Stuart Maclaren and Jasper Mocke won the K2 Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon in Cradock on Saturday.
The pair covered the 82 kilometer distance from Grassridge Dam near Hofmeyer to Cradock Sports Complex in four hours 42 minutes and 34 seconds.
Jena Ward and Kyeta Purchase came out tops in the women’s category and they completed the race in five hours 10 minutes and 15,2 seconds.
Both overnight leaders in the men and female race finished second.
Going into the last day of the race, the winners trailed overnight leaders, Hank McGregor and Wayne Jacobs by a few seconds.
It was a tactical battle between the two well matched combinations and the lead often changed hands.
On the other hand, the battle for the third spot was heating up.
Reigning champion Greg Louw and his partner, Phil Smit, had to deal with the Kenneth Rice and Simon van Gysman combination.
At the Cradock weir, where races are won or lost, McGregor and Jacobs had the upper hand but with less than 5 kilometres remaining. The first day leaders were overtaken and finished second by nine seconds.
“Today we said to each other we are not going to force anything. We are not going to paddle away from anyone. We will wait for a good moment to move and that we did and it happened about 2 kilos from the finish,” says Mocke.
Ward and Purchase won the race after overnight leaders Bridgette Hartley and Christie Mackenzie’s boat capsized after the Cradock weir.
“Its really exciting we have been training very hard for the marathon championship in China in two weeks’ time. You can see the training is paying off. And coming on top is really exciting “, says Purchase.
The race also serves as a national championship.
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