McGregor and Adie engrave their names into Fish River history

2014-10-13 00:00

CRADOCK — Two new names will be engraved on the Hansa Fish River Canoe marathon winner’s trophies as Hank McGregor and Abby Adie claimed memorable victories in the hotly contested men’s and women’s 2014 clashes yesterday. Nic Burden, Adam Nisbet and Jean-Luc Mauvis were crowned 2014 SA K3 River Marathon champions.

Five-time canoe marathon world champ McGregor narrowly edged out a flying Andy Birkett in the dying metres of the 82 km encounter from Grassridge Dam to the Cradock Sports Complex to add a maiden K1 title to his five consecutive K2 victories at the Eastern Cape event.

“I am double [marathon] world champion and now two weeks later I’ve won the Fish, the one race that I have wanted to win for a long time, to end off a great season for me,” said McGregor. “It was a tough race for sure; I was pushed all the way to the finish. Fortunately I had a bit of a buffer because I hit a bit of a bad patch at Gauging Weir and when Andrew [Birkett] caught up I just stuck to him like glue before I managed to pass him on the flat.”

McGregor landed back in South Africa two weeks ago a tired yet satisfied man after winning gold in both the senior men’s K1 and K2 events at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships, but he was adamant the illusive K1 Fish title was still very much on his radar.

With his wife Pippa and son Thorsten on the river banks throughout the two days of racing, McGregor was over the moon to have achieved the feat.

“We all came down to the Fish together and it has been a successful family trip.

“To see [Pippa and Thor] along the race route and here at the finish was really great,” said McGregor.

Birkett started the day 46 seconds behind McGregor but the EuroSteel competitor again showed his unmatched tenacity and unwillingness to give up as he clawed his way back into the encounter shortly after Gauging Weir.

Overnight women’s race leader and the dominant force of South African women’s river marathon scene currently, Abby Adie (Natal Canoe Club/Kayak Centre) quickly extended her slender 29-second lead to beyond three minutes early on in stage two.

A swim at Marlow Chute just eight kilometres from the finish put the young star on edge but she refocused and powered home to add the K1 Fish title to her remarkably long list of 2014 achievements including the SA K1 championships at the Drak Challenge, Non-Stop Dusi, Umkomaas River Canoe Marathon and Berg River Canoe Marathon.

“It was good, hard day today. Michelé pushed me to the limit but my aim was to win the K1 title and I did that, so I am over the moon,” said Adie.


Overall: 1. Hank McGregor 2:05.40 5:00.05, 2. Andy Birkett 2:04.55 5:00:42, 3. Jasper Mocké 2:04.24 5:02.33, 4. Greg Louw 2:08.39 5:06.47, 5. Grant van der Walt 2:08.22 5:07.38

Women: 1. Abby Adie, 2. Michelé Eray, 3. Jenna Ward (U23).

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.