Hank & Jasper

McGregor and Mocké clinch SA K2 title!

By Gameplan Media, pics Pippa McGregor, Canoeing South Africa

 

Hank and Jasper take the title
Cool headed racing and taking their chances on Day 2 ensured a victory.

Johannesburg – World marathon champ and his new K2 partner Jasper Mocké announced their arrival with an emphatic victory in the CMH East Rand Vaal Marathon clinching the South African K2 river championship titles for 2013.  The duo, who are friends through their shared passion for surfski racing, took their chances sublimely on the final stage to romp away to victory by more than six minutes.  McGregor, who is no stranger to winning the Vaal or SA K2 titles, was elated at the win, particularly as the pair had not sat in a boat together before the race.

 

Hank & Jasper tripping
Hank and Jasper making the most of the warm weather while tripping the finish of Day2.

 

Hank & Jasper
Kyk daai spiere!

 

“Luckily we were able to settle into the boat almost straight away,” said McGregor. “We both sat straight, which meant that we were able concentrate on putting the pressure on the other guys.”

 

After early pacesetting from Len Jenkins and Greg Louw on Day One, McGregor and Mocké raced away to end the first stage with only Birkett and Zondi on their wave.

 

Jenkins and Louw take 2nd
Never write off the Len factor. Birkett and Zondi narrowly lost their overnight second spot right at the finish of Day2.  Jenkins/Louw front, Birkett/Zondi following.

At the Benoude Boude rapids on the final stage, McGregor and Mocké managed to shake off Birkett and Zondi, and decided to break away alone.  “It was a solo charge, which is maybe not the cleverest thing to do on the Vaal. But we quickly realised that we were dropping them and by the time we got to the Goose Bay weir we had a lead of a minute and a quarter, so we just went it alone.

 

Hank & Jasper winning the Vaal
Hank & Jasper winning the Vaal, clinching the SA K2 Championship.

While McGregor and Mocké raced away almost assured of victory, Birkett and Zondi were caught by Jenkins and Low, who snuck ahead of them in the last rapid of the race, 400 metres from the finish, and beat them to the finish line to claim the silver medals.

 

In the women’s race Abby Adie and Donna Tutton were able to edge out the pre-race favourites Hilary Bruss and Olympic medallist Bridgitte Hartley to clinch the national K2 crown. Bruss and Hartley took a swim at the first rapid shortly after the start of the first stage, forcing them to play catch-up.  Then a swim on the final stage at Benoude Boude rapid opened the door for Adie and Tutton to scamper away to claim victory.

 

SUMMARY OF RESULTS:

CMH EAST RAND VAAL MARATHON

1 Hank McGregor/Jasper Mocké

2 Len Jenkins/Greg Louw

3 Andy Birkett/Sbonelo Zondi

4 Jacques Theron/Shaun Griffin

5 Loveday Zondi/Thando Ngamlana

6 Cam Schoeman/Ivan Kruger

7 Piers Cruikshanks/Siseko Ntondini

8 Lucas Mthalane/Mmeli Cele

9 Thulani Mbanjwa/Mthobisi Cele

10 Michael Stewart/Brandon Collyer

 

WOMEN

1.Abby Adie/Donna Tutton

2.Hilary Pitchford/Bridgitte Hartley

3.Jenna Ward/Kerry Segal