Hank McGregor will be taking part in the Canoe World Championship coming up in Pietermaritzburg. Photo: John Hishin
Canoeing South Africa have named a team of 73 boats to compete at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships and Masters Cup events at Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg from September 4-12.

With all the fancied paddlers securing their berths in the team by virtue of finishing first or second in the national championship races that doubled as the one-off trial for the worlds, the South African team is exceptionally strong, and features several World Championship title-holders and medallists.

The senior men who grabbed four medals at last year’s world title decider at Brandenberg in Germany are all back, albeit with some changes to the K2 crews.

Hank McGregor and Andy Birkett, who bagged the historic 1-2 for South Africa last year, have retained their places in the men’s K1 team, and will both also feature in the K2 team as well.

McGregor will set out to defend his K2 title with his Cape-based partner Jasper Mocké, after winning the national title last weekend.

Andy Birkett however, will be racing with classy schoolboy Jean van der Westhuyzen, the winner of the junior world title with Louis Hattingh two years ago.

Hattingh has been sidelined by an injury to his left hand suffered during a mishap while woodworking and will not be able to partner Birkett, with whom he won a bronze medal in Germany last year.

Jenna Ward will also have a new partner in her boat, after sensationally winning silver with young Kyeta Purchase in the women’s K2 while both being under 23 years old.

Ward and her training partner Nikki Russell were sublime in their victory in the women’s K2 title decider at Camps Drift last weekend and will take a lot of confidence into the worlds next month.

Purchase will be racing the Women’s Under 23 K1 race with Kerry Segal.

Daveyton-raised Alex Masina was the surprise package in the juniors boys trial, winning the national title emphatically. The teenager, who is now based in Pietermaritzburg to further his canoeing training, was desperately unlucky not to secure a K2 place in the team with the on-form Stewart Little after they broke the rudder off their boat during the Boy’s K2 race.

The large South African team includes K1 and K2 craft for the two day Masters Cup that precedes the World Championships, where the Veteran and Masters classes traditionally see a very strong medal haul by South African paddlers.

K1

Junior girls: Christie Mackenzie, Caitlin Mackenzie

Women U23: Kyeta Purchase, Kerry Segal

Senior women: Bridgitte Hartley, Melanie Van Niekerk

Junior boys: Alex Masina, Ulvard Hart

Men U23: Jean Van Der Westhuyzen, Nicholas Notten

Senior men: Andy Birkett, Hank McGregor

K2

Junior gilrs: Christie Mackenzie/Sabina Lawrie, Amy Peckett/Caitlin Mackenzie

Senior women: Jenna Ward/Nikki Russell, Hayley Nixon/Michelle Burn

Junior boys: Callam Davis/Hamish Lovemore, David Evans/Hamish Mackenzie

Senior men: Hank McGregor/Jasper Mocke, Andy Birkett/Jean Van Der Westhuyzen

SA Masters Cup team

K1

Women

Sub veterans: Melissa Van Rooyen, Debbie Gillet

Veterans: Marion Young, Megan Kelly

Sub masters: Mandy Hoddinott, Anna Clifford Arwidi

Masters: Lis Hart, Robyn Henderson

Sub grand masters: Liz Russell, Hilde Lapere. Grand masters: Beth Burton, Minnie Kretzschmar

Men

Sub veterans: Wayne Jacobs, Ant Stott

Veterans: Jacques Theron, Piers Cruickshanks

Sub masters: Graeme Solomon, Lee McGregor

Masters: Rob Hart, Bruce Pender-Smith

Sub grand masters: Colin Wilson, Hennie Roos

Grand masters: Mat Carlisle, Theo Smit

Sub great grand masters: Allan Hold, Rob Maclean. Sub great great grand masters: Willem Deyzel

K2

Women

Sub veterans: Melissa Van Rooyen/Nicky Irvine, Lyn Bennett/Debbie Gillet

Veterans: Kim Peek/Marion Young

Sub masters: Robyn Henderson/Mandy Hoddinott, Lisa Scott/Lis Hart

Masters: Merrill King/Sonja Bohnsack, Sylvia Nel/Katarzyna Lapacz

Sub grand masters: Beth Burton/Liz Russell, Solly Peckett/Sharlene Mcgilvray

Grand masters: Minnie Kretzschmar/Carrol Evans, Cally Henderson/Jacquie Button

Men

Sub veterans: Matt Gunning/Alex Roberts, Willem Landman/Elton Du Preez

Veterans: Kelvin Herman/Duncan Boyd, Daan Du Toit/Hennie Du Plooy

Sub masters: Gustav Smook/Michael Stewart, Stuart Roberts/Mike Stevens

Masters: Rob Hart/Garth Watters, Bruce Pender-Smith/Eric ildebrandt

Sub grand masters: Bruce Wenke/Linton Hope, Theo Smit/Ronald Pronk

Grand masters: Chris Visser/Mat Carlisle, Markus Burri/Rob Welsh

Sub great grand masters: Allan Hold/Geoff Thompson, Andre Hawarden/Rob Maclean

Sunday Tribune

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