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Mount Edgecombe paddler wins first Fish marathon

Throughout the day the chasing pair managed to whittle down the overnight advantage and caught the leading pair of Bridgitte Hartley and Serbian star Kristina Bedec, at the Marlow Causeway portage.

MISTAKES from both the men’s and women’s overnight leaders at the death handed Greg Louw and Andy Birkett and the crew of Jenna Ward and Anna Kožíšková the respective Fish River Canoe Marathon titles on Saturday. Throughout the day the chasing pair managed to whittle down the overnight advantage and caught the leading pair of Bridgitte Hartley and Serbian star Kristina Bedec, at the Marlow Causeway portage.

From there it was a straight shot to the finish and the pressure told as Hartley and Bedec capsized at the Cradock Weir which gave Ward and Kožíšková a slight gap which they took.

“I did feel a bit of pressure going into the race considering Anna has won the last few Fish’s that she has paddled with Abby,” the Mount Edgecombe paddler said. “It’s a great feeling for me to say that I have done a good job replacing Anna’s usual partner Abby (Solms) for now. I have never won the Fish so to come away with a win is massive, I’m so happy.”

It was another case of so close as Hartley and Bedec came unstuck at the Cradock Weir and despite not getting over the line, Hartley was proud of their efforts.

With the drama at the front of the ladies race unfolding the U23 pair of Kyeta Purchase and Kerry Segal went about their business quietly and cruised home to a solid third place overall.

The La Lucia resident (Purchase) and Segal claimed the U23 women’s crown in dominant fashion as the Peek sisters, Cana and Jordan, finished second over 20 minutes behind them while Dee Kotze and Kelly Biljoen rounded out the U23 women’s positions.

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