Hamish Lovemore returns for Berg River Canoe Marathon action

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Rising canoeing star Hamish Lovemore will return to the Berg River Canoe Marathon this year hoping to build on his experience leading the race in 2021.

Last year, Lovemore battled for most of the four days with race winner Andy Birkett and perennial podium finisher Hank McGregor, eventually finishing in third place overall.

The Under-23 star burst into the spotlight in 2021 when he won the senior K1 and K2 races at the SA Marathon Championship and this year he will put his all into it again, hoping to be selected for the ICF national team. Canoe Marathon World Championships in Portugal later in the year.

Looking back on his efforts at Berg in 2021, Lovemore, who won Berg’s title in the 2019 tag team format with Tyron Maher, thinks he’s had to fine-tune his training as he has longer-term plans in mind. .

Lovemore said:

“Last year I think I trained too much for the Berg and had to take three months off because I injured my back. This year I’m approaching the race with much less pressure. about myself, although I definitely go there to try to win – I try to win every race I enter.

“At the moment though, I haven’t given the Berg too much thought because we have SA Marathon Championships coming up next week,” he said. This year’s race will start at the prestigious Val de Vie estate in Paarl and will add 10km to the start of the race, which Lovemore says should not be skipped.

“On an original 50km stage, adding another 10km, people might not find that, but it will definitely complicate things!

“This year’s race has added deck prizes and time incentives which will definitely make the race more interesting.

“In the past, the race was won on day two, so being able to save time each day through these checkpoints makes the race exciting throughout,” he added.

Lovemore’s laid-back nature means he doesn’t show too much emotion on and off the water, but he looks forward to a good battle. “I want to go out there and have a lot of fun.

“Racing [McGregor] is ruthless, but we’re such good friends that I look forward to racing with him every time,” Lovemore added enthusiastically.

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