McGregor’s paddling series hits Durban

In an evening of fun, Hank McGregor paired up with Glenda Austin at the second race of the McGregor Paddle Series at Blue Lagoon last week.

When you are good, you are good – when you are the best in the world, you can get a whole series named after you.

As is the case for Salt Rock’s Hank McGregor, whose 2017 Euro Steel McGregor Paddle Series just completed its second leg in Durban.

The Bidvest McCarthy Toyota Durban North Race at Blue Lagoon started with a bang, setting a new record for entries for the fun series aimed as much at beginners as the elite stars.

In the men’s category Clinton Cook and Thomas Lovemore took top spot while Hayley Nixon and Michelle Burn claimed the win for the ladies.

The series is the brainchild of multiple Marathon World Champion McGregor and his wife Pippa, and is more about enticing people to the sport of marathon paddling with a distinct emphasis on giving back.

“We had a fantastic event and I am incredibly humbled by the amount of paddlers we had taking part,” McGregor commented.

“There must have been close to 250 paddlers taking part which is definitely a series record!”

As South Africa’s finest gear up for the 2017 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in Pietermaritzburg in September, the McGregor Series provides a platform for paddlers to get in some competitive action ahead of the international showpiece in six weeks time.

It was a strong performance from Hayley Nixon (left) and Michelle Burn (right) as they took the ladies race win.

“We had some of the big guns from the past as well as the present out there, the likes of Ant Stott and Matthew Bouman were racing against Tom Lovemore and Clint Cook for the win.

Growing the sport is the main objective for McGregor and although the sheer numbers took him aback, the number of young paddlers taking part was another pleasant surprise.

“The biggest surprise for me was the number of development paddlers and guppies that we had.

“Those are the areas of the sport that we need to focus on and to see them participating and racing full throttle was fantastic!”

Race Three of the 2017 Euro Steel McGregor Paddle Series will take paddlers to Pietermaritzburg on August 18 for the FNB Race. Visit mcgregorpaddleseries.co.za for more information.

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  AUTHOR
Allan Troskie
Journalist

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