Dolphin Coast Challenge Gives McGregor and Furby Partnership Double Gold and National Titles

Dolphin Coast Challenge Gives McGregor and Furby Partnership Double Gold and National Titles:

Hank McGregor and Lee Furby

Hank McGregor and Lee Furby win Gold at the Gara Dolphin Coast Challenge. Photo: Gameplan Media

In an epic weekend of paddling, eight-times World Marathon Champion Hank McGregor (Jeep Team/Euro Steel) and S2 partner, Lee Furby claimed a double victory, winning the KZN north coast’s 2017 Gara Dolphin Coast Challenge and claiming the South African Doubles Surfski title.

It was a busy weekend for McGregor, who also won Race 3 of the Euro Steel McGregor Paddle Series at Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg on the Friday night. Despite freezing weather conditions, the event attracted 179 paddlers of all abilities. The race broke records in terms of development paddlers – over 70 young paddlers from various academies in KZN attended the race.

Following his victory on the Friday, McGregor set off to the KZN north coast to defend his title at the two-day Gara Dolphin Coast Challenge with S2 partner, Lee Furby.

The two-day stage race saw paddlers take on a 32km out-and-back route from the Durban Underwater Club on Saturday, and a 32km paddle from Zinkwazi to Salt Rock on the Sunday. McGregor and Furby dominated from the start, winning the first stage with a 20-second lead.

Seasoned paddlers, McGregor and Furby finished the first stage in 02:03:44.47, with Steve Woods and Luke Nisbet second in 02:04:04.05, and in third were Gene Prato and Bailey de Fondaumiere in 02:04:18.78.

Going into Stage 2 with a solid advantage, McGregor and Furby needed to maintain their strong paddling prowess but Woods and Nisbet still forced a sprint for the finish, with McGregor and Furby beating Steve Woods and Luke Nisbet to the line, claiming consecutive stage wins.

The winning duo finished the second stage in 02:14:44.03, just ahead of Woods and Nisbet, who finished in 02:15:06.43. Third place again went to Gene Prato and Bailey de Fondaumiere in a time of 02:15:57.70

“I am really stoked to take the win at the Gara Dolphin Coast Challenge and the SA Double Surfski Champs with my partner Lee Furby – it was his first national title win. We had to dig deep on Sunday to get to the finish 1st, making this win very memorable!” said McGregor after the race.

Results – 2017 Gara Dolphin Coast Challenge
Day 1 Day 2 Total
Hank McGregor/Lee Furby 02:03:44.47 02:14:44.03 04:18:28.50
Steve Woods/Luke Nisbet 02:04:04.05 02:15:06.43 04:19:10.49
Gene Prato/Bailey De Fondaumiere 02:04:18.78 02:15:57.70 04:20:16.49

Day 1 Day 2 Total
Jenna Ward/Sabina Lawrie 02:22:11.60 02:32:49.98 04:55:01.58

Day 1 Day 2 Total
Brandon van der Walt/Kyeta Purchase 02:22:11.60 02:32:49.98 04:55:01.58

Results – Euro Steel McGregor Paddle Series Race 3
1. Hank McGregor 00:34:16.63
2. Bryan Leroux 00:34:17.35
3. Brandon van der Walt 00:34:18.30

1. Bridgitte Hartley 00:35:56.37
2. Emma Anderson 00:37:06.72
3. Kerry Segal 00:37:27.19


Paddling – Seamasters Downwind 2017
On 20 August, Barry Lewin (Jeep Team/ Epic Kayaks) took the win in the 2017 Seamasters Downwind surfski race in Sweden.

The 25km Seamasters is a downwind, ocean race in the Baltic Sea around Oxelösund on the Swedish east coast.
Now in its 7th year, the race attracts paddlers from Europe, South Africa and America.

Results – Seamasters Downwind 2017
1. Berry Lewin 01:43:41
2. Joep van Bakel 01:44:31
3. Tommy Karls 01:49:22

1. Eva Egnell 02:27:41
2. Sara Hult 02:40:16


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