Jasper Mocké and Bianca Beavitt scooped the SA K1 River Marathon titles for 2017 after posting emphatic wins at the Pink Lady Drakenstein Canoe Race on the weekend on a technically demanding low Berg River.
For Beavitt, the win was an ideal dress rehearsal for the defence of her Berg River Canoe Marathon title in less than a month’s time, but for Mocké the win was special, as he won’t be contesting the four day race from Paarl to the West Coast.
“This is my first SA K1 River title, which means a lot to me,” said the Euro Steel/Mocké Racing athlete, who has confirmed that he will be racing surfski events in Portugal, Canada and then in the USA while the Berg River Canoe Marathon is being held in July.
“Particularly with Jakub Adam racing well, there was no way I could let a foreigner take the SA K1 title, particularly in my back yard,” he quipped.
Mocké said that he had tried to break away in the early stages of the first stage of the race from Gouda to Bridgetown, but had run aground on a sandbank close to the Train Bridge.
“When I was caught by Jakub (Adam) and Solly (Graeme Solomon) I realized that the wise thing to do would be to stay with them because Solomon knows the section of river through the forest so well. That was a very wise choice,” he added.
On the second stage from Paarl to Skooltjie Mocké was able to get away right at the start, thanks to a fast portage around the weir in Paarl.
“I was surprised that I got away, and decided to make the other guys work to try and catch me, and they never came back,” he said.
“That turned the final stage into a 22 kilometre time trial as Jakub stayed about twenty seconds behind me for most of the way,” said Mocké.
Adam, the Czech Republic racer who spends most of his time in South Africa nowadays, finished second, with Graeme Solomon (Bamboo Warehouse) solidly in third, and the first sub-master paddler across the line.
Schoolboy Uli Hart produced standout performance, winning his Under 16 category, beating home his dad Rob Hart, who won the Masters category, and his older brother Anders.
Rob Maclean, in twentieth place overall, won the national Great Grand Masters title.
For Mocké, this coming weekend presents a rare opportunity as he travels to Durban for the FNB Durban Downwind which will decide the SA Single Surfski titles for 2017, and the prospect of netting back to back national titles inside a fortnight. He will have to get the better of defending champion Hank McGregor to achieve that.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
PINK LADY DRAKENSTEIN RACE – SA K1 CHAMPS
1.Jasper Mocké 3:46:26
2.Jakub Adam 3:47:40
3.Graeme Solomon 3:52:09 (1st Sub-Master)
4.Tyrone Maher 3:58:31 (1st Under 23)
5.Mark Keeling 4:03:36
1.Bianca Beavitt 4:24:10
2.Melanie Van Niekerk 4:36:04
3.Christie-Jo Mackenzie 4:38:05
4.Robyn Henderson 4:53:07
5.Alex Adie 4:55:50