McGregor finally tastes victory in the Drak Challege

2010-03-01 00:00

UNDERBERG — Hank McGregor finally got the monkey off his back when he powered to victory in the Global Trader Drak Challenge canoe marathon yesterday, the only major river marathon that he has never won, when he came out tops in a thrilling three-boat dice on the 38 km final stage.

In the women’s race, Abby Adie cemented her position as a top senior title contender when she totally dominated a strong field of talented river racers in a peerless display of river racing while her challengers faltered.

The trio of McGregor, his training partner Grant van der Walt and defending champion Ant Stott powered ahead from the final stage start at Swartberg Road Bridge for what promised to be day of cut-throat racing.

When they reached Underberg Weir, McGregor and Van der Walt worked together to break away from Stott, opening up a 40-second gap.

”The two of us just put the hammer down after the weir to get ahead,” said McGregor. They came in side by side at the final stretch, but McGregor scraped through to win by a mere three seconds.

Stott tried his best to close the four- and-a-half-minute gap.

“I just didn’t have enough gas in the tank, and when Hank made his move I just couldn’t match him,” said Stott.

In the women’s race, Epworth old girl Adie took the honours. The 20- year-old has plans to tackle the Umko canoe marathon in the next few weeks with Hillary Pitchford.

Fellow Epworth old girl Robyn Kime came in second, five-and-a-half minutes behind the leader, followed by popular surfski star Michelle Eder in third.

The first junior spot was claimed by U18 World Marathon champ Brandon van der Walt, who came in fourth.

Results (overall time)

Men: 1.Hank McGregor 03:39:56; 2.Grant van der Walt 03:49:59; 3.Ant Stott 03:54:13; 4.Brandon van der Walt 03:55:41 - U21; 5.Jacques Theron 03:55:42; 6.Piers Cruickshanks 03:59:43; 7.Michael Mbanjwa 03:59:51; 8.Shaun Griffin 04:03:28; 9.Mark Mulder 04:03:49; 10.Gavin Shuter 04:03:52

Women: 1.Abby Adie 04:21:30; 2.Robyn Kime 04:28:47; 3.Michelle Eder 04:39:01; 4.Debbie Germiquet 04:44:12; 5.Alex Adie 04:44:19; 6.Angelique Mulder 04:46:45; 7.Jenna Ward 04:54:18; 8.Brittany Petersen 04:57:58; 9.Antje Manfroni 05:02:01; 10.Caitlin Millar 05:03:12


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