Swellendam — Ron Benjaro and Thomas Lovemore will take a 70-second lead into the second day of the Breede River Canoe Marathon on Sunday after winning the opening stage from Robertson to Bonnievale on Saturday.
At the end of the 37km opening stage, Israel’s Benjaro and Lovemore had taken control and put themselves in a commanding position to win the Western Cape’s River Canoe Championships at the end of the 33km second stage to Swellendam on Sunday.
Jeremy Maher and David Evans won the sprint for second position at the Riggton Farm finish on Saturday and hold narrow two second lead over Mark Keeling and Luke Jean le Roux in the fight for the minor placings, with Ben Biggs and Reef Funston 40 seconds further back.
In an intriguing dice for the women’s title, Kira Bester and Melanie van Niekerk were able to eke out a 16 second lead over the recently crowned World Junior Champions Georgia Singe and Holly Smith. The junior crew will be looking to reel in their older rivals to complete a spectacular fortnight of successes.
Christy Shrimpton and Candice Murray are a distant third, six minutes behind the leading women’s crews.
In the mixed doubles, Stephanie von der Heyde and Ian Trautmann are just under four minutes ahead of Chloe Bunnett and Martin Fraser-Mackenzie, while Kenny Rice is literally a split second ahead of Ant Lake in the singles race.
1 Ron Benjaro (Israel) & Thomas Lovemore 2:11:11
2 Jeremy Maher & David Evans (1st U23) 2:12:21
3 Mark Keeling & Luke Jean le Roux 2:12:23
4 Ben Biggs & Reef Funston 2:13:03
5 Heinrich van Rooyen & Greg Louw (1st Sub Vet) 2:14:31
1 Stephanie von der Heyde & Ian Trautmann 2:21:53
2 Chloe Bunnett & Martin Fraser-Mackenzie 2:25:22
1 Kira Bester & Melanie van Niekerk 2:30:23
2 Georgia Singe & Holly Smith (1st Jun) 2:30:39
3 Christy Shrimpton & Candice Murray 2:36:06
1 Kenny Rice 2:28:55
2 Ant Lake 2:28:55
3 James Sharpe 2:45:44