Berg River: King and Ward win after tricky final day’s racing

2013-07-15 00:00

VELDDRIF — Four days and 240 km of paddling culminated in Velddrif as paddlers crossed the finish line of the 2013 Berg River Canoe Marathon with overnight leader Lance King finishing third on Saturday, enough to hand him his maiden victory while Jenna Ward clung to her overnight lead to secure the women’s title.

Nerves and speculation were rife ahead of the final stage as a last-minute decision forced paddlers to take a three-kilometre portage around a water hyacinth block shortly after the start of the stage, leaving most unsure of what to expect and how the action would unfold.

Pierre-André Rabie (Maties/Vibram Fivefingers) led the charge and gained an important lead after the run, enough for him to claim a memorable stage victory and fourth place overall.

Graeme Solomon (Bamboo Warehouse) was unable to match King’s efforts and lost further time on the leader, forcing him to settle for second place overall, while Under 23 star Ivan Kruger (Futurelife) claimed the final step on the podium.

“I’m just really excited right now,” said King afterwards. “It’s been seven years in the making, so it’s a very special moment for me.”

A disappointed yet gracious Solomon crossed the finish line with Louw van Riet (AQ Rate), Edgar Boehm Jnr and Ben Brown in the stage’s second bunch of four to claim yet another Berg podium finish.

“Ben [Brown] and I had a terrible take-out at the portage and sunk almost up to our neck in mud. By the time we got going again the others were gone and I knew then that that was that,” said Solomon.

“The tree block on stage two was definitely the turning point, but no excuses now. Hats off to Lance for his win.”

Apart from his third place finish overall, Kruger also claimed the Under 23 men’s category. However, it was his efforts in the senior competition that were particularly pleasing for the youngster.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS — BERG RIVER CANOE MARATHON

STAGE FOUR

Overall: 1. Lance King 4:19.07 17:17.29

2. Graeme Solomon 4:21.26 17:21.19

3. Ivan Kruger (U23) 4:19.09 17:30.03

4. Pierre-Andre Rabie 4:19.03 17:37.34

5. Louw van Riet 4:21:27 17:39.56

6. Edgar Boehm Jnr. 4:21.27 17:40.03

7. Ben Brown 4:21.25 17:42.55

8. Lee McGregor 4:36.52 18:00.13

9. Sbonelo Zondi 4:19.06 18:02.44

10. Gavin White 4:25.48 18:09.15

Women: 1. Jenna Ward (U23) 5:20.49 20:43.05

2. Kirsten Penderis 5:20.56 20:45.01

3. Joritha Prins 5:47.28

4. Lisa Scott 5:46.24 22:49.18

5. Juli Morris 5:47.33 22:54.40

U23 Men: 1. Ivan Kruger 4:19.09 17:30.03

2. Joseph Williams 4:42.44 18:38.39

3. Luke Stowman 4:42.52 18:58.55

U23 Women: 1. Jenna Ward 5:20.49 20:43.05

Junior Boys: 1. Mthobisi Cele 4:51.11 19:12.37

2. Michael Farringer 4:57.34 19:27.50

3. Michael Pretorius 4:53.40 19:54.18

Junior Girls: 1. Anya Botes 5:50.27 23:23.53

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