Bay Union King of the Bay Media Release

 No: kotb2004

24 Sept 2020

   Embargo: None

Written by: Dave Macleod

McGregor and Lovemore team up for King of the Bay

Durban – Defending champion Hamish Lovemore has scooped eleven times marathon world champion Hank McGregor for the Bay Union King of the Bay surfski race on 4 October with the same combination heading for the national flatwater marathon championships in St Francis the following weekend.

Lovemore enjoyed a stellar 2019, winning the Berg Marathon team event with Tyron Maher before he teamed up with McGregor for the first time to win a highly competitive Ozzie Gladwin K2 title with McGregor.

“That was an incredible experience,” he recalls. “It was a shock for me with the two kilometre portage, and we had to come back from behind. But with Hank being so calm and so tenacious we pulled back and managed to win it.”

Lovemore is part of the Blue Lagoon MacSquad training group coached by Hank McGregor’s father Lee McGregor, and shares daily training sessions with the elite group that has been built around Hank McGregor over the years.

Lovemore had developed a deep respect and friendship with McGregor. “I feel like his little brother but not a day goes by without me feeling privileged to be paddling with an athlete of Hank’s calibre.

“As a partner he is so calm, but you know that Hank start every race to win it, which brings all sorts of pressure with it, because if you fall short of that, it is your fault. For me that’s is just extra motivation,” says Lovemore.

Scooping the spot to partner McGregor for the surfski and marathon double title deciders thrills Lovemore as it signals a shift in the national paddling landscape as McGregor has enjoyed thoroughly successful world title-winning partnerships with Jasper Mocké and then Andy Birkett.

“I am so pumped!” enthused Lovemore. “I get goosebumps from start to finish paddling with Hank, and we seem to be going well together, which is exciting for the month ahead,” he said.

He added that the Bay Union King of the Bay was the ideal dress rehearsal before the road trip down to the Eastern Cape for the national flatwater marathon champs on the estuary at St Francis the following weekend.

“There is a bit of the unknown,” he said. “No-one is really sure of who will be paddling together for the doubles race, and lockdown has meant that no-one has been racing or training together apart from the early zoom sessions on the ergos.”

Under the rejigged canoeing calendar the Bay Union King of the Bay will double as a the SA and KZN double ski title decider.

More information can be found at


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Bay Union King of the Bay Logo.


Hamish Lovemore (right) gets the winners spoils from Colin Simpkins at last year's Bay Union King of The Bay. He has scooped the services of Hank McGregor for the 2020 race that will decide the South African S2 and KZN S2 titles.

Lynne Hauptfleisch/
Gameplan Media

Hamish Lovemore (back) with Hank McGregor en route to victory in the the Ozzie Gladwin marathon earlier in the year. The duo has agreed to race the iconic Bay Union King of The Bay on 4 October together. “I am so pumped!” enthused Lovemore. “I get goosebumps from start to finish paddling with Hank, and we seem to be going well together, which is exciting for the month ahead,” he said.

Graham Daniel/
Gameplan Media

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