Latest College star

2014-03-11 00:00

TALENTED canoeists seem to be the main export of the famed Maritzburg College these days.

After producing the likes of Andrew Birkett and Cameron Schoeman, Louis Hattingh is the latest potential paddling College star to look out for.

The 18-year-old matric pupil won the U18 boys race at the KZN Schools K1 River Championships that were held on the Mzimkhulu River last weekend, beating Damon Stamp, another of College’s up-and-coming youngsters, to the finish.

“The water levels were good, and we weren’t racing too hard on the first day,” Hattingh told The Witness yesterday afternoon.

“We pushed harder on the second day and we finished faster than we did on the first day. Damon was feeling a bit low, but I helped him hydrate,” he said.

Despite taking a swim at one of the rapids, Hattingh had a big enough lead to finish first and win the KZN Schools’ K1 River Championship.

The teenager, who represented South Africa at last year’s junior world championships in Canada, said he hopes to go as far as he possibly can in the sport he has been doing for the last five years.

“Going to the Olympics for sprinting would be the ultimate goal,” he said.

As his main focus was sprinting and rivers, he’s never taken part in the Dusi Canoe Marathon, although he also has it in his sights.

He acknowledged that there had been a strong paddling tradition at College, and the paddlers he looked up to the most were College Old Boys Birkett and Schoeman.

“I like Schoeman because he never gives up and Andy is one of the best paddlers around.

“They’re also College Old Boys, so I look up to them,” said the young paddler.

What he loves most about the sport is competing on rivers and doing sprints.

“As soon as you get tired of one discipline, the season changes, so you can keep yourself motivated for the entire year,” he told The Witness.

NAME: Louis Hattingh

AGE: 18

HEIGHT: 1,86 m

SCHOOL: Maritzburg

College

GRADE: 12

SPORT: Canoeing

HONOURS: Represented SA at last year’s Junior World Championships in Canada

AMBITION: To take part in the Olympics one day, and to race in the Dusi Canoe Mara­thon.

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