Canoeing South Africa
31 May 2017
Busy weekend abroad for SA paddlers
Durban – With the winter months taking hold in South Africa, many local
paddlers have shifted their focus to international waters and this past
weekend saw surfski paddlers shining in Hawaii while two sprinters were in
action in Hungary.
The stand-out performances from the South African paddlers came at the Maui
Jim Molokai Challenge where it was a South African-dominated podium with
three of the top five places going to South Africans.
Taking the overall win was Sean Rice, who nudged out current World Surfski
Series Champion Hank McGregor with Australian Cory Hill taking third. Jasper
Mocké finished fourth with another Australian, Clint Robinson, taking fifth.
Think Kayaks’ Rice lined up against a formidable field but it was more than
just a strong lineup that made the win special.
“This has to be one of my most special wins that’s for sure!” he beamed.
“The Molokai is always really tough, but this year it had an extra sting.
There was very little wind, but enough movement in the water to split
everyone up from the very early stages.
“That, combined with the heat and a big south swell, made it hard to get
across the channel. The last hour felt like an eternity!
“I’m very happy to finally win the Molokai, but doing it while racing the
best guys makes it extra special for me. I’ve wanted this result for a long
Rice’s year does not get any easier with a number of races all over the
world, including the all-important ICF Surfski World Championships in
"I still have a long year of racing ahead, there are races in Portugal and
North America that I will be focused on in July and then of course the
Surfski World Championships in Hong Kong later this year.
“I’m also going back to my roots with some sprinting at the Sprint World
Champs in August,” he explained.
In Europe this past weekend, the second ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup took
place in Szeged, Hungary, and this saw two South African sprinters, Esti van
Tonder and Chrisjan Coetzee take on the world’s best.
Van Tonder and Coetzee both took part in the same events as in the first
World Cup in Portugal: the 200m K1 and 500m K1 for Van Tonder; and the 200m
K1 for Coetzee. At that World Cup in Montemor-0-Velho, Van Tonder qualified
for the A Final in 500m K1 event while Coetzee won his 200m K1 B Final.
Unfortunately the pair could not replicate that form in Hungary with the
best result being a seventh in the 200m K1 C-Final for Van Tonder.
“These last two weeks have been bitter sweet for me,” Van Tonder mentioned.
“I feel like I've learned what I wanted to in terms of my race plan and the
areas I will be focussing leading up to World Champs in August.
“But, on the other hand, I also feel like I lost out a bit at the second
World Cup with my results not being what I wanted them to be.”
More information can be found at
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It was a terrific weekend for
Western Cape's Sean Rice as he took home his maiden Maui Jim Molokai
Challenge title against an impressive field.
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