Clifton boy pips College pair

2012-09-18 00:00

CALVIN McKie, of Clifton, ended a long run of domination by Midlands Schools in the Capitol Caterers-Popes Canoe Centre Interschools Challenge on Saturday by winning the Shongweni Race from Maritzburg College’s Don Wewege and Murray Starr.

There has been a resurgence in schools canoeing in the Durban area in the past year or so, and this is starting to show at the races. Glenwood won the Boys’ Schools trophy at the annual SA Schools Sprints earlier this year.

The U16s continued to be dominated by Bryan Leroux paddling for Maritzburg Christian School, with Maritzburg College’s Louis Hattingh and Damon Stamp taking the minor places.

Despite the cold and wet conditions on Shongweni Dam, a good field of 120 paddlers took part. They raced three laps of the standard marathon course, including a short optional portage for the U18s and U16s only.

The girls’ race came first at 10 am and the portage route quickly proved unpopular, with most paddlers electing to paddle the whole way. Epworth’s Francis Beresford (U16) and Brittany Petersen were quickly on their own, with the lead changing a few times, mainly due to the portage, and Petersen finally won the race by nine seconds with a strong final lap. Camilla Pennefather (U16) made it a 1-2-3 for Epworth in the overall race. GHS (PMB) had their first podium in some time, with Julia Trodd taking third place.

The U14s raced just two laps, and Epworth dominated, with Cana Peek winning from Jamie-Lee Robertson and St Anne’s Jade Alexander taking third. In the boys’ race, Glenwood’s Brett Wilkin and Bailey de Fondaumiere took the first two places, with Craig Heenan from Michaelhouse third. The U14 field was encouraging with 23 boys and five girls completing the race.

The next event in the 2012 Challenge is the Slalom Regatta at the Moto-X Weir in Pietermaritzburg next Saturday morning.

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