Canoeing South Africa Media Release

 No: CSA2115

21 May 2021

 Embargo : None

Written by: Dave Macleod

Stars come out to shine at start of SA Marathon Championships

Muizenberg The cream of the country's marathon paddlers battled the cold Cape conditions and world-class fields on the first day of the SA Marathon Championships at Zandvlei on Friday, with some of the discipline's established stars laying down early markers.

Bridgitte Hartley oozed class as she demolished the field in the senior women's short course in the afternoon after Nick Notten had prevailed in an exciting senior men's short course shootout on the Vlei.

With a number of the elite stars electing to sit out the short course thriller, including former world champs Hank McGregor and Andy Birkett, keeping their reserves intact for the senior K1 and K2 marathons on the weekend, Notten showed his local experience and tactical nous as he never let control of the front bunch slip from his grasp.

In the end he mastered the three lap thriller to keep Under 23 ace Uli Hart, who was racing his second tough race of the day, and Gauteng-based Clint Cook on the smaller steps of the podium.

Earlier Hamish Lovemore made a bold statement as he won a tenacious tussle for the Men's Under 23 crown, and he can now set his sights on the defence of his senior K2 title with Hank McGregor on Sunday.

Lovemore was kept honest throughout the six-lapper by the nuggety local Uli Hart and Alex Masina, as the three turned into the final straight together, before Lovemore turned up the heat when it mattered to secure the gold medal.

The juniors basked in the limelight in the morning and enjoyed the best of the day's racing conditions as the cold front gradually moved away from the Cape peninsula. Michaelhouse ace Matt Millward took U18 K1 gold in a thriller from Josh Smith and Matt Privett.

Durban's rising star Saskia Hockly was peerless amongst her scholar challengers in winning the female equivalent, putting substantial space between herself and one of the stars of the day, Under 16 paddler Tannah Smith, who clawed her way through the Under 18 field to sound her arrival on the national marathon stage.

The determined Melonie Croeser was the second Under 18 paddler across the line, with Helen Jansen van Vuuren in third.

Hockly, like Hart, made it a double medal-day by going on to claim the senior bronze in the short course race later in the afternoon.

Luke Salmon prevailed in an engaging Under 16 K1 duel to get across the finish line ahead of Lungelo Shange and Smilo Mthethwa, while Tannah Smith took the top step on the girls Under 16 podium flanked by Neriyah Dill and Holly Smith. Smith excelled by finishing second overall in the juniors girls race.

Cody Stallard and Ruby Petersen championed the Under 14 boys and girls races respectively.

On Saturday the day is primary focussed on age group K1 races with the veterans and masters classes before the blue riband senior K1 title deciders.


1.Nick Notten  0:19:01.94
2.Uli Hart 19:03.38
3.Clint Cook 19:08.31

1.Bridgitte Hartley  19:44.22
2.Nikki Birkett 19:56.81
3.Saskia Hockly 20:34.13

1.Hamish Lovemore  1:49:34.58
2.Uli Hart 1:49:35.38
3.Alex Masina 1:49:36.60

1.Matt Millward  1:32:42.27
2.Josh Smith 1:33:19.39
3.Matt Privett 1:35:51.53
1.Saskia Hockly  1:23:23.01
2.Melonie Croeser 1:27:18.27
3.Helen Jansen van Vuuren 1:31:57.49

1.Luke Salmon 1:38:40.03
2.Lungelo Shange 1:43:36.95
3.Smilo Mthethwa 1:43:38.24
1.Tannah Smith 1:27:16.31
2.Neriyah Dill 1:29:36.06
3.Holly Smith 1:30:59.80

1.Cody Stallard 1:17:02.41
2.Ryey Smith 1:18:50.84
3.Jared Shrimpton 1:19:08.82
1.Ruby Petersen 1:17:02.41 
2.Tia Hector 1:18:50.84 
3.Emma Privett 1:19:08.82

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Eventual winner Hamish Lovemore leads the front group with Alex Masina (right) and Uli Hart (left) in the closing stages of the Men's Under 23 race on the first day of the SA marathon championships at Peninsula Canoe Club on Friday John Hishin/
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Hamish Lovemore come into the final portage of the Men's Under 23 race at the SA marathon championships at Peninsula Canoe Club on Friday followed by Uli Hart (left) and Alex Masina (right). John Hishin/
Gameplan Media

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