Canoeing South Africa
16 June 2016
Written by: Nick Tatham
SA Marathon Team named for Worlds
Durban – Following a typically hard fought Prescient South African Canoe Marathon
Championships in Cape Town recently the South African team to do
battle at the 2016 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in Brandenberg,
Germany has been selected with world champ Hank McGregor set to lead the
Euro Steel/Kayak Centre’s McGregor, who is an eight-time World Champion,
showed his marathon racing prowess when he mastered the tricky conditions at
the recent national championships bout at a windy Zandvlei near Muizenberg and added another national title to
his long list of achievements.
His closest rival, Euro Steel’s Andy Birkett, capsized twice during
the race but the former Under 23 World Marathon Champion showed his
determination and got himself back in the race and finished in that
all-important runner’s up position which gave him the second Senior Men’s K1
“I would hope that I have grown and improved as a paddler but my two swims
at SA Champs might suggest otherwise,” Birkett said tongue firmly in cheek.
“It was one of my worst qualifying races ever but I was glad that the first
swim was early in the race and then after my second swim Hank actually
waited for me which I really appreciated.”
Birkett's 2015 World Championship assault in Győr, Hungary was one that he
was not satisfied with as he finished outside the top ten in the K1 race and
his training and preparation has been geared towards making amends for that
“There are a few things that I have done differently this year and one is
that I really didn’t want to peak at SA Champs – I think that was a big
problem for me last year.
“I want to working hard going into Worlds and rectify what happened last
year – I am not going there to win the race but I really want to put in a
much better effort,” a determined Birkett added.
The men’s K2 event was no less competitive despite pre-race favourites and
2015 World Championship silver medallists Hank McGregor and Jasper Mocké not
being together on the start line as Mocké, who had recently returned from
surfski paddling in Hawaii, was unable to start due to sickness.
McGregor then paddled the race with Soweto Canoe and Recreation Club ace
Siseko Ntondini however they were no match for the Pietermaritzburg based
Birkett and Under-23 star Louis Hattingh who won the race from Stuart
MacLaren and Brandon van der Walt in second.
“We are feeling really good in the K2 and I am really enjoying paddling with
Louis,” Birkett added.
“The combination has been good and we don’t have a lean which is a first for
me so we are looking forward to getting to Germany and taking on the best
K2’s in the world!
“It could have been a different race had Hank and Jasper been on the start
line but we are happy that we could race well against a good field of
The Canoeing South Africa Board took the decision to include the pair of
McGregor and Mocké in the South African team despite them being unable to
compete together which will give them the chance to compete for another gold
medal in the Men’s K2.
The women’s team will be led by the diminutive Jenna Ward. The MACSquad
star will be in her third and final year of Under-23 and with two World
Championship K1 bronze medals to her name she will be hoping that she can
turn that into silver or gold.
Kyeta Purchase, who was a revelation at the 2015 World Champs, returns to
partner Ward in a young K2 that mixed it up with the best at the 2015
showpiece and will be hoping to emulate that performance again in 2016.
Purchase will also be paddling in the Under 18 category in a K1 along with
Christie Mackenzie while the latter will team up with Sabine Lawrie for the
Junior Girls K2 event.
Ward and Melanie van Niekerk will represent South Africa in the Under 23
Women’s K1 event with Bianca Beavitt and Nicole Russell selected to compete
in the Senior Women’s K1 event.
Louis Hattingh and Nicholas Notten will represent the Rainbow Nation in the
Under 23 Men’s K1 event with the impressive Jean van der Westhuyzen teaming
up with Mark Keeling in the Junior Boys K2. The pair will also be team South
Africa’s representatives in the Junior Boys K1.
Zachery Preyser and his Western Cape partner Ulvard Hart will be the second
Junior Boys boat at the Championships.
For more information visit
TEAM SOUTH AFRICA – ICF CANOE MARATHON
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, Brandenberg, Germany
U18 Boys - Jean van der Westhuyzen, Mark Keeling
U18 Girls - Kyeta Purchase, Christie Mackenzie
U23 Men - Louis Hattingh, Nicholas Notten
U23 Women - Jenna Ward), Melanie van Niekerk
Senior Men - Hank McGregor, Andy Birkett
Senior WOmen - Nicole Russell, Bianca Beavitt
U18 Boys - Jean van der Westhuyzen/Mark Keeling, Zachery Preyser/Ulvard Hart
U18 Girls - Sabina Lawrie/Christie Mackenzie
Senior Men - Andy Birkett/Louis Hattingh, Hank McGregor/Jasper Mocké
Senior Women - Jenna Ward/Kyeta Purchase
Click to download the hi-res
Africa Logo (GIF).
South African Marathon ace
Hank McGregor (left) and Euro Steel team mate Andy Birkett will represent
South Africa in the Senior Men's K1 and, with their respective partners,
K2 events at the 2016 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in
Brandenberg, Germany in September.
MACSquad's Jenna Ward will be
hoping that she can improve on her two Under 23 Women's K1 bronze medals
at the 2016 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in Brandenberg, Germany
The impressive Under 18 duo of
Jean van der Westhuyzen and Mark Keeling will look to challenge the best
in the world at the 2016 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in
Brandenberg, Germany in September.
Conditions of usage of photographs:
All photographs supplied and hyperlinked herewith may be used free of
charge, with full credit to the photographer and agency as provided. The
photographs may not be modified or retouched in any way, but may be
cropped to suit the layout requirements of the publications. The
photographs provided may be used exclusively for editorial purposes, and
may be reprinted in any newspaper, magazine, television programme or on
any website. These photographs may not be used for any commercial or
promotional purpose, including but not limited to posters, advertisements,
commercials, promotional email correspondence, point-of-sale material or
any retail promotion. Should such usage be desired, please contact us at
the details below.
Is this of no value to you?
This media release is intended for use by media professionals covering
this specific activity or sport. Should this release not be relevant you,
advise us immediately
and we will be glad to remove your name from
this particular database. It would be useful to us if you could advise us
which subjects you would like to continue receiving releases on.
For any further information, or if you
cannot access the images, please contact:
(031) 764 3017