McGregor starts 2018 with a bang

Hank McGregor won his second FastDrak title on the weekend, and says he is will be hungry for a fourth title at the 2018 N3TC Drak Challenge on the uMzimkhulu River later this month. Photo: Anthony Grote / Gameplan Media.

Ten time surfski world champion Hank McGregor showed ominous signs of his best form to start 2018 as he won his second title at the tough 60km FastDrak race in the build-up to the important N3TC Drak Challenge on January 20 and 21.

A relaxed and measured McGregor mastered the low uMzimkhulu River and the challenges from several elite races to canter home to win the endurance outing that covers the full course of the two-day Drak Challenge in a solitary outing, with two added portages.

“It was so good to be able to race the entire Drak course against such a strong field,” said Team Euro Steel star McGregor.

“It was great racing in a beautiful part of the country, with my family there to support me.”

McGregor won the prestigious Drak title three years on the trot from 2010 to 2012, but since then has been on the losing end of a number of thrilling duels on the uMzimkhulu, in recent years to Andy Birkett.

McGregor will be teaming up with Birkett for the FNB Dusi in February, but will have to deal with his K2 partner as his toughest opponent on the water during January’s Drak Challenge, as Birkett has won the last four editions of the race.

“I am really looking forward to racing Andy (Birkett) at the Drak. It has basically been the two of us over the last few years, and the margins have been so small,” he said.

“The fact that we are team mates for the Dusi just makes it more appealing.”

For McGregor, who will turn 40 a few days after the Drak Challenge this year, getting his name back onto the Drak trophy will have a strong appeal.

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  AUTHOR
Allan Troskie
Journalist

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