Multiple Fish River Canoe Marathon winner Hank McGregor and his partner Hamish Lovemore will be in a race against time to get to this year’s race from 8-9 October after they return from the Marathon World Championships in Romania.
The pair will be representing South Africa in the men’s K2 and the men’s K1 events at the World Championships and will have to make sure they are not delayed on leaving Europe on Sunday, 3 October if they are to make it to Cradock in time.
“It’s nothing unusual to be honest, it’s something we’ve had to deal with for a few years now,” Euro Steel’s McGregor said. “Travelling for four days is something that we are used to now and we’ll just take it as it comes when we get down there.
“We’re going to be tired and the risk of getting sick while travelling is high so we are just going to head to the Fish to have a good time after the World Championships.”
McGregor’s focus is the marathon world championships given that he has missed out on the event for the past two years. He missed the 2019 event in China due to illness and then the Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the event in 2020.
He knows that getting a win at the SA K2 River Championships is going to be difficult given the calibre of the field that will be on display.
“It’s going to be really difficult for us to refocus 72 hours later and get into our river boat and take on crews that have the Fish as their main focus.
“We are definitely looking at the World Champs as the primary focus because we have been working really hard for that, but we will definitely try our hardest when we get down to Cradock.
“There are crews that won’t be in Romania that will be preparing for the SA K2 championships so we will have our work cut out for us that’s for sure!”
McGregor will be racing in his nineteenth Fish this year and his partner Lovemore will be racing his fifth but the Under-23 star’s form this year has been scintillating after he raced to both the senior men’s K1 and K2 titles at the national marathon championships.
“We train together every week and he’s probably the partner that I’ve seen the most of which has helped our partnership grow.
“We get on really well and Hamish goes in with that nothing to lose attitude so we do work well together in the boat,” McGregor added.
The Fish continues to be a bucket list race for paddlers from all over the country and this year will see the race return following a break due to the pandemic last year. McGregor and his family are looking forward to getting back to the Klein Karoo for another exciting weekend.
“The Fish hasn’t changed and it’s always such a special race with the guaranteed water that you get and the competition is always really strong.
“We always enjoying going down and everyone seems to have a really good time every year,” he mentioned.