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By Dawid

Summary of results at the end of the post.

The second day of the Hansa Fish Marathon dawned with a cold westerly wind, sending every self-respecting second straight to the mobile coffee vendor (pretty much immediately) as paddlers arrived for their scheduled start. The coffee guy, I am sure, must’ve been astounded at the amount of business one could do, parked next to a river, in the middle of the Nama Karoo, at 5:30am. I, at least, was a very fond customer and most appreciative of his presence. I think I bought about 20 coffees from him over the 2 days!

Early Coffee on the Fish
The mobile coffee stand was a hit, especially early in the morning. I had my fair share.

The leaders going into the 30km Day 2 stage, were pretty much always going to stay there. I think even if they had the most horrendous of races: swimming at every obstacle; breaking rudders and paddles; twisting ankles and pulling hamstrings; getting robbed of their boat and having to run to the finish – a 4 minute lead is not something Hank McGregor or Grant van der Walt will lose. A phenomenal effort indeed by these two champions taking their 4th consecutive title!

Hank&Grant no mistakes
No mistakes on Day 2 as Hand and Grant cruised to their 4th consecutive title.

So our focus should move down the line to positions 2 through 20 where, if you should ever scour the annals of Facebook with the search term: “Fish River Marathon”, you will find many a tale of a fading fortune. The fade being either brighter at the prospect of a swimming opponent or (and more realistically) darker, as you yourself, become the victim of a Gauging Weir, Marlow Shute, Cradock Weir or any of the other no-name, yet remarkably vicious, rapids in between the start and the finish.

No Name Rapids
This is a rapid as far as I’m concerned…and it deserves a name! Yet, I suppose because of the ferocity of water on Day 1, poor Day 2’s rapids will remain nameless…
Gauging Weir has teeth
Many a race would end at at Weir or a Shute… Here Gauging Weir claims a victim.
Swimming at Gauging Weir
Here’s shot of our swim at Gauging Weir. We just skimmed the rock that the boat in the pic above hit….well that’s my story anyway… Fortunately the swim was super quick, and even though we had three boats chasing us down, we held onto 10th overall.

Many a position was forfeited or gained on Day 2 as paddlers sprinted their way towards Cradock. And no other crew embodies a fading fortune on the Fish more than the German/Czech combination of Thomas Slovak and Tobias Bong. They sank, they swam…3 times, they split the seams of their boat at Cradock weir. But would you believe that they still came in 3rd overall – a supreme effort.

Cradock Weir madness
Here’s a pic that shows why many spectators converge around Cradock Weir…to sneer, or to cheer!
Expertly shooting Cradock
…and we got “Cheers” for our expert negotiation of Cradock Weir, even though it tooks us about 3 minutes to carefully sidle up to the thing!

So, after a long day of sinks, swims; bashes and bruises, across the board for everyone, it was with great delight that the crowd of paddlers seated on the banks of the Great Fish River Marathon, could clap in the last crew in the midst of a highly entertaining prize giving.

Many Swims on Day 2
Don’t go into Day 2 thinking it’s a breeze…it aint!




1. Hank McGregor/Grant van der Walt 2:01.27 4:48.07

2. Len Jenkins Jnr/Greg Louw 2:00.26 4.52.00

3. Tomas Slovak (CZE)/Tobias Bong (GER) 2:01.06 4:54.02

4. Brandon van der Walt/Stuart Maclaren (U23) 2:02.13 4:54.30

5. Ben Biggs/Alisdair Glass 2:04.17 4:55.06

6. Ivan Kruger/Valentin Herot (FRA) 2:02.51 4:58.04

7. Brett Bartho/Sbonelo Zondi 2:03.26 4:58.49

8. Pierre-Andre Rabie/Clinton Cook 2:03.56 4:59.20

9. Lance Kime/Thulani Mbanjwa 2:07.40 5:01.09

10. Dawid Mocke/Matthew Bouman 2:07.23 5:03.36

11. Jakub Adam (CZE)/Lukas Trefil 2:05.19 5:04.43

12. Richard Hala (CZE)/Jonatan Sramek (CZE) 2:04.00 5:05.27

13. Josh Kippin (AUS)/Simon Roll (AUS) 2:06.53 5:06.39

14. Louis Hattingh/Bryan Leroux (U18) 2:06.40 5:07.06

15. Gavin White/Louw van Riet 2:09.31 5:07.24

16. Gavin Shuter/Murray Starr (U23) 2:08.03 5:07.28

17. Travis Wilson/Tyler Wilson (U18) 2:07.15 5:07.42

18. Loveday Zondi/Thando Ngamlana 2:10.45 5:09.42

19. Ryan Louw/Stuart Laing 2:08.00 5:11.38

20. Lucas Mthalane/Mmeli Cele 2:07.19 5:12.45


1. Abby Adie/Anna Adamova (CZE) 2:10.57 5:17.09

2. Robyn Kime/Bridgette Hartley 2:12.47 5:21.16

3. Jenna Ward/Kerry Segal (U23) 2:21.12 5:38.45

4. Hilary Pitchford/Brittany Petersen 2:23.54 5:42.41

5. Danica Bartho/Michelle Burn 2:25.36 5:43.02

6. Jordan Peek/Cana Peek (U18) 2:28.10 6:00.27

7. Robyn Henderson/Debbie Lewis 2:31.08 6:05.34

8. Kim van Gysen/Kirsten Gelderblom 2:32.46 6:08.08

9. Bianca Haw/Charlotte Lovemore (U18) 2:32.06 6:09.03

10. Kirstin Wessels/Janine Linder 2:37.20 6:11.09

U23 Men

1. Brandon van der Walt/Stuart Maclaren 2:02.13 4:54.30

2. Ivan Kruger/Valentin Henot 2:02.51 4:58.04

3. Richard Hala (CZE)/Jonatan Sramek 2:04.00 5:05.27

U23 Women

1. Jenna Ward/Kerry Segal 2:21.12 5:38.45

2. Candice Murray/Anna Notten 2:43.54 6:22.19

3. Jenna Starr/Julia Trodd 2:39.41 6:30.48

Junior Mens

1. Louis Hattingh/Bryan Leroux 2:06.40 5:07.06

2. Travis Wilson/Tyler Wilson 2:07.15 5:07.42

3. Damon Stamp/Mthobisi Cele 2:12.48 5:20.03

Junior Girls

1. Jordan Peek/Cana Peek 2:28.10 6:00.27

2. Bianca Haw/Charlotte Lovemore 2:32.06 6:09.03

3. Sarah Harries/Jordan Taylor 2:36.17 6:16.24

Mixed K2

1. Tom Schilperoort/Samantha Murray 2:09.53 5:21.30

2. Andrew Adie/Alex Adie 2:13.17 5:21.58

3. Kirsten Flanagan/Craig Flanagan 2:16.01 5:35.28


1. Nic Burden/Colin Burden/Paul Burden 2:15.16 5:29.23

2. Jacques Theron/Jen Theron/Cobie Theron 2:17.19 5:32.11

3. Jody Taylor/Duane Taylor/Matt Elliot 2:20.37 5:36.36