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Louw and ‘Fisher King’ team up for Cradock challenge
- Updated: September 12, 2013
Eastern Cape crowd favourite Greg Louw and ‘Fisher King’ Len Jenkins have teamed up and formed a powerful and potentially title-winning combination ahead of the 2013 Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon which takes place in Cradock on 27-28 September.
Having touched down from a four-month long sabbatical in North America just two weeks ago, Jenkins will be hard pressed to prepare himself in time for the Eastern Cape’s paddling major however, if ever there was someone able to pull the somewhat unbelievable feat off it is the man who has claimed all six of the last K1 Hansa Fish titles.
ÔÇ£Len (Jenkins) got back two weeks ago and it was only then that we actually chatted properly and decided to race Fish together,ÔÇØ explained Louw. ÔÇ£Obviously that didn’t leave us with much time to prepare for Fish together or for Len to get fit again but if any anyone knows how to be successful at the Fish then its Len!ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Come race day I’m sure Len will be right ready to go and able to go flat out for three hours. Len knows how to red line it far better than I do so he’s going to drive and I’ve just got to do what I can to hang on and keep up in the back,ÔÇØ he chuckled.
Despite the entry being seen by many as one straight out of left field, the pair has in fact paddled together in the past and their individual pedigree leaves very little room for debate.
ÔÇ£When we we’re sprinting we hopped into a double together a few times and a couple of years ago we did a Vaal and one or two other races together so we’re not a completely new combination at all and Port Elizabeth’s Louw is relishing testing on home waters. We haven’t done a Fish together but it was always good fun and quite entertaining paddling with Len back then so hopefully it can be pretty similar this year.
ÔÇ£I couldn’t ask for a better partner when it comes to the Fish. I’ve got a man who knows exactly how to win this race and a lot about paddling in general too.┬á I thought I knew a thing or two but even just on the three training paddles together before Breede and the race itself I learnt so much about racing from Len!ÔÇØ he added.
With competitors jetting from across the country and around the globe making for what many believe to be the most competitive K2 Fish in some years, Louw has his sights firmly set on the combination of Hank McGregor and Grant van der Walt as well as Andy Birkett and Cam Schoeman as fellow potential title contenders.
ÔÇ£Hank (McGregor) and Grant (van der Walt) will always be right up there,ÔÇØ said Louw. ÔÇ£We saw at Breede just how strong Andy (Birkett) and Cam (Schoeman) are at the moment and they really could be a real dark horse in this year’s title race!
ÔÇ£The Fish is always the most competitive race in the country so it’s always a tough race. Because it is such a great event, every year we see another couple of top paddlers entering and making it even tougher and this year is no different!ÔÇØ
Apart from his title hopes, Louw is also excited by the strong presence of local Eastern Cape paddlers on the long list of top ten hopefuls as well as the opportunity to again return to the small yet lively town of Cradock. ÔÇ£It is great to see some of the local guys also putting their hands up to do well. My brother, Ryan, will also be paddling with a youngster from PE, Stuart Lang, and they could well finish in the back in of the top 10.
ÔÇ£Then there is also Chopper (Richard von Wildemann) and Barry Lewin who, if they can sit straight in the boat for once, could do nicely too.ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿ÔÇ£I haven’t been to Cradock in a while so I’m looking forward to heading back there this weekend for Pre Fish. It will be good to have a good look at the river with Len and see if anything’s changed over the last few months or so. Plus, there is always such a great vibe and atmosphere in Cradock in the build-up couple of weeks before Fish.ÔÇØ
Picture: John Hishin/Gameplan Media