It is hard to see anyone stopping Adrián Boros from winning the Berg River Canoe Marathon for the first time after completing back-to-back stage wins.
On Thursday’s shortened 32km second stage from Gouda Bridge to Bridgetown, the 26-year-old Hungarian lost his way early on but was able to regain his composure and cruise to victory in 2hr 18min 50sec for an overall time of 6hr 9sec.
He increased his overnight 10sec lead by a huge 3min over chief rival Graeme Solomon, who started the elapsed time start in second place.
"My feeling is very good. I’m happy with my paddle stroke, just hope I can stay clear of all the obstacles that await," said Boros. "Graeme is still a lively threat, so much still to do."
Friday’s penultimate third stage from Bridgetown to Zoutkloof is by far the longest at about 75km. The predicted flatter water will require outright paddling and be most welcome after endless tree blocks and unwanted portages over the first two days.
For 2001 winner Solomon, it is a chance to make inroads.
"Let’s see if Boros can stick it out for six in a half hours on easily the most difficult stage, if he can, kudos his way.
"I have to make inroads to have a realistic chance of catching him. I will make him work his butt off."
The five-strong women’s race is almost a no-contest with double defending champion Bianca Beavitt way ahead and set for a hat-trick of wins. Robyn Henderson leapfrogged Kirsten Penderis into second place.