Birkett and Louw snatch SA K2 title in dramatic Breede

Andy Birkett and Greg Louw pulled off a stunning victory in the two day Breede River Canoe Marathon that decided the SA K2 River Marathon title on the weekend, edging out world marathon champion Hank McGregor and his partner Jasper Mocké in a thrilling endsprint into the finish at Kambati Resort outside Swellendam, while Alex Adie and Nikki Mocké dominated the women’s race.
The two crews started the second stage of the race side by side after a needle first stage, raced on a medium level river from Robertson to Bonnievale, with both crews using the event to fine tune their preparations for the World Marathon Championships K2 race in the USA in three weeks’ time.
The title decider came down to an endsprint through the heavily treed channels into Kambati, with Birkett and Louw breaking away to set up a straight shoot out with McGregor and Jasper Mocké which they clinched by the slimmest of margins.
KZN schoolboys Damon Stamp and Alan Houston won a thrilling juniors race from Stuart Bristow and Bryan le Roux.
The women’s title fell comfortably to Alex Adie and Nikki Mocké, almost ten minutes clear of Kirsten Penderis and Olympic sprint medalist Bridgitte Hartley, with Robyn Henderson and Bianca Beavitt wrapping up the last spot on the women’s podium.
Dusi champ Lance Kime was the first K1 home, winning an arm wrestle with Owen Gandar and Andrew Houston. The trio of Richard Kohler, Mark Dykes and Judy Goodspeed taking the K3 class in 43rd overall.
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Alex Adie (left) and Nikki Mocké raced away to claim the women’s title at the SA K2 River Marathon Champs at the Breede River Canoe Marathon. (Pic: John Hishin Gameplan Media)

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Greg Louw (left) and Andy Birkett edge out Jasper Mocké and Hank McGregor in the final endsprint to win the SA K2 River Marathon Champs at the Breede River Canoe Marathon. (Pic: John Hishin Gameplan Media)