Canoeing South Africa
31 Mar 2018
Sprint stars ready to set Roodeplaat alight
Pretoria - The domestic sprint canoeing
showcase takes on added importance at Roodeplaat Dam from Monday to
Wednesday next week as a number of global stars prepare to race the best
local flatwater speedsters at the SA Sprint Championships.
London Olympics bronze medallist Bridgitte Hartley makes a return to her
sprint boat after a year dedicated to marathon challenges on flatwater and
the domestic river season.
She will however be able to take nothing for granted as she will be up
against the talented Donna Hutton and Esti van Tonder, both of whom are
On the men's heat sheets are a number of the sports stars, some making
unexpected appearances at the national sprint title decider.
Ten times world marathon champ Hank McGregor's name stands out in the 5000m
K1 heat start-lists, as the 40 year old shifts his gaze to the allure of
flatwater sprinting, perhaps the one canoeing discipline that he has not
been able to impose his talent on.
Another name that has chins wagging is that of Jean van der Westhuyzen. The
former junior marathon K2 world champion has committed to sprinting for
Australia and made the move down under after completing his matric at
He has now been released by the International Canoe Federation to race in
South Africa and challenge for the place in the South African team to the
upcoming Under 23 Sprint World Championships.
His principle adversary will be the nuggetty Louis Hattingh, and their
showdown in the 1000m decider will be one of the highlights of the regatta.
In the junior section the 1000m and 5000m event favourite is Kearsney
College schoolboy Callam Davis, and in the junior girl's races eyes will be
on last year's national champion Caitlyn Mackenzie, but she is sure to be
under pressure from the likes of fellow school girls Cayleigh Shaw and Kate
The same venue will also be hosting the popular SA Schools Sprint Regatta,
straight after the nationals.
National High Performance coach Craig Mustard said the quality and quantity
of the entry for the Schools event was very pleasing.
"Trying something new is always risky and was met with some hesitation from
the paddling community," said Mustard.
"Fortunately the response has been excellent and we have met our targets. We
hope that the changes will boost numbers and interest in the discipline," he
The SA Sprint Championships take place at Roodeplaat Dam from 2 to 4 April,
followed by the SA Schools regatta at the same venue from 6 to 8 April 2018.
More information can be found at
Click to download the hi-res
Africa Logo (GIF).
South African sprint queen
Bridgitte Hartley will be back in action at the 2018 South African
Sprint Canoe Championships at Roodeplaat Dam in Gauteng from 2-4 April.
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