World Championship Bronze And History Made For Hamish At The Breede River Canoe Marathon

by | Sep 5, 2022 | Paddle, Canoeing Racing News, Events & Racing

It was quite the weekend for South African paddling! One of South Africa’s premier marathon paddlers Hamish Lovemore added a sprint world championship bronze to his growing list of achievements in the Under 23 men’s 5000m final in Szeged on Sunday while the annual Breede River Canoe Marathon in Swellendam saw a unique set of victories! Read all about it below.

Lovemore showed his strong form ahead of the upcoming ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships with his result this weekend at the Junior & Under 23 Sprint Championships.

Hamish Lovemore At Breede River Canoe Marathon
PC: Bence Vekkassy

His goal was the overall win however things didn’t go quite his own way through the race but he did well to finish on the podium and earn a first Under 23 men’s medal at the sprint world championships. 

“I was a bit disappointed but I had to make a race of it,” Lovemore said. 

“I missed the buoy on the third lap and I had to burn all my energy to catch back up but that’s how it goes.

“It’s not the end of the season yet for me. I’ve got two more big races and go and do what I love and race some marathons in Portugal.”

Lovemore’s performance brings down the curtain on the championship for team South Africa. 

It was a strong week of racing for Lovemore who also made the A Final for the 1000m in the Under 23 age category and finished eighth.

The week’s racing was an important learning curve for the next generation of South African sprinters.

President of Canoeing South Africa Kim Pople was encouraged by the team’s performances throughout the week’s action.

“I think the best thing from the team was the personal best results,” Pople said. “We might not have got out of the heats but for the paddlers to achieve personal bests that’s all we can ask for.

“Hamish made the 1000m A Final which is an Olympic discipline and then finished off with a bronze which was a great way for the team to finish.

“We cannot wait for next year’s World Championships and are keen to get home with some new ideas as we build to 2023.” 

Meanwhile back in Swellendam, Hank and Pippa McGregor became the first husband and wife to win the Breede River Canoe Marathon in the same year on Sunday when they wrapped up their respective titles, Hank McGregor romping to victory with Jasper Mocké overall and Pippa McGregor and Jenna Nisbet winning the women’s title convincingly.

World Championship Bronze And History Made For Hamish At The Breede River Canoe Marathon
Women’s race winners Jenna Nisbet (front) and Pippa McGregor negotiate the big drop at Secunda Weir on the first stage of the Breede River Canoe Marathon on Saturday. PC: John Hishin / Gameplan Media

Hank McGregor and Jasper Mocké added a further minute to their four minute overnight lead to complete the 34km final stage from Riggton Farm outside Bonnievale to Kam’Bati Resort near Swellendam on a technical low and dropping Breede River.

“It was a super tricky day because the water was so low – I don’t think we could have paddled on it any lower – but we didn’t have to get out anywhere,” said Mocké.

“We found a good rhythm once again and I think we were very happy to be on our own because the end section was very tricky with all the little channels and trees, so it was a luxury to be coming through there on our own as opposed to racing in a bunch,” said Mocké.

World Championship Bronze And History Made For Hamish At The Breede River Canoe Marathon
The first stage of the Breede River Canoe Marathon started with a flatwater marathon-style six kilometres of Viljoensdrift dam. PC: John Hishin / Gameplan Media

“We sliced the boat open so we were leaking quite a bit of water,” added McGregor. “Jasper was pumping water out of the boat quite a lot, but we managed to get to the finish in the lead.

“It was a great weekend in the Breede valley. Now we can look forward to the world champs in a couple of weeks time,” he said.

It was a fourth Breede title for McGregor, who won it twice with Len Jenkins, and once with Jasper Mocké’s older brother Dawid, while it was Jasper Mocké’s third Breede title following his wins with Tom Schilperoort and Stu MacLaren.

Clint Cook and Tom Lovemore were once again the fastest of the chasing bunch and wrapped up second place overall, while Graeme Solomon and Anders Hart leap-frogged onto the podium from their overnight fifth position.

World Championship Bronze And History Made For Hamish At The Breede River Canoe Marathon
Hank McGregor (front) and Jasper Mocké race away to win the Breede River Canoe Marathon on Sunday. PC: John Hishin / Gameplan Media

In the women’s race the irrepressible Durbanites Jenna Nisbett and Pippa McGregor made the most of the race as part of their training for the ICF Marathon World Championships, pulling away to win from the impressive juniors Holly Smith and Neriyah Dill in second.

“It was a very tough day for us because we started on our own with a crew one minute head of us and another crew two minutes behind us,” said Nisbet.

“We were stuck in no-mans-land but we just went out and focused on our own race,” she added.

They were happy to be caught by the charging crew of Melanie van Niekerk and Sheepers Schoeman, with whom they shared the workload on the flatwater sections in the middle of the final stage.

World Championship Bronze And History Made For Hamish At The Breede River Canoe Marathon
All Hart. Uli Hart (front) and Kenny Rice lead Graeme Solomon and Anders Hart down a rocky rapid on the second stage of the Breede River Canoe Marathon on Sunday. PC: John Hishin / Gameplan Media

Van Niekerk and Schoeman took the mixed doubles title, and the topical  a race-within-a-race as they managed to get home just ahead of the leading all-women’s crew.

Mark Keeling had a much better second stage and wrapped up the K1 division honours from Heinrich Schloms.

The race was held in tribute to iconic local paddler Giel van Deventer who passed away in a tragedy on the final pre- Breede Marathon race. Each paddler wore a commemorative cap on the final stage and the finishers medals all celebrated the life and contribution of Van Deventer.

1 Hank McGregor/Jasper Mocké 1:59:50.08 2:22:59.27 4:22:49.35 
2 Clinton Cook/Thomas Lovemore 2:04:04.71 2:23:44.81 4:27:49.53 
3 Graeme Solomon/Anders Hart 2:04:07.70 2:23:45.79 4:27:53.49 
4 Daniel Jacobs/Murray Starr 2:04:06.24 2:23:59.10 4:28:05.35 
5 Kenneth Rice/Ulvard Hart 2:04:05.57 2:26:23.39 4:30:28.96 
6 David Evans/Robert Pike 2:06:40.97 2:32:10.30 4:38:51.27 
7 Riccardo Talevi/Michael Arthur 2:11:13.88 2:28:37.55 4:39:51.44 
8 Mark Keeling 2:13:06.85 2:33:46.39 4:46:53.24 
9 Dyllan Farrell/Luke Jean Le Roux 2:11:37.13 2:36:25.05 4:48:02.18 
10 John De Villiers/Jermaine Pietersen 2:12:18.91 2:35:44.68 4:48:03.59 
1 Jenna Nisbet/Pippa McGregor 2:13:08.14 2:38:05.25 4:51:13.39 
2 Holly Smith/Neriyah Dill 2:18:31.67 2:40:00.91 4:58:32.58 
3 Candice Murray/Kira Bester 2:18:33.14 2:43:55.07 5:02:28.21 
4 Jordan Peek/Christy Shrimpton 2:28:38.68 2:50:30.57 5:19:09.25 
5 Waris Mills/Iwona Gancarz 2:48:36.37 3:07:24.60 5:56:00.97 

More information can be found at 

Press Release by Gameplan Media

Event Coverage