MOUNT Edgecombe’s Jenna Ward and La Lucia’s Kyeta Purchase claimed the overall Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon spoils after an enthralling second and final stage on Saturday.
The women’s race was filled with just as much drama and intrigue and it was also a straight shoot from start to finish for the win.
Overnight it seemed that Durban North’s Christie Mackenzie and Bridgitte Hartley were going to be the stronger of the two, however it came down to Cradock Weir and the pair Mackenzie and Hartley took a race-defining swim that saw them end second.
Ward and Purchase just kept on chipping away at the more fancied pair and they took their opportunity when it came which gave them a memorable win and a second K2 win in a row for Ward.
“In the build-up Kyeta said that she thought that the race was going to come down to Cradock Weir and I wasn’t sure but to be kept on our toes for two days was really exciting,” Ward said. “It just shows how strong women’s paddling is at the moment in South Africa and hats off to Christie and Bridg who were so strong over the two days and kept putting us under pressure. It was fantastic racing and we are just so glad to have kept it clean and come out on top.”
The last time the pair paddled the Fish was Purchase’s first river race in 2015 and to have come away with a win four years later shows how well the pair have developed over the years.