Canoeing South Africa Media Release

 No: CSA1915

25 June 2019

 Embargo : None

Written by: Nick Tatham

Canoeing SA name strong marathon world champs team

Durban Ė Following the conclusion of the recent South African Canoe Marathon Championships, Canoeing South Africa has named a strong side for the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in Shaoxing, China from 17-20 October.

Topped by world champions Andy Birkett and Hank McGregor, the team of seniors, under 23 and junior athletes for the trip to the Far East will include two black paddlers in Alex Masina, who won a bronze in the junior boys K1 race in 2017 at the World Champs in Pietermaritzburg, and Under 18 girl Nosipho Mthembu, who will paddle in the U18 Girls K2 race with Amy Peckett.

Marathon paddling is arguably the strongest canoeing discipline for South Africa on a global scale and they currently house the K1 and K2 menís senior World Champion in Birkett, however coming out of retirement in a K1 at the national trial was 13-time World Champion McGregor.

The veteran has won eight K1 gold medals, four K2 golds and one K2 silver medal, didnít compete in the K1 race at the 2018 World Championships but won the K2 showdown with Birkett.

Birkett got the better of the legend at the Cradle Moon Lake during the South African championships, however McGregor is as experienced as they come and will put in a strong fight for another gold medal.

With only two boats in each category qualifying the racing at the national championships is fierce and the K2 racing was no exception.

Birkett and McGregor won the race by a whisker over the young, exciting Under 23 duo of Alex Masina and Louis Hattingh.

In the senior womenís class it was Bridgitte Hartley who won the national championships and will represent South Africa once again at the world champs. She will be joined by a former Under 23 medallist Jenna Ward who has shown that she is getting back to her best.

In the K2 racing at the showpiece in the East, Hartley and Christie Mackenzie will be the one senior womenís crew representing South Africa while former world championship silver medallists Jenna Ward and Kyeta Purchase will be the other South African boat in the race.

The Under 23 age K1 paddlers selected to represent South Africa are, in the menís, Hamish Lovemore and 2017 junior bronze medallist Masina. In the womenís category it is another former bronze medallist Christie Mackenzie and she will be joined by a returning to form Kyeta Purchase.

There is no K2 racing in the Under 23 category so paddlers are forced to race in the senior K2 age group.

The juniors is another exciting age category as they give a glimpse into the future of marathon racing in the country.

From a K1 perspective Hamish Mackenzie and Uli Hart will represent the SA U18 boys team while Amy Peckett and Georgina Howard will do battle for the U18 girls.

In the K2 category former world championship silver medallists Hamish Mackenzie and David Evans will be at their third world championships while Gustav Smook Junior and Bartho Visser will take part in their first World Championships.

The Under 18 girls K2 team sees experienced Amy Peckett teaming up with Nosipho Mthembu while Georgina Howard and Melanie Croeser will be the other South African team in the junior girls category at the World Championships.

For more information visit

South African Team for 2019 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships (Shaoxing, China):
U18 Boys:
Hamish Mackenzie
Ulvard Hart

U18 Girls:
Amy Peckett
Georgina Howard

U23 Men:
Hamish Lovemore
Alex Masina

U23 Woman:
Kyeta Purchase
Christie Mackenzie

Senior Men:
Andy Birkett
Hank McGregor

Senior Women:
Bridgitte Hartley
Jenna Ward

U18 Boys:
David Evans, Hamish Mackenzie
Gustav Smook Jnr, Bartho Visser

U18 Girls:
Amy Peckett, Nosipho Mthembu
Georgina Howard, Melonie Croeser

Senior Men:
Andy Birkett, Hank McGregor
Louis Hatting, Alex Masina

Senior Women:
Christie Mackenzie, Bridgitte Hartley
Jenna Ward, Kyeta Purchase
SA WINNERS OF MOST MEDALS AT WORLD MARATHON CHAMPS (Seniors, U23 and Juniors) up to and including 2018
  Total K1 Gold K1 Silver K1 Bronze K2 Gold K2 Silver K2 Bronze
Hank McGregor 13 8     4 1  
Andy Birkett 6 2 2       2
Jasper Mocke 6     1 3 1 1
Shaun Rubenstein 5 1   2   2  
Grant vd Walt 4 3 1        
Ant Stott 4     2 1 1  
Brandon vd Walt 3 1 2        
Nikki Mocke 3 1         2
Jenna Ward 3     2   1  
Shaun Biggs 3         1 2
Nicolas Notten 2   1 1      
Len Jenkins 2     2      
Kyeta Purchase 2     1   1  
Simon van Gysen 2     1     1
Louis Hattingh 2       1   1
Jean vd Westhuizen 2       1   1
Alexa Cole 2         1 1
Sven Bruss 2           2
Robyn Owen 1   1        
Kirsten Flanagan 1   1        
Robbie Herreveld 1     1      
Alex Mesina 1     1      
Christie Mackenzie 1     1      
Cam Schoeman 1       1    
Donia Kamstra 1         1  
Clinton Pretorius 1           1
Brett Bartho 1           1
Michelle Eray 1           1
Hamish Mackenzie 1           1
David Evans 1           1


Photo Caption Photographer Click to download the hi-res pic
Canoeing South Africa Logo (GIF).  

The men's K2 showdown at the SA Marathon Championships was an exciting affair with the Hank McGregor/Andy Birkett (right) pair just edging out the Louis Hattingh/Alex Masina (left) combination, however both boats will represent South Africa at the upcoming ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in October.

Bertie Baard/
Gameplan Media

South African sprint queen Bridgitte Hartley will lead the women's charge in the K1 racing and will team up with Christie Mackenzie in the K2 race at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in China in October.

Bertie Baard/
Gameplan Media

Young Alex Masina will represent South Africa in the Under 23 K1 race and the senior K2 showdown at the upcoming ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in Shaoxing, China in October.

Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

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