It was another strong day from Hungarian star Adrián Boros as he powered clear of the chasers to take stage two honours as Bianca Beavitt continued to dominate the ladies race on Thursday.
Boros had a slender lead going into the second ‘King Maker’ stage and he showed his prowess in growing his lead over Graeme Solomon to just over three minutes at the conclusion of the stage.
“I did make a stupid mistake today that got Graeme back into the race when I had to portage,” Boros said.
“My plan was to break away from him at the start but after my mistake we were back together then just after Katkop, Graeme made a mistake and I got clear of him.”
It was a shortened stage two for the paddlers on Thursday meaning that energy levels will not be as depleted as in the past going into the long, 75km third stage to Zoutkloof on Friday.
“I still feel good but the race is far from over. Tomorrow I want to try and stay with the group – that will be my tactic.
“My three minute lead is not huge but it is a good lead to have,” he mentioned.
For Bamboo Warehouse’s Graeme Solomon Thursday’s second stage was one to forget as a few small errors cost him valuable time on the Hungarian star ahead of him.
“The whole day we were trying to hit each other wherever an opportunity presented itself. It was great, hard racing which I enjoy.
“With about six kilometres to go I ran too far at the one portage which meant that the bank was too steep for me to get back in whereas Adrian got in a bit earlier where it was shallower.
“I floundered in the water for bit and as I got back into my boat he was gone.
“He had about one minute, ten seconds on me and I tried to hold that gap but I made one more mistake at a tree block just up from the finish which cost me another couple of minutes,” Solomon said.
In what continued to be a drama-laden day, third place overnight Keith Moule had to finish the stage in a different boat after he did irreparable damage to his kayak fairly early on the 33km stage which meant he had to use another boat to get him across the finish line.
“I hit some rocks and folded my boat at the cockpit which made the day really long for me. I guess I am still in the top ten which I am quite happy about!” Moule said after the stage.
Taking control of the third place in the race was Varsity College’s Tom Lovemore. Despite a disappointing first day the Under-23 title-seeker made up for it on a solid day of paddling where he finished with Czech powerhouse Petr Mojžíšek.
Century City/Pink Lady’s Bianca Beavitt was far more fluent on Thursday compared to her opening stage offering and with her solid performance came an increase in her overall lead to 31 minutes, doubling her time advantage.
“I saw today as a fresh start despite my lead and the 30km distance is something that we are very used to from our pre-Berg races so that was good for me,” Beavitt said.
“After about nine kilometres I managed to get into my rhythm and worked hard on the group with the guys.
“You never know what could happen on such a long stage like tomorrow. A lapse in concentration can lead to a costly error so I will have to stay mindful tomorrow.”
There is an interesting battling playing out behind Beavitt for second and third in the ladies race with Kirsten Penderis holding a 30 second advantage over Robyn Henderson in third.
The 75km third stage will take paddlers from the overnight stop at Bridgetown to Zoutkloof.
PROVISIONAL – SUMMARY OF RESULTS
2017 BERG RIVER CANOE MARATHON STAGE TWO (GOUDA – BRIDGETOWN)
1.Adrián Boros 2:18.49 6:00.09
2.Graeme Solomon 2:21.59 6:03.28
3.Tom Lovemore (U23) 2:27.08 6:20.58
4.Petr Mojžíšek 2:23.00 6:20.58
5.Mthobisi Cele (U23) 2:24.29 6:22.17
6.Alan Houston (U23) 2:31.47 6:22.19
7.Mpilo Zondi (U23) 2:24.42 6:22.23
8.Keith Moule 2:37.28 6:24.52
9.Heinrich Schloms 2:32.48 6:34.54
10.Mvelo Ngidi (U18) 2:33.12 6:39.32
11.Phillip Smith 2:34.53 6:40.06
12.Bartho Visser (U16) 2:35.35 6:48.12
13.Luke Stowman (U23) 2:35.19 6:48.13
14.Richard Allen 2:36.55 6:48.59
15.John de Villiers 2:37.24 6:50.21
1.Bianca Beavitt 2:36.48 6:56.56
2.Kirsten Penderis 2:52.32 7:31.07
3.Robyn Henderson 2:48.02 7:31.37
1.Tom Lovemore 2:27.08 6:20.58
2.Mthobisi Cele 2:24.29 6:22.17
3.Alan Houston 2:31.47 6:22.19
4.Mpilo Zondi 2:24.42 6:22.23
5.Luke Stowman 2:35.19 6:48.13
1.Mvelo Ngidi 2:33.12 6:39.32
2.Bartho Visser (U16) 2:35.35 6:48.12
3.Kelly Tarr 2:41.13 6:54.07