River Canoe Marathon Media Service
Louw brothers looking to add Fish crown to 2019 list
Cradock - After hitting the headlines with their victory at the recent
Breede River Canoe Marathon siblings Ryan and Greg Louw have set their
sights on the Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon on 27 and 28 September,
hoping to snare the one title that means more than any other to them.
They were raised in Cradock and cut their teeth on canoeing on the milo-coloured
irrigation water that, once released from Grassridge Dam flows through
Cradock en route to the Eastern seaboard.
Since the race started in 1982, there have been few Eastern Cape
paddlers that have managed to win their local paddling major, most
notably the legendary Daniel Conradie and former Plettenberg Bay
resident Michele Eray.
The younger of the two siblings Greg has also won the Fish, but as a K2
partner to current world champion Andy Birkett in 2015 and 2017, and
while he will come into the event as defending champion, Birkett won’t
be taking part in the Fish, opening the door for the brothers to team up
It has it challenges as Ryan Louw now lives in Cape Town and Greg works
in Port Elizabeth, but the years of experience together and the unique
synergy that siblings bring to a K2 makes it easy for the brothers to
target big doubles races.
“We are really lucky because we have one of those combinations that just
clicks,” explained Ryan Louw. “Even if we haven’t paddled together for a
while we can just jump in a boat and after a few paddle strokes it all
starts coming back.”
The brothers were hoping to make their mark on the iconic Sella Descent
in Spain this year, and timed their training to peak for the world’s
biggest canoeing event, only to have their dreams shattered by technical
problems right at the start.
“We jumped into the K2 that had been brought to Spain specially for us,
and the steering totally collapsed. Just a few minutes before the start.
So we basically flew all the way to the other side of the world to get a
tan in Spain,” said Ryan.
Younger brother Greg admits that, while the combination is almost
instinctive now, racing in a pressurised environment with your sibling
isn’t always plain sailing.
"Paddling with your brother is not without its challenges, but it is
never a mission," said Greg.
He added that the win at the Breede had come at a good time, being three
weeks before the Hansa Fish, and the low river had made the racing
harder, but a more worthwhile training session.
"Mission accomplished!" said his Greg after the Breede win. "While it
was low it was still really good fun, and it was a good training session
for the Fish in a few weeks' time, which is our main goal for this
While the Cradock locals are magnanimous hosts and famed for the
hospitality they extend to the paddlers that turn the quiet Klein Karoo
town into a hive of activity on the weekend of the Fish, they would love
nothing more than to cheer Ryan and Greg Louw onto the top spot of the
podium at the Cradock Sports Grounds on Saturday 28 September, and
reclaim the Eastern Cape canoeing major crown.
More information can be found at
download the hi-resolution pic
Hansa Golden Crisp Fish River Canoe
Marathon 2019 Logo - JPeg
Louw brothers Greg (front) and
Ryan (back) have the chance to create their own bit of history at their
local race when they line up for the 2019 Hansa Fish River Canoe
Marathon from 27-28 September.
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