Large KZN entry for big race’s 50th

2012-09-19 00:00

MBOMBELA — A strong contingent of KwaZulu-Natal paddlers is preparing to mount an assault on the 50th anniversary running of the Sasol Lowveld Croc Canoe Marathon, which doubles as the Gauteng K1 River Marathon Championships, this weekend.

Paddlers from Durban and Pietermaritzburg have a stranglehold on the prestigious two-day race through Mpumalanga.

The KZN entry makes up a quarter of the field, and is fronted by the likes of Ant Stott and defending Croc champ Andy Birkett, who are among dozens of seasoned paddlers, many of whom have raced onto the podium at the Lowveld Croc.

Six-time race winner Stott and young Dusi sensation Birkett will undoubtedly lead the East Coast’s charge for the overall honours, and with the likes of former sprint sensation Mike Arthur also making the trip, the likelihood of a strong KZN presence on the podium at the end of the 55-kilometre affair looks promising.

Talented youngsters Murray Haw — who has already claimed two junior titles in the iconic Dusi Canoe Marathon — and Dewald Hattingh have also confirmed their entries for the event.

One of the stalwarts of women’s river marathon paddling in the country, Debbie Germiquet, will have her heart set on challenging the in-form Jen Theron for the women’s title.

Entries for the Lowveld Croc Canoe Marathon close today, after which late entries will still be taken but not considered for seeding purposes.

The two-day race takes place on Saturday and Sunday from Kwena Dam to above Montrose Falls.

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