PIETERMARITZBURG – Just days after winning the world’s toughest surfski ultra marathon, the Maui Jim Molokai Challenge in Hawaii, Jeep Team’s Hank McGregor was back racing on home turf, this time claiming victory at the world’s oldest surfski event, the Illovo Pirates Umhlanga Pirates Surfski Race, which took place in Durban on Sunday, 5 June.
McGregor finished the 27km race in 1h59, followed by Matt Bouman in second place (2h05m30) and Wade Krieger in 3rd in 2h05m55. Luke Nisbet placed 4th in 2h07m26, with Jeep Team’s Barry Lewin in 5th (2h07m42).
The first Pirates Umhlanga Pirates Surfski Race took place in 1957, which makes it the oldest surfski race in the world, and cements Durban’s status as the birthplace of surfski.
Said McGregor, “It was a really solid day for me and I am really happy to get another win here even though I am still battling with a bit of jet lag. There was a good following tail wind all the way to Umhlanga. The wind was against the current so you felt like you were going faster than you actually were and then on the return, we were with the current but into the wind, which made it a pretty tough day out. I managed to get quite a big lead on Matt Bouman early on, and then I turned with the doubles so that gave me a good incentive into the final leg.”
After making headlines across the country for his surfski achievements over recent weeks, McGregor’s focus now shifts to the 2016 South African Canoe Marathon Championships in Cape Town on 11 and 12 June 2016.
“We have the South African Marathon Champs, which is also the national trials for the World Champs in Germany later this year, so I will hopefully be selected so I can defend my World Marathon title,” said McGregor.
2016 ILLOVO PIRATES UMHLANGA PIRATES SURFSKI RESULTS -25km
1. Hank Mcgregor – 1:59:16.64
2. Matthew Bouman – 2:05:30.76
3. Wade Krieger – 2:05:55.09
4. Luke Nisbet – 2:07:26.23
5. Barry Lewin – 2:07:42.37
Other Jeep Team results
Jeep Team’s OCR athlete, Carina Marx, showed her mettle when she competed in Race#3 of the tough IMPI Challenge, which took place at Virginia Trails in Eston, KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday, 4 June.
Marx raced in the IMPI Elite category, which is a 20km trail run approximately 26 to 28 obstacles. She achieved an impressive 2nd place finish in 2h26m. Trish Bahlmann won the women’s race in 2h20m, with Catherine Robson placing 3rd in 2h46m.
Said Marx, “The Impi Challenge took place in a stunning venue, but that was quickly forgotten by competitors as we faced the tough course consisting of cavernous tracks, kloofing, mud running and a swim through icy water. I had to dig deep to keep up with Trish [Bahlman], who is a strong trail runner, and I managed to finish just a few minutes behind her. All in all it was a great race!”