Hank and Pippa McGregor became the first husband and wife to win the Breede River Canoe Marathon in the same year on Sunday when they wrapped up their respective titles, Hank McGregor romping to victory with Jasper Mocké overall and Pippa McGregor and Jenna Nisbet winning the women’s title convincingly.
Hank McGregor and Jasper Mocké added a further minute to their four minute overnight lead to complete the 34km final stage from Riggton Farm outside Bonnievale to Kam’Bati Resort near Swellendam on a technical low and dropping Breede River.
“It was a super tricky day because the water was so low – I don’t think we could have paddled on it any lower – but we didn’t have to get out anywhere,” said Mocké.
“We found a good rhythm once again and I think we were very happy to be on our own because the end section was very tricky with all the little channels and trees, so it was a luxury to be coming through there on our own as opposed to racing in a bunch,” said Mocké.
“We sliced the boat open so we were leaking quite a bit of water,” added McGregor. “Jasper was pumping water out of the boat quite a lot, but we managed to get to the finish in the lead.
“It was a great weekend in the Breede valley. Now we can look forward to the world champs in a couple of weeks time,” he said.
It was a fourth Breede title for McGregor, who won it twice with Len Jenkins, and once with Jasper Mocké’s older brother Dawid, while it was Jasper Mocké’s third Breede title following his wins with Tom Schilperoort and Stu MacLaren.
Clint Cook and Tom Lovemore were once again the fastest of the chasing bunch and wrapped up second place overall, while Graeme Solomon and Anders Hart leap-frogged onto the podium from their overnight fifth position.
In the women’s race the irrepressible Durbanites Jenna Nisbett and Pippa McGregor made the most of the race as part of their training for the ICF Marathon World Championships, pulling away to win from the impressive juniors Holly Smith and Neriyah Dill in second.
“It was a very tough day for us because we started on our own with a crew one minute head of us and another crew two minutes behind us,” said Nisbet.
“We were stuck in no-mans-land but we just went out and focused on our own race,” she added.
They were happy to be caught by the charging crew of Melanie van Niekerk and Sheepers Schoeman, with whom they shared the workload on the flatwater sections in the middle of the final stage.
Van Niekerk and Schoeman took the mixed doubles title, and the topical a race-within-a-race as they managed to get home just ahead of the leading all-women’s crew.
Mark Keeling had a much better second stage and wrapped up the K1 division honours from Heinrich Schloms.
The race was held in tribute to iconic local paddler Giel van Deventer who passed away in a tragedy on the final pre- Breede Marathon race. Each paddler wore a commemorative cap on the final stage and the finishers medals all celebrated the life and contribution of Van Deventer.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
BREEDE RIVER CANOE MARATHON – DAY TWO
1 Hank McGregor/Jasper Mocké 1:59:50.08 2:22:59.27 4:22:49.35
2 Clinton Cook/Thomas Lovemore 2:04:04.71 2:23:44.81 4:27:49.53
3 Graeme Solomon/Anders Hart 2:04:07.70 2:23:45.79 4:27:53.49
4 Daniel Jacobs/Murray Starr 2:04:06.24 2:23:59.10 4:28:05.35
5 Kenneth Rice/Ulvard Hart 2:04:05.57 2:26:23.39 4:30:28.96
6 David Evans/Robert Pike 2:06:40.97 2:32:10.30 4:38:51.27
7 Riccardo Talevi/Michael Arthur 2:11:13.88 2:28:37.55 4:39:51.44
8 Mark Keeling 2:13:06.85 2:33:46.39 4:46:53.24
9 Dyllan Farrell/Luke Jean Le Roux 2:11:37.13 2:36:25.05 4:48:02.18
10 John De Villiers/Jermaine Pietersen 2:12:18.91 2:35:44.68 4:48:03.59
1 Jenna Nisbet/Pippa McGregor 2:13:08.14 2:38:05.25 4:51:13.39
2 Holly Smith/Neriyah Dill 2:18:31.67 2:40:00.91 4:58:32.58
3 Candice Murray/Kira Bester 2:18:33.14 2:43:55.07 5:02:28.21
4 Jordan Peek/Christy Shrimpton 2:28:38.68 2:50:30.57 5:19:09.25
5 Waris Mills/Iwona Gancarz 2:48:36.37 3:07:24.60 5:56:00.97