DURBAN – Canoe king, Hank McGregor (Jeep Team), continued his world-class reign of legendary back-to-back victories to claim his fourth Investec Mauritius Ocean Classic title on Saturday, 2 July 2016.
The 26km event, which took place near Black River, Mauritius, also doubled as Round 1 of the 2016 ICF Ocean Racing World Cup, which is a new, three-part series on the world surfski calendar.
Paddlers faced rough 25-knot downwind conditions at Saturday’s race, with McGregor commenting that “conditions were pretty wild out there, it was super cool! There were some wide-eyed paddlers.”
It was a close race against McGregor (Jeep Team), with Australia’s Cory Hill and Michael Booth, and South Africa’s Jasper Mocké and Barry Lewin (Jeep Team), all battling it out for the title until the final two kilometres where McGregor edged ahead to claim the win in 1h08. Hill finished 2nd in 1h09, followed by Booth in 3rd (1h10), Mocké 4th (1h11m30) and Lewin 5th (1h11m57).
Said McGregor, “The final 2km saw us head into the notorious Le Morne Pass, where it’s a hard slog against strong headwinds to the end. I was able to get the lead going into this point, managing to keep it at three hundred metres all the way to the finish. I’m stoked with my fourth win here in a top-class field. The Mauritius Ocean Classic is one of my favourite surfski events as it is a very family-orientated race. This year, my wife Pippa and son Thorsten were here with me, and it was awesome to have their support!”
Said Lewin, “I’m stoked with my 5th place finish in Mauritius. Love racing the top guys in the world, and the challenge of a wild ocean. Can’t wait for next year.”
Round 2 of the ICF Ocean Racing World Cup, the Nelo Summer Challenge, takes place in Portugal this weekend, 8 – 10 July 2016. The third and final event is happening in Tahiti in September 2016.
It’s turning into another remarkable year for canoe king McGregor as he proves an unbeatable force in world surfski.
At the end of May, he conquered the world’s toughest surfski ultra marathon, the 53km Maui Jim Molokai Surfski Challenge in Hawaii, for a third time. Just a few days later, he won the world’s oldest surfski event, the Illovo Pirates Umhlanga Pirates Surfski Race, in Durban.
Then on 29 June, McGregor claimed victory at the FNB Durban Downwind, which is a 2016 World Surfski Series title event.
In-between these surfski races, he also won the K1 title at the 2016 South African Canoe Marathon Championships in Cape Town, a result which has qualified him for the 2016 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships taking place in Germany later this year.
2016 INVESTEC MAURITIUS OCEAN CLASSIC RESULTS:
- Hank McGregor (SA) – 1:08:46
- Cory Hill (AUS) – 1:09:43
- Michael Booth (AUS) – 1:10:18
- Jasper Mocké (SA) – 1:11:30
- Barry Lewin (SA) – 1:11:57