fifth (1:49:18).
South African Nicole Russell, who also won the women’s
race in 2014, successfully defended her title winning nearly 16 minutes ahead
of her closest female competitor, and finished in an outstanding sixth place
overall in 1:54:37.
Altogether, five South Africans finished in the
top 10, with Craig Nortje rounding off the South African domination of the
Dragon Run in ninth overall (1:56:05).
The Dragon Run forms part of the Surfski World
Series, attracting a top-class field of paddlers. The 24km course was designed
to use the north easterly winter monsoon, and on the Saturday, presented
competitors with the biggest downwind conditions in this race’s history.
Said McGregor, “Every ocean paddler dreams of a race like
this - big, burly waves and world-class downwind conditions. I’ve had an
incredible trip here this year, especially having my wife, Pippa, join me. To
top it off with a win in this intriguing race with its islands, cliff faces,
fishing boats and massive ships, and of course the Chinese culture, which is
TOP 10 RESULTS OVERALL: 2015 DRAGON RUN
1. Hank McGregor (South Africa)
2. Sean Rice (South Africa) -
3. Adrian Boros (Hungary) - 1:46:46
4. Clinton Cook (South Africa)
5. Andrew Watts (Hong Kong) -
6. Nicole Russell (South Africa)
- 1:54:37 (women's winner)
7. Rob Wall (Hong Kong) - 1:54:58
8. Scott Deveril (Australia) -
9. Craig Nortje (South Africa)
10. Jake Hamstra (Hong Kong) -