Under 23 star paddler Hamish Lovemore stunned the national marathon championship at Zandvlei on Saturday by upstaging former world champions Andy Birkett and Hank McGregor to retain the key men’s K1 gold medal that he sensationally won in St Francis last year, just hours after he decided to add the event to his packed racing schedule for the weekend.
Lovemore, who won the Under 23 K1 title on Friday, had originally opted not to race on Saturday to save his energy for the defence of the senior K2 title with McGregor on Sunday, but after feeling strong and well recovered from his race, he dropped an eleventh-hour entry.
Much of the men’s seven-lap title decider was contested by a fast-paced six-boat lead bunch, which included Nicky Notten, Alex Masina and Kenny Rice, and saw both Birkett and McGregor slip and fall midway through the race on the slippery wooden jetty at the portage put-in.
Lovemore had already secured his place to the ICF Marathon Worlds in Romania in his chosen Under 23 category, meaning that McGregor and Birkett finishing second and third, snapped up the two senior K1 places in the national squad to the world champs.
In the senior women’s K1 race Bridgitte Hartley underscored her superb form by following her comprehensive short course win on Friday with a masterful victory in the women’s title decider, holding off strong challenges from Jenna Nisbet and Melanie van Niekerk.
Peeling off the front women’s bunch one lap earlier Christie Mackenzie, who had been a consistent driving force in that front bunch, took the end-sprint for the Under 23 women’s title from a dogged Kira Bester.
Earlier, the junior K2 racing and the masters racing set the tone for an exciting day of competition as the well-subscribed categories provided engaging racing in the morning session.
The Michaelhouse duo of Matt Millward and Jack Edmonds grabbed the Under 18 K2 gold, giving Millward the boys double gold, while Georgina Howard and Melonie Croeser grabbed the Under 18 girls’ equivalent.
Lungelo Shange and Smilo Mthethwa brought home the Under 16 boys K2 title, with a comprehensive performance from Holly Smith and Georgia Singe earned them the girls Under 16 laurels.
The weekend of marathon racing ends on Sunday with K2 title deciders for the veterans and masters before the senior doubles take to the waters of Zandvlei.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
SA MARATHON CHAMPS DAY TWO
SENIOR MEN K1
1.Hamish Lovemore 2:04:50
2.Hank McGregor 2:04:52
3.Andy Birkett 2:04:52
SENIOR WOMEN K1
1.Bridgitte Hartley 2:01:24
2.Jenna Nisbet 2:01:25
3.Melanie van Niekerk 2:01:25
UNDER 23 WOMEN
2.Kira Bester 1:41:16
3.Jade Wilson 1:45:45
Under 18 Boys K2
1. Matthew Millward/Jack Edmonds 1:26:24
2. Joshua Simpkins/Matthew Coetzer 1:27:05
3. Luke Jean le Roux/Dyllan Farrell 1:28:30
Under 18 Girls K2
1. Georgina Howard/Melonie Croeser 1:21:28
2. Helen Jansen van Vuuren/Naomi Peterson 1:27:43
3. Tayla Isaac/Sarah Jones 1:29:06
Under 16 Boys K2
1. Lungelo Shange/Smilo Mthethwa 1:41:00
2. Jeraldo Platjies/William Beyers 1:42:33
3. Wailin Martins/Breyton Simons 1:44:30
Under 16 Girls K2
1. Holly Smith/Georgia Singe 1:21:37
2. Valmajean Hockly/Tannah Smith 1:23:04
3. Neriyah Dill/Amy Duffett 1:31:39
Under 14 Boys
1.Cody Stallard/Ryley Smith 1:01:18
2.Ayanda Mpiti/Nkanyezi/HGlongwane 1:06:08
3.Jess Webber/Owethu Duna 1:06:48
Under 14 Girls
1.Emma Privett/Ruby Petersen 1:10:52
2.Jahkyda Tiras/Tia Hector 1:16:19
3.Whitney Appolis/Amber Daries 1:28:18
1. Michael Arthur 1:34:34
2. Alex Roberts 1:35:04
3. Ian Black 1:36:53
1. Wayne Jacobs 1:32:42
2. Bevan Manson 1:35:05
3. Riccardo Talevi 1:39:59
1. Graeme Solomon 1:34:53
2. Kelvin Byres 1:36:25
3. Paul Marais 1:36:28
1. Gustav Radlof 1:34:59
2. Michael Stewart 1:34:59
3. Ian Trautman 1:35:01
Sub Grand Masters
1. Brendon Thompson 1:39:40
2. Rob Hart 1:39:47
3. Eugene van der Westhuizen 1:40:12
1. Pierre van der Merwe 1:42:58
2. Theo Smit 1:42:59
3. Colin Simpkins 1:44:04
Grand Grand Masters
1. Chris Visser 1:27:28
2. Rob Welsh 1:27:32
3. Allan Hold 1:27:33
1. Ron Maclean 1:27:29
2. Peter O’Conner 1:37:03
3. Mike Staphorst 1:37:59
1. Angie Austen (V) 1:30:38
2. Lis Hart (SGM) 1:36:25
3. Caroline Filmalter (V) 1:36:56
4. Sarah Evans (SM) 1:39:55
5. Robyn Henderson (SM) 1:39:56