Canoeing South Africa Media Release

 No: CSA1916

15 June 2019

 Embargo : None

Written by: Dave Macxleod


McGregor and Hartley star on opening day of marathon champs

Muldersdrift - Eleven times world champion Hank McGregor added a rare first to his lengthy CV when he won his first short course marathon title by holding off a valiant Nick Notten to claim the senior men's gold medal at Cradle Moon Lake outside Johannesburg, while Bridgitte Hartley wrapped up the women's equivalent in peerless fashion.

McGregor was pushed hard by Notten, now racing as senior after a successful Under 23 career, over the tight three lap shootout, with Under 23 rising star Stew Little taking the last step on the podium. Reigning K1 world champ Andy Birkett opted out of the race as he is battling to recover from a heavy dose of flu.

Hartley broke away before the first of the two portages in the women's race and ground away from Jenna Ward and Nikki Birkett relentlessly. Birkett, also crippled by flu, was forced to quit halfway, leaving the door open for Ward to bag the silver and giving a delighted Melissa van Rooyen a shot at the podium.

Earlier in the day Hamish Lovemore proved that he is on track for a solid assault on the Under 23 Men's podium at the marathon world champs in Shaoxing when he won a thriller of a duel in the first race of the day to down the tenacious Alex Masina, with Stew Little fully deserving the last place on the podium.

The win was satisfying the Lovemore as it erases the nightmare of the incident-fraught race at the KZN Marathon Champs a fortnight ago. He also bravely opted to change his boat set-up and came into the event using smaller and shorter paddles that he had never tested in the heat of battle.

Kyeta Purchase prevailed over Christie Mackenzie in the Under 23 women's race to secure the KZN pair the seats on the plane to Shaoxing.

The programme was loaded with junior races, and the Boys Under 18 title race provided a thrilling contest for the crowd enjoying the spectator-friendly facilities at Cradle Moon Lake, as Hamish Mackenzie duelled with Uli Hart, Dave Evans and Matt Fenn over the seven laps and five portages of the race.

Fenn was an early casualty of the fierce pace, often driven by the charging Hart, and three boats came into the end-sprint with Mackenzie playing his cards tactically brilliantly to get to line just ahead of Hart and Evans.

The full programme of Under 14 races and Guppy races for Under 12 and under 10 paddlers was supplemented by mixed doubles marathon races, designed to take pfull advantage of the long weekend to spread the programme over three days.

Sunday's racing programme will build to the senior men's and women's K1 races at 2pm which will be streamed live via Canoeing South Africa's website and Facebook page.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS
Men's short course
1.Hank McGregor 11:40
2.Nick Notten 11:41
3.Stuart Little 12:53

Women's short course
1.Bridgitte Hartley 13:10
2.Jenna Ward 14:09
3.Melissa van Rooyen 15:08

Under 23
Men
1.Hamish Lovemore 1:49:54
2.Alex Masina 1:49:55
3.Stew Little 1:50:18

Under 23
Women
1.Kyeta Purchase 1:49:30
2.Christie Mackenzie 1:49:31
3.Erin Blanch 1:57:38

Under 18
Boys
1.Hamish Mackenzie 1:26:19
2.Uli Hart 1:26:19
3.Dave Evans 1:26:20

Under 18
Girls
1.Amy Peckett 1:26:57
2.Nosipho Mthembu 1:28:12
3.Alexis Rich 1:28:51

Under 16
Boys
1.Kwanda Mzolo 1:30:33
2.Matt Millward 1:33:02
3.Matt Privett 1:34;16

Under 16
Girls
1.Georgina Howard 1:27:47
2.Melonie Croeser 1:29:44
3.Kamilah Hank 1:31:04

Johannesburg - More information can be found at www.canoesa.org.za and www.cradlemoonchamps.co.za

ENDS

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Hank McGregor (right) gets to the line in the senior men's short cpurse marathon title decider just ahead of Nick Notten (left) at the South African Canoe Marathon Championships at Cradle Moon Lake on Saturday. Bertie Baard/
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London Olympics bronze medallist Bridgitte Hartley powered away to win the women's short course marathon title at the South African Canoe Marathon Championships at Cradle Moon Lake on Saturday. Bertie Baard/
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Bridgitte Hartley (right) congratulates Jenna Ward (loeft) after the women's short course marathon at the South African Canoe Marathon Championships at Cradle Moon Lake on Saturday. Bertie Baard/
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Hamish Mackenzie celebrates winning the Boys Under 18 title at the South African Canoe Marathon Championships at Cradle Moon Lake on Saturday. Bertie Baard/
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One of the races of the day the Boys Under 18 title was decided between Uli Hart (left), Hamish Mackenzie (centre) and Dave Evans (right) at the South African Canoe Marathon Championships at Cradle Moon Lake on Saturday. Bertie Baard/
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Dozens of Under 12 and Under 10 paddlers took part in a full programme of Guppie Races at the South African Canoe Marathon Championships at Cradle Moon Lake on Saturday. Bertie Baard/
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Hamish Lovemore in action on the portage en route to winning the Under 23 Mens title  at the South African Canoe Marathon Championships at Cradle Moon Lake on Saturday. Dave Brimson/
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Amy Peckett raced away alone to claim the Under 18 title at the South African Canoe Marathon Championships at Cradle Moon Lake on Saturday. Mark Kupczyk/
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Portage ballet. Sandile Mtolo poised on one foot as he exits his kayak at the start of the portage in the Under 18 boys race at the South African Canoe Marathon Championships at Cradle Moon Lake on Saturday. Dave Brimson/
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