Birkett and McGregor claim title

Andy Birkett (back) and Hank McGregor race into the finish at uMdloti to claim the overall spoils at the Gara Dolphin Coast Challenge. PHOTO: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media

WITH their sights firmly set on the upcoming World Marathon Champs K2 title, Hank McGregor and Andy Birkett delivered a masterclass to claim the two-day 43km Gara Dolphin Coast Challenge title on Sunday.

The Euro Steel/Fenn pair banked a tidy two minute overnight lead on the first stage from Pirates SLC in Durban to uMdloti and then more than doubled their lead on the final leg from Salt Rock to uMdloti on Sunday, earning them the KZN double ski title in the process.

McGregor and Birkett, who are currently the number one and two ranked flatwater marathon paddlers in the world, have struck up a successful K2 combination and friendship that has taken them to the FNB Dusi crown and the SA Marathon K2 title among several others in recent months.

“It was the perfect way to wrap up our preparations for the World Champs. Racing surfski really helps to mix up the training and keep it fun, so the race suited us perfectly,” beamed McGregor.

Birkett is a relative surfski novice when compared to McGregor, and revelled in the fast downwind conditions on Sunday.

“Andy was whooping and yodelling on some of the big runs, so it was really great to share that together,” said McGregor.

ALSO READ: Adaptive surfing champs crowned

The race was held in tricky blown-out conditions on the first stage and in superb following seas on the final stage, with the final stage start at Salt Rock proving to be a formidable obstacle, as the crunching shore break took its toll on many of the surfski crews. Luke Nisbet and Gene Prato finished in second, and Herman Chalupsky and Colin Simpkins in third.

The women’s race fell impressively to the combination of the current women’s surfski world champion Hayley Nixon and her young partner Christie Mackenzie, holding off a spirited charge from Nikki Birkett and Sabina Lawrie, who actually got to the final stage finish before the winners, thanks to the reversed order start of the second stage.

 

Do you want to receive news alerts via WhatsApp? Send us a WhatsApp message (not an sms) with your name and surname to 060 532 5535.

You can also join the conversation on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have signed up for our news alerts you need to save the Berea Mail WhatsApp number as a contact to your phone, otherwise you will not receive our alerts

  AUTHOR
Berea Mail

Latest News

COMMENTS

Top
Recommended Story x
Birkett finally bags King of the Bay

Thanks for your referral. We have no doubt your friends will love our newsletter as much as you!

Don't forget to verify your email.

to our FREE newsletter
SUBSCRIBE to our FREE newsletter.




SELECT your titles:

Berea Mail
Highway Mail
Northglen News


Get regular news updates sent directly to your inbox.

Your source of local breaking news and trending stories from across the country.

Be a part of our growing community

1MILFacebook Fans
98KTwitter Followers
5MILMonthly Readers
12MILArticles Published Every Month
72Local Community Websites

SUBSCRIBE to our FREE newsletter

SELECT your titles:

Berea Mail
Highway Mail
Northglen News

Get regular news updates sent directly to you inbox.

Your source of local breaking news and trending stories from across the country.

Be a part of our growing community

Subscribe Here
1MILFacebook Fans
98KTwitter Followers
5MILMonthly Readers
12MILArticles Published Every Month
72Local Community Websites
Your details:


Your friends: