McGregor and Cole crowned SA K1 champs

Hank McGregor continued his incredible run of form in the paddling world as he comfortably claimed the top step of the podium in the senior men’s K1 race along with another national title at the SA flatwater marathon champs held at Shongweni dam on Saturday 13 August.

Against the exquisite backdrop of the Shongweni Msinsi reserve there was action aplenty on the water as the country’s leading K1 paddlers battled it out for the prestigious national titles and at the same time looked to catch the eye of national selectors ahead of the World champs in Singapore in October.

McGregor, contempt to sit at the back of the initial four man lead group, eased his way to a comfortable lead midway through the race eventually crossing the finish line in first place ahead of Grant van der Walt.

Having started in the same batch as the senior men Brandon van der Walt showed just what kind of form and condition he is in as he managed to sit with the unstoppable McGregor for the majority of the race and hence crossed the line some three hundred metres ahead of Cam Schoeman.
Michelle Eder and Alexa Cole battled it out for the senior ladies title with the pair alternating turns at the front before Eder’s slow last take out saw Cole really put the hammer down on the final portage and she opened up an unassailable lead. Jenna Starr claimed the U23 women’s title.

“I only decided to take part in the champs a couple of weeks ago so to have come here and won today is really great,” said Cole.

“Obviously it would been great to have had a bigger, stronger women’s field here today but quite a few of the other top ladies are overseas at the moment so there’s not much you can do about that, I just tried to focus on my own race out there,” she added.

Earlier in the day it was the turn of the juniors and after an early breakaway and then a solid performance throughout it was local paddler Donavan Wewege who made the national title his own ahead of Western Cape’s Dom Notten and Jordan Zeelie from Port Elizabeth.

Having secured the SA Schools surfski title earlier in the year Amanzimtoti youngster Kerry Segal put in a superb performance in the closing stages of the junior girls race to edge out Emma Horner and claim her third national marathon title in as many years.

1.Donavan Wewege 1:46.11
2.Dominic Notten 1:46.35
3.Jordan Zeelie 1:46.36

1.Kerry Segal 1:55.04
2.Emma Horner 1:55.14
3.Kirsten Flanagan

1.Hank McGregor 2:21.38
2.Grant van der Walt 2:22.22
3.Alex Roberts 2:34.29

1.Alexa Lombard 2:17.59
2.Michelle Eder 2:18.58