K4 duels provide thrilling Shongweni spectacle

Two days of thrilling racing in unseasonably warm weather at Shongweni Dam outside Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal decided the 2014 title holders across the age groups at the South African K4 Marathon Canoeing Championships on the weekend.

With final positions being calculated on the combined times from the 9km races on Saturday and Sunday, consistency was rewarded in most categories with the young KwaZulu-Natal crew of twins Tyler and Travis Wilson, Clinton Cook and Bailey De Fondaumiere romping to a comfortable victory in the senior and Under-23 division.

The silver medal went to the gusty Florida Lake crew of development squad youngsters Donald Moncho, Sammy Lenyora, Macdonald Nkosi and Melusi Nxumalo.

The women’s title fell just as convincingly to the boat made up of international sprinters Tiffany Kruger and Esti van Tonder, Berg marathon podium finisher Alex Adie and emerging star Kayla de Beer, who has just returned from duty with the national Junior and Under-23 sprint squad abroad.

The fastest racing of the champs came from the highly competitive Under-18 class where both days provided needle races that were decided in hotly contested end-sprints.

In the end it was the classy schoolboys Nkosi Mbaso, Siyanda Gwamanda, Mpilo Zondi, Jabulani Gwamanda from Martin Dreyer’s Computershare Change a Life Academy with a needle win in the second race that saw them edge past the boat of impressive Valley of a Thousand Hills youngsters Thabani Msiya, Msawenkosi Mtolo, Innocent Magubane and Bongani Ntinga, who have been training at Shongweni Dam specifically for the event.

The latter crew won their second duel with the Change a Lifers by a hair-breadth on Sunday and, in the process, posted the fastest time of the entire competition. In the end they paid dearly for a thirty second deficit from their race on Saturday though.

The Michaelhouse crew of Jean Van Der Westhuyzen, Charles Houston, Alan Houston and Brandon Macleod took the bronze, holding off the Natal Canoe Club quartet of Khumbulani Molefe, Siyabonga Hlophe, Syethemba Majola and Tumelo Elephant who took the Under-16 title.

The Under-16 Epworth crew of Christie Mackenzie, Donna Hutton, Cana Peek and Jamie-Lee Robertson was in rampant form and waltzed to a lopsided win in the well-supported junior girls class.

The quickest of the K4s in the Veteran and Masters classes was the crew of Duncan Nisbet, Trevor Vernes, Paul Scruby and Butch Murray who recovered well from a spontaneous decision to head out for a 30km downwind surfski paddle from Durban to Amanzimtoti after their race on Saturday, to repeat their impressive K4 feat the following morning.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS – CANOEING SOUTH AFRICA K4 CHAMPS

Senior Men
1 Tyler Wilson/Travis Wilson/Clinton Cook/Bailey De Fondaumiere 1:21:31.40 (1st U23)
2 Donald Moncho/Sammy Lenyora/Macdonald Nkosi/Melusi Nxumalo 1:26:49.85 (2nd U23)
3 James Clowes/Haydn Bartlett/Chad Tyrer/Lance Bartlett 1:34:08.25

Senior Women
1 Tiffany Kruger/Esti Van Tonder/Abby Adie/Kayla De Beer 1:25:02.39
2 Angela Scruby/Wilma Deyzel/Diana Rietz/Debbie Germiquet 1:37:05.88 (1st Sub-Vets)
3 Kim Wessels/Sharlene Mcgilvray/Lorna Holmes/Christa Richter  1:48:00.73 (1st Sub-Masters)

Junior Boys U18 and U16
1 Nkosi Mbaso/Siyanda Gwamanda/Mpilo Zondi/Jabulani Gwamanda 1:21:19.95
2 Thabani Msiya/Msawenkosi Mtolo/Innocent Magubane/Bongani Ntinga 1:21:59.29
3 Jean Van Der Westhuyzen/Charles Houston/Alan Houston/Brandon Macleod 1:25:12.65
4 Khumbulani Molefe/Siyabonga Hlophe/Syethemba Majola/Tumelo Elephant 1:25:19.22 (1st U16)
5 Emanuel Zaloumis/Jason Boulle/Craig Heenan/Daniel Dillon 1:29:26.32 (2nd U16)
6 Rory McNeill/Stuart McCleave/Timothy Marsh/Matthew Pitcher 1:31:07.38 (3rd U16)
7 Lungelo Zondi/Christopher Kweyama/Donsumhlabu Xulu/Tsephang Elephant 1:31:16.82

Junior Boys U14
1 Jonathan Jooste/Wian Bornman/Dylan Hanson/Nhlakanipho Zondi 1:29:46.31
2 Joshua Giddings/Callam Davis/Callum Dickason/Robert Mcconnell 1:33:05.00
3 Amanda Mdlalose/Andile Mtolo/Phumlani Mtshali/Langelihle Shozi 1:44:25.93
4 Bradley Boulle/Warren Yoko/Craig Pitt/Dominic Leslie 1:46:51.27

Junior Girls
1 Christie Mackenzie/Donna Hutton/Cana Peek/Jamie-Lee Robertson 1:34:51.97 (1st UI16)
2 Hannah Main/Sande Bovungana/Nokukhanya Shange/Katherine Barry 1:41:49.66 (1st U18)
3 Amy Peckett/Hannah Shrives/ Lisa Meyer/ Mea Stiglingh 1:46:22.88 (1st U14)
4 Kennedy Stone/Rebecca Martin/Brittany Eayrs/Brittney Meikle 1:48:14.34 (2nd U18)
5 Caitlin Williams/Kallen Carrick/Tyler Venske/Robyn Knowles 2:09:08.07 (2nd U16)

Masters and Veterans
1 Duncan Nisbet/Trevor Vernes/Paul Scruby/Butch Murray 1:25:18.02 (1st Masters)
2 Jurie Botha/Gordon Hart/Steve Main/Richard Snowdon/Guy Haines 1:29:35.83 (1st Sub-Vets)
3.Russell Solomon/Mark Johnson/Ralph Whiting/Alan France 1:29:54.11 (2nd Masters)
4 Anton Venter/Hugh Robertson/Gregory Eayrs/Shaun Maphanga 1:32:37.71 (2nd Sub-Vets)
5 Dale Tomlinson/Chris Van Den Berg/James McKenna/Des Stone 1:37:29.90 (1st Great Grand Masters)