Kira Bester and Pippa McGregor Steam Away to Win Freedom Paddle Around Robben Island

Kira Bester (left) and Pippa McGregor were too strong for their rivals as they won the 27km Prescient Freedom Paddle around Robben Island on Saturday, 27 April, 2024. Photo: Graham Daniel / Gameplan Media

Current South African women’s singles champion Kira Bester and Pippa McGregor were in a class of their own in a strong women’s field to notch up their first victory together when the two took an early advantage win the 27km Prescient Freedom Paddle around Robben Island on Saturday, 27 April, 2024.

Both 2024 champion paddlers have won with different partners in the past, and the pair were never seriously challenged as they powered home in 2:13:43, with a winning margin of 2:44 minutes over defending champions Saskia Hockly and Michelle Burn.

Jenna Nisbet and Christie Mackenzie crossed the finish line in third, and world junior canoeing champions Holly Smith and Georgia Singe placed fourth.

The eventual women’s winners established their dominance early in the race on the downwind paddle to Robben Island, and then had to hold on in the headwind paddle back to the start/finish at Oceana Power Boat Club.

“We went in with a gameplan that was to go super duper hard on the downwind to the island, and hopefully have some strong men who would help pull us around and back into the wind.”

Kira Bester after winning the 27km Prescient Freedom Paddle with Pippa McGregor

“We arrived at the island with two good men’s crews,” said Bester, “But as we got to the harbour they managed to sneak away from us.

“Then the some guys from behind caught us and we worked together. The other women’s boats are very strong and we knew that they were going to be with a bigger bunch of guys, so they probably would have more support coming back into the wind than we did.

“We knew that the only way we really could put a dent into the distance between us and them was to really milk the downwind to the island, and then hang on to whoever was there. Luckily we had people we could work with.

“When we looked back at one point there was a massive, massive group of guys with the girls chasing us, and I think if we hadn’t put that initial distance in they probably would have caught us,” said a relieved Bester.

“I am very stoked with that,” added Pippa McGregor at the finish. “We just smoked it all the way to the island and had a good strong paddle back.

Elite Women’s Results at the 27km Prescient Freedom Paddle in Cape Town on Saturday, 27 April, 2024

1. Kira Bester and Pippa McGregor 2:13:43
2. Saskia Hockly and Michelle Burn 2:16:28
3. Jenna Nisbet and Christie Mackenzie 2:16:40
4. Holly Smith and Georgia Singe 2:18:27
5. Candice Starr and Melanie van Niekerk 2:19:57

Elite Mixed Doubles Results

1. Ian Trautmann and Stephanie von der Heyd 2:14:51
2. Jamii Hamlin and Donia Kamstra 2:23:56
3. Greg Louw and Cathy Louw 2:27:46


Original Copy: Gameplan Media, with editing by gsport

Main Photo Caption: Kira Bester (left) and Pippa McGregor were too strong for their rivals as they won the 27km Prescient Freedom Paddle around Robben Island on Saturday, 27 April, 2024. Photo: Graham Daniel / Gameplan Media

Photo 2 Caption: Kira Bester (left) and Pippa McGregor celebrate after winning the 2024 Prescient Freedom Paddle on Saturday. Photo: Graham Daniel / Gameplan Media

Photo 3 Caption: The 2024 Prescient Freedom Paddle gets underway in the shadow of Table Mountain in Cape Town, in the Western Cape. Photo: Kassie Karsten / Gameplan Media

Please Rate this Post

0 ratings, 0 votes0 ratings, 0 votes (0 rating, 0 votes, rated)
You need to be a registered member to rate this.
Loading...

About the Author:

gsport Contributor

gsport Contributor

This account is used to publish material provided to gsport by various third parties. While gsport ensures best endeavours to ensure that contributors have standing and that their contributions are relevant and legitimate, gsport's standard limitations in respect of third-party content apply. gsport.co.za/terms/

Recent Posts

Categories

Follow Us