Tugela Marathon winds down the season with a lazy paddle

2011-04-05 00:00

ANOTHER running of the unique Tugela Marathon at the weekend brought the KZN river racing season to a close.

This season closer is not known for great competitive struggles among the top crews, taking the form of a more relaxed trip down a beautiful river with many of the top paddlers teamed up with less competitive friends and sponsors.

Ant Stott drove a K3 with Gordon Tripp from Tripper and Owen Hemmingway from sponsor Popes Canoe Centre. Deon Bruss was in a K2 with Yann Leclesio from Matelec.

Andrew Birkett paddled with a friend Scott Harworth, while both their fathers paddled together in another K2.

Hillary Pitchford was with Garry Campbell and Shaun Griffin captained another K3 with Jane Bain and Tony Barrington.

However, some racing did take place and the overall winners were sub-veteran husband and wife mixed double pair, Marc and Debbie Germiquet, who finished a massive 27 minutes clear of second placed veterans Richard Austin and Graham Lingard from Richards Bay.

Umzinyathi sub-masters Mark Smuts and Chris Brown took third place.

Michaelhouse provided most of the junior boats, with Matthew Heenan and Andrew Houston winning the mixed doubles ahead of Mark Brown and Nicole Grindlay from the Wykeham Collegiate, with Jonathan Dean and Tim Lee third. Craig Smorfitt was fourth in a K1.

Kirsten Oliver and Patricia Stannard led home the field of five women’s K2s.

Pre-race favourites Antje Manfroni and Anna Clifford-Arwidi were relegated to second place by a damaged boat on Day one and the Day one leaders, Tarryn Goble and Samantha Bacon ended third after a very slow Day two.

A surprisingly large field of 109 paddlers entered for the event, all of them started and all of them finished, a most unusual statistic for a canoeing river race.

The Tugela course was flowing at a medium-low 115 cumecs, enough for an enjoyable race for everyone, including the five K3’s taking part.

The weather was partly cloudy and very hot at the start, but cooled down steadily during the day with some light rain during the night, which left Sunday cloudy and warm.

Hosts Crusaders Canoe Club provided the usual entertaining weekend of racing and relaxing.





1.Marc and Debbie Germiquet (SV) UMZ 4:27:22, 2. Richard Austin and Graham Lingard (V) ZUL 4:54:54, 3. Marc Smuts and Chris Brown (SM) UMZ 4:57:48.


1.Matthew Heenan and Andrew Houston MIC 5:01:43, 2. Mark Brown and Nicole Grindlay MIC-TWC 5:08:41, 3. Jonathan Dean and Tim Lee MIC 5:09:13.


1.Kirsten Oliver and Patricia Stannard MID-FEZ 5:23:12, 2. Antje Manfroni and Anna Clifford-Arwidi (SV) DAB 5:28:08, 3. Tarryn Goble and Samantha Bacon RHO-UMZ 5:43:05.

1st M Nigel Stevens and Kit Mayer ZUL 5:14:22.

1st SGM Ian Bailey and Anthony van Tonder NAT-EST 5:09:10

1st K1 Claude Nish (SV) DAB 5:08:45; Lana Allen (SV) UMZ 6:34:34.

1st K3 Gavin Tarr, Graham Griffin and Richard Butcher (V) NAT-NAT-CAN 5:00:34.

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