×

We've got news for you.

Register on BusinessLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now
Jenna Nisbet survived a scare in a tree block to remain in control of the women's race on the second stage of the Berg River Canoe Marathon, July 7 2022. Picture: JOHN HISHIN/GAMEPLAN MEDIA
Jenna Nisbet survived a scare in a tree block to remain in control of the women's race on the second stage of the Berg River Canoe Marathon, July 7 2022. Picture: JOHN HISHIN/GAMEPLAN MEDIA

Race leaders Hank McGregor and Jenna Nisbet both overcame drama on the technical second stage from Delsma and Bridgetown to retain their leads in the Berg River Canoe Marathon.

McGregor started with a slim lead over under-23 Uli Hart, and they worked well together to keep chasers Simon van Gysen and Wayne Jacobs at bay, racing on a good river level on a second consecutive day of warm, windless midwinter weather conditions.

However the thick tree blocks that characterised the 48km  stage to the headwaters of Misverstand dam allowed McGregor and Hart to get away at the front, with McGregor winning the Virgin Active bridge prize at Gouda.

However at Ysterpen the pair encountered a huge tree block and took different lines to deal with it. While Hart struggled to get under the trees, McGregor ran to the bank to portage around the tree block, and once he returned to the river he did not know where Hart was.

“I took the chance and portaged and fell into the river because the bank was so steep,” said McGregor.

“After taking a swim I just started to chase because I thought I was about two minutes behind. On the long straights I timed it and I couldn’t see him.

“I was just hoping for the best, hoping that he was behind me. I only knew when I came across the line that I had won the stage.

“Thats the Berg,” he said. “It’s never over till it’s over.”

The ever-consistent Van Gysen raced much of the stage alone and consolidated his third place ahead of the determined Jacobs.

Nisbet started the women’s race with a 3 min lead over defending champion Nikki Birkett, but needed to keep calm as she saw that lead erased in a moment of high drama at a tree block early on in the stage.

“When I got to the first tree block I did exactly what I shouldn’t have done and messed it up,” said Nisbet.

“I managed to follow Graeme Solomon and Robbie Herreveld, who caught me at the tree block, and I followed them for the next 7km.

“Then I got stuck in a tree block and Nikki Birkett came past me running a portage on the side, and I panicked a bit,” said Nisbet.

“I had to stay calm and when I got to Gouda bridge I heard that she was 2 min behind. I was cautious in the section from Gouda to Train Bridge because I haven’t checked it out before, but after Train Bridge I knew where I was and had a good clean day from there,” said Nisbet.

“It was a really tough day because I wasn’t sure how to pace myself” she added, delighted to learn that her overnight lead had ballooned to over 5½min. 

subscribe

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Commenting is subject to our house rules.