Canoeing South Africa
14 Nov 2016
Written by: Nick Tatham
Cook & Lovemore take SA K2 crown at flooded Vaal Marathon
Johannesburg – Flood conditions triggered by the heavy rainfall that
battered Gauteng the Free State last week saw the 2016 South African K2
River Marathon Championships contested on a swollen Vaal River on the past
weekend with paddlers enjoying some long-forgotten big water conditions as
the KwaZulu-Natal pair of Clinton Cook and Thomas Lovemore took home the
national honours and Morgan Ziervogel and Holly Spencer wrapped up the
The torrential rains that have ravaged parts of the Highveld over the last
week were a blessing in disguise for the paddlers who have battled with
drought conditions for an extended period of time, and it meant that
paddlers were going to have to keep their wits about them on a big river.
The opening stage of the race started at the Cote de Val River and Lifestyle
Estate and took the paddlers 37km to the Smilin Thru Resort for the
overnight stop. The KZN duo of Cook and Lovemore got themselves ahead on day
one but only held a slim two second advantage over the Gauteng pair of
Siseko Ntondini and Wayne Jacobs while Siyabonga Tyiki and Thando Ngamlana
were in third overnight.
Overnight floodwater sent the level of the river up more than two metres,
making the planned final stage unpaddleable in racing kayaks, forcing the
organisers to re-jig their plans for the second day of the marathon. They
sent the field on a trough slog upriver into the 300 cubic metres per second
flow before turning for the home leg to the finish at Likkewaan Canoe Club.
The slender overnight lead that Cook and Lovemore held came under some
pressure from the chasing pair and in an extremely exciting race a sprint
finish saw the overnight leaders just pip the Gauteng hopefuls to win the
race by under a second.
With a small field at the race the ladies field was narrowed down with the
Gauteng based pair of Morgan Ziervogel and Holly Spencer taking home the
honours of South African K2 women’s champions and the only other woman in
the field was Sneziwe Gxobole.
The mixed K2 race was going to be an interesting one however it was the
experience of Piers and Shelly Cruickshanks that saw them across the line
first ahead of Ben Bradford and Natasha Bulbring by nine minutes and Roger
and Kate Stubbs coming home in third to round off the mixed podium.
Despite finishing in third overall, Ngamlana and Tyiki were the fastest
Under 23 boat over the two days handing them the age group title with David
Rodrigues and Nicholas Weeks finishing second and Colin Ledwaba and Katiso
Hlahatsi claiming third in the Under 23 contest.
In what was an inspired paddle the first Under 18 boat of Liam Stewart and
Alex Masina, finished in fifth overall, just one second behind Rodrigues and
Weeks in fourth. The junior pair lead two Soweto crews, Xolisa Gxobole and
Zanenhlanhla Mbala in second and Wongama Makhasi and Sinenhlanhla Ludidi in
third, across the line.
More information can be found at
SUMMARY OF RESULTS - 2016 VAAL RIVER CANOE
MARATHON - SOUTH AFRICAN K2 RIVER MARATHON CHAMPIONSHIPS
1.Clinton Cook/Thomas Lovemore 3:03.13
2.Wayne Jacobs/Siseko Ntondini 3:03.14
3.Thando Ngamlana/Siyabonga Tyiki (U23)
4.David Rodrigues/Nicholas Weeks (U23) 3:10.53
5.Liam Stewart/Alex Masina (U18)
6.Marco Magni/Cornelis Human 3:11.02
7.Mark Garden/Sipho Qoko 3:12.28
8.Michael-John Robb/Kelvin Byres
9.Wally Fisher/Theo Smit 3:16.26
10.Richard Fly/Pierre van der Merwe
1.Morgan Ziervogel/Holly Spencer
Under 23 Men
1.Thando Ngamlana/Siyabonga Tyiki 3:04.50
2.David Rodrigues/Nicholas Weeks 3:10.53
3.Colin Ledwaba/Katiso Hlahatsi 3:16.56
Under 18 Boys
1.Liam Stewart/Alex Masina 3:10.54
2.Xolisa Gxobole/Zanenhlanhla Mbala 3:27.48
3.Wongama Makhasi/Sinenhlanhla Ludidi 3:37.27
Click to download the hi-res
Africa Logo (GIF).
The 2016 South African River
Marathon Championships, which took place at the Vaal River Marathon, came
down to an end sprint after two days of intense racing as Clinton Cook and
Thomas Lovemore beat Siseko Ntondini and Wayne Jacobs to claim the K2
national crown on Sunday.
The 2016 Vaal River Canoe
Marathon Podium (from left): Siseko Ntondini, Wayne Jacobs (second),
Thomas Lovemore, Clinton Cook (first), Siyabonga Tyiki, Thando Ngamlana
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