The cream of the country’s marathon paddlers battled the cold Cape conditions and world-class fields on the first day of the SA Canoe Marathon Championships at Zandvlei on Friday, 21 May 2021, with some of the discipline’s established stars laying down early markers.
Bridgitte Hartley oozed class as she demolished the field in the senior women’s short course in the afternoon.
Durban’s rising star Saskia Hockly was peerless amongst her scholar challengers in winning the female equivalent, putting substantial space between herself and one of the stars of the day, Under 16 paddler Tannah Smith, who clawed her way through the Under 18 field to sound her arrival on the national marathon stage.
The determined Melonie Croeser was the second Under 18 paddler across the line, with Helen Jansen van Vuuren in third.
Hockly, like Hart, made it a double medal-day by going on to claim the senior bronze in the short course race later in the afternoon.
Tannah Smith took the top step on the girls Under 16 podium flanked by Neriyah Dill and Holly Smith. Smith excelled by finishing second overall in the juniors girls race.
On Saturday the day is primary focussed on age group K1 races with the veterans and masters classes before the blue riband senior K1 title deciders.
Day 1 Results at the SA Marathon Canoeing Championships:
1. Bridgitte Hartley 19:44.22
2. Nikki Birkett 19:56.81
3. Saskia Hockly 20:34.13
1. Saskia Hockly 1:23:23.01
2. Melonie Croeser 1:27:18.27
3. Helen Jansen van Vuuren 1:31:57.49
1. Tannah Smith 1:27:16.31
2. Neriyah Dill 1:29:36.06
3. Holly Smith 1:30:59.80
1. Ruby Petersen 1:17:02.41
2. Tia Hector 1:18:50.84
3. Emma Privett 1:19:08.82
Photo 1 Caption: Bridgitte Hartley oozed class as she demolished the field in the senior women’s short course on the first day of the SA Marathon Championships at Zandvlei on Friday, 21 May 2021. Photo: SAfmRadio (Twitter)
With editing by gsport