Saskia Hockly and Christie Mackenzie win Fish River Canoe Marathon

The experienced pairing of Saskia Hockly and Christie Mackenzie braved the tricky bridges and treacherous rapids to win the two-day Fish River K2 Canoe Marathon, in Craddock on Saturday, 7 October. Photo: Photo: (c) Bruce Viaene | Gameplan Media

The experienced Team Euro Steel pairing of Saskia Hockly and Christie Mackenzie braved the tricky bridges and treacherous rapids to win the Fish River Canoe Marathon, in Craddock on Saturday, 7 October.

The 82km race started on Friday morning at Grassridge Dam on Friday, and the first stage ended at Knutsford Bridge, 46km downstream. 

Hockly and Mackenzie established an advantage which grew throughout the race, and were never under any pressure, crossing the Day 1 finish line six minutes ahead of Bridgitte Hartley and her Serbian partner Krisztina Bedoc, with Jade Wilson and Nix Birkett finishing third a few minutes later. 

“We are absolutely stoked,” said Mackenzie at the time. “We had a clean day which is all we wanted and we are excited for tomorrow. We felt strong all day and I had an absolutely cracker of a partner in the back.

“We broke our nose at Keith’s yesterday and so when we had a bit of a gap over the rest of the field at Keith’s, we did not want to risk anything that early in the race. As it ended up, we are super-stoked with our decision because it kept us settled for the rest of the day.”

Day Two (Saturday morning) took paddlers from Knutsford to Cradock, 36km to the end of the race. 

Hockly summed up their race when she described their title-winning race as “like a walk in the park”.

The race winner lauded her partner Mackenzie: “She really knows exactly what she is doing. She knows all the lines and all the right channels and sitting behind her is such a pleasure.”

Leading Results of the 2023 Fish River Canoe Marathon

1.Saskia Hockly / Christie Mackenzie 5:17:16.28 (3:04:36.50; 2:12:39.78)
2. Bridgitte Hartley / Krisztina Bedoc 5:27:56.69 (3:09:41.13; 2:18:15.56)
3. Jade Wilson / Nix Birkett 5:37:47.73 (3:12:25.01; 2:25:22.72)
4. Hilary Bruss / Chloe Bunnett 5:48:13.29 (3:27:02.65; 2:21:10.63)
5. Candice Starr / Stephanie Von Der Heyde 5:55:03.34 (3:19:02.39; 2:36:00.95)


Main Photo Caption: The experienced pairing of Saskia Hockly and Christie Mackenzie braved the tricky bridges and treacherous rapids to win the two-day Fish River K2 Canoe Marathon, in Craddock on Saturday, 7 October. Photo:  Photo: (c) Bruce Viaene | Gameplan Media

Photo 2 Caption: The 82km race started on Friday morning at Grassridge Dam on Friday, and the first stage ended at Knutsford Bridge, 46km downstream. Photo:  Photo: (c) Bruce Viaene | Gameplan Media

Photo 3 Caption: Hockly and Mackenzie established an advantage which grew throug the race, and completed the two-stage race in five hours, seventeen minutes of oar time. Photo:  Photo: (c) Bruce Viaene | Gameplan Media

Photo 4 Caption: Bridgitte Hartley and Krisztina Bedoc took a collective 10 minutes longer over the two day race, having trailed the leaders by 6 minutes at the overnight stop, to claim silver at the Fish River K2 Canoe Marathon. Photo:  Photo: (c) Bruce Viaene | Gameplan Media

Photo 5 Caption: Jade Wilson and Nix Birkett crossed the finish line just under 10 minutes after Kartley and Bedoc for the bronze medal finish at the iconic two-day Fish River K2 Canoe Marathon, in Craddock on Saturday, 7 October. Photo:  Photo: (c) Bruce Viaene | Gameplan Media

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About the Author:

Selina Munsamy

Selina Munsamy

I am a sports enthusiast. I am newly appointed KZN Women's Cricket Manager for the 2019/2020 season. My passion lies in cricket, technically I live and breathe cricket. I am a Scorer affiliated to KZN Cricket Scorer's Association. I also coach mini cricket for Tongaat Cricket Union. Live, Laugh and Love with Sport.

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