Underberg – The 20th edition of the N3TC Drak Challenge on the mighty Umzimkulu River was one to remember for under 23 world marathon champion Grant van der Walt as he earned his first senior singles river marathon title.
He narrowly outsprinted Len Jenkins on Sunday’s second and final stage and in so doing smashed the men’s overall and second stage records by 11 and 20 minutes respectively.
The win will be one the Team Best 4 Kayak Centre athlete will treasure for many years having worked his way through the ranks over the past few years under the guidance of Hank McGregor.
The pace of the two-day contest is set to be a topic of conversation as no fewer than 26 K1s crossed the line quicker than the previous record.
“I’m just super stoked!” said an elated van der Walt. “It was an awesome couple of days of racing and to have won is amazing!
“It’s also really special to have won my first here at the Drak. The Drak has been my favourite race since I raced it for the first time seven years ago.
“I’s always nice when Hank and I race against each other and it was unfortunate he wasn’t here but I’m just chuffed with the win and am looking forward to the next K1 race that we can hopefully have a good race against each other.”
The women’s race was dominated by Team Best 4 Kayak Centre team-mates Abby Adie and Robyn Kime with Adie coming out trumps for the third time in four years.