Birkett and Hartley win the Fish River Canoe Marathon – SAPeople

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Cradock – Andy Birkett and Bridgitte Hartley were crowned SA K1 River Champions after scoring victories in the men’s and women’s races at the 40th Fish River Canoe Marathon on Saturday. By Dave MacLeod.

A week after winning the world marathon title, Birkett showed his class and form by adding four more minutes to his overnight lead as he completed a clear final stage to win the title.

With no pressure Birkett said he was able to enjoy the 38 kilometer second stage from Knutsford to the finish in Cradock.

“I had a lot of fun on the river today,” said the East London-based Euro Steel ace.

“Nerves always go through the roof at Cradock Weir. You never know in Cradock. You could bathe and swim for a long time. Luckily I was clean on the river today,” said Birkett.

Watched by the crowds on the banks, race winner Andy Birkett negotiates Cradock Weir during the final stage of the 2022 Fish River <a class=Canoe Marathon on Saturday.” class=”size-large wp-image-235729″ data-aspect-ratio=”0.67″ data-height=”464″ data-index=”1013″ data-mrf-caption=”Watched by crowds on the banks, race winner Andy Birkett negotiates Cradock Weir on final stage of the 2022 Fish River Canoe Marathon on Saturday. Photo: Bruce Viaene/Gameplan Media” src=”https://www.sapeople.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/66E5C76D-952F-4352-B0F8-0DFEEB997A33-900×600.jpeg” srcset=”https://www.sapeople.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/66E5C76D-952F-4352-B0F8-0DFEEB997A33-900×600.jpeg 900w, https://www.sapeople.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/66E5C76D-952F-4352-B0F8-0DFEEB997A33-300×200.jpeg 300w, https://www.sapeople.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/66E5C76D-952F-4352-B0F8-0DFEEB997A33-768×512.jpeg 768w, https://www.sapeople.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/66E5C76D-952F-4352-B0F8-0DFEEB997A33-1536×1025.jpeg 1536w, https://www.sapeople.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/66E5C76D-952F-4352-B0F8-0DFEEB997A33-696×464.jpeg 696w, https://www.sapeople.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/66E5C76D-952F-4352-B0F8-0DFEEB997A33-1068×712.jpeg 1068w, https://www.sapeople.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/66E5C76D-952F-4352-B0F8-0DFEEB997A33-630×420.jpeg 630w, https://www.sapeople.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/66E5C76D-952F-4352-B0F8-0DFEEB997A33.jpeg 2000w” data-width=”696″ sizes=”(max-width: 696px) 100vw, 696px” bad-src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAD/ACwAAAAAAQABAAACADs%3D”/>
Watched by the crowds on the banks, race winner Andy Birkett negotiates Cradock Weir during the final stage of the 2022 Fish River Canoe Marathon on Saturday. Photo: Bruce Viaene/
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Birkett added that since his move to the Eastern Cape he had appreciated the intensity of the Borders training squad and highlighted the performances of Josh Fenn in Portugal and Matt Fenn on the overall fish podium as champions. under 23 years old.

The victory follows Birkett’s victory in the K2 championship race with Nicky Notten last year, making him one of the race’s few back-to-back champions.

Clinton Cook took runner-up honours, edging out local Matt Fenn, who won gold in South Africa’s under-23 canoeing.

Since his time-out departure, Hartley said his first challenge was to join a fast-paced group of male paddlers.

Bridgitte Hartley successfully defended her Women's Fish K1 title in the final leg of the 2022 Fish River Canoe Marathon on Saturday.
Bridgitte Hartley successfully defended her Women’s Fish K1 title in the final leg of the 2022 Fish River Canoe Marathon on Saturday. Photo: Bruce Viaene/
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“It was super hard! A few weeks ago I did a time trial and the guys really worked me out, so I decided I had to stick with this group and work hard,” said the Games bronze medalist. London Olympics in 2012.

“I lost the group over Gauging Weir but decided to paddle into myself and make sure I didn’t make a mistake,” she added.

The reward for his efforts was the luxury of opting for the portage around Cradock Weir before completing the twenty minute victory procession to the finish at Cradock Sports Complex to successfully defend his K1 Fish title.

The women’s podium was rocked by the omission of Christie Mackenzie, who missed her morning A start, assuming she was starting on time. She finished second overall for the fastest women, but was omitted from the official results by race officials.

It left the door open for Jordy Peek to win the silver medal and Kirsten Scott to sneak onto the bottom step of the women’s podium, and allowed Tracey Oellerman to win the CSA Under-23 gold medal. .

Women's race winner Bridgitte Hartley in action during the final stage of the 2022 Fish River Canoe Marathon on Saturday.
Women’s race winner Bridgitte Hartley in action during the final stage of the 2022 Fish River Canoe Marathon on Saturday. Photo: Bruce Viaene/
Game plan media

Matt Fenn took full advantage of his victory in the Men’s Under-23 division while Jack Shooter took the Under-18 gold medal.

As the race focused its attention on the K1 as a singles championship year, the only boat beaten to finish by Andy Birkett was the K3 of Ricci Talevi, Nic Weeks and Mike Arthur. Emma Hatfield and Brad Boulle’s mixed doubles was the first K2 to finish.

As the race toasted winners in all age categories, there was a special moment when Rory Anderson was called up to receive the first-ever Fish Hawk award as the first paddler to complete 40 fishing marathons, and the staggering feat of completing each edition. of the popular Eastern Cape classic since its inception in 1982.

More information can be found at www.fishmarathon.org.za.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS – Fish River Canoe Marathon (second stage – from Knutsford to Cradock)

Globally

1Andy Birkett 2:04:21.05 4:59:08.80

3Clinton Cook 2:08:32.79 5:10:21.59

4 Matthew Fenn (U23) 2:08:49.56 5:10:38.94

5 Greg Louw 2:10:17.26 5:12:07.24

6 David Evans (U23) 2:11:18.43 5:16:20.12

7 Scott Little (U23) 2:12:39.26 5:17:40.33

8Wayne Jacobs 2:11:08.42 5:17:59.04

9 Thomas Lovemore 2:12:10.77 5:19:02.51

10 Jack DeSwardt (U23) 2:11:03.72 5:19:26.72

Women

1 Brigitte Hartley 2:24:19.00 5:49:07.63

2 Jordan Peek 2:28:47.35 5:59:58.68

3 Kirstin Scott 2:33:55.20 6:15:39.98

4 Tracey Oellermann (U23) 2:34:46.69 6:19:53.99

5 Tracey Van Der Walt 2:32:48.03 6:20:34,26

Boys under 18

1 Jack Shooter 2:16:54.16 5:31:11.84

2 Joshua Glyn-Cuthbert 2:20:20.40 5:43:49.72

3 James Sharpe 2:25:31.90 5:47:32.29

4 Ian Hemingway 2:24:59.67 5:52:17.12

5 Jacques Goble 2:21:22.35 5:55:30,09

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