Hank McGregor took his 13th win in the Mountain River Canoe Marathon this weekend.
The 45-year-old McGregor completed the grueling 240 km over four shifts from the Paarl to Velddrif in a time of 17:10:16.
McGregor entered this year’s marathon at the last minute and finished in the front group of four during the first stage. After a difficult start during the second shift and after a series of mistakes, McGregor fought back to take the lead during the third shift.
During Saturday’s final stage, McGregor broke away over the final 10km to increase his lead. Jeremy Maher was second, while Tom Lovemore rowed across the finish line in third.
“It’s always great to get to the end and of course it’s always something special to win,” McGregor said. “Win number 13 for me… I never thought I would win so many times.”
McGregor first won the Mountain River Canoe Marathon in 2000, when he was just 22 years old, and was unbeaten from 2005 to 2012 with eight consecutive wins.
21-year-old Christy Shrimpton dominated the women’s division, taking the lead over all four shifts. She completed the marathon in a time of 20:36:07. Three-time winner Bianca Beavitt was second after she crossed the finish line about half an hour later, followed by Ansune Basson an hour later.
1. Hank McGregor 17:10:16 (4:12:18, 3:13:53, 5:23:11, 4:20:52)
2. Jeremy Maher 17:12:52 (4:12:15, 3:16:13, 5:23:10, 4:21:11)
3. Tom Lovemore 17:14:12 (4:12:17, 3:16:12, 5:23:10, 4:22:32)
1. Christy Shrimpton 20:36:07 (4:53:12, 4:00:46, 6:12:25, 5:29:43)
2. Bianca Beavitt 21:07:10 (5:03:01, 4:04:06, 6:23:20, 5:36:41)
3. Ansune Basson 22:17:28 (5:08:29, 4:32:55, 6:50:03, 5:45:59)