Hank McGregor downed Australian Cory Hill in the closing stages of the 2016 Hong Kong Dragon Run surfski race and in the process, wrapped up victory in the 2016 World Surfski Series, while Kiwi ace Teneale Hatton edged out Hayley Nixon to take the women’s title ahead of a strong women’s field.
“I am really happy to be able to defend my title here in Hong Kong against such a top class field,” said Euro Steel/Epic Kayaks star McGregor.
“I managed to get out in front after a couple of kilometres and managed to stay there.
“It was a ding-dong battle between myself and Cory (Hill) and I was really happy to be able pull it off right at the end,” said McGregor.
The win was McGregor’s third title race win in the series and with just the Perth Doctor later this month remaining, gives the Durban based ace an unassailable lead in the standings.
“I have always wanted to win the World Surfski Series,” he added after hearing from series director Dawid Mocké that his series title win had put the 2016 title out of the other paddlers reach.
Former Surfski World Champ Sean Rice (Think Kayak) stormed home unchallenged in third to round out the Dragon Run’s men’s podium.
Rice was followed home by South African compatriots Matt Bouman (Epic Kayaks) and Dawid Mocké, Aussie star Caine Eksteen and two other South Africans, Kenny Rice (Think Kayak/Varsity College) and Jasper Mocké (Euro Steel/Epic Kayaks).
South Africa’s Nixon was thrilled her runner-up performance in the women’s race. “I am so incredibly happy to finish second!” she gushed on the finish line. “I was nervous given the strong field of Kiwis and Aussies that were here and I was desperately hoping to finish in the top three.”
“To finish so close to Teneale (Hatton) and cross the finish line a few second after her, I couldn’t be happier. I couldn’t think of a better way to come second!” the Euro Steel/Carbonology Sport racer added.
Behind her there was a tense race for the last spot on the podium which saw Kiwi Rachel Clarke just edge out Euro Steel/Fenn Kayak’s Jenna Ward while her Blue Lagoon training partner Nikki Russell rounded out the top five.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – Hong Kong Dragon Run – World Surfski Series
1.Hank McGregor RSA 1:32:30
2.Cory Hill AUS 1:32:48
3.Sean Rice RSA 1:34:03
4.Matt Bouman RSA 1:35:21
5.Dawid Mocké RSA 1:36:35
6.Caine Eksteen AUS 1:36:55
7.Kenny Rice RSA 1:38:16
8.Jasper Mocké RSA 1:39:47
9.Austen Kiefer USA 1:39:57
10.Ian Black RSA 1:40:19
1.Teneale Hatton NZL 1:52:47
2.Hayley Nixon RSA 1:53:20
3.Rachel Clark NZL 1:55:05
4.Jenna Ward RSA 1:55:08
5.Nikki Russell RSA 1:58:08