Having taken the Euro Steel McGregor Series craze to Gauteng in June, the highly-anticipated first KwaZulu-Natal leg of the series, the Bidvest McCarthy Toyota Durban North Race, will take place at the event’s founding home at Blue Lagoon this Friday, 28 July.
After being started in 2016 by multiple World Marathon champion Hank McGregor, the McGregor Series exploded to life when it attracted paddlers of all ages and abilities over a short 4km or a longer 8km course.
The first race of the KZN leg of the series this Friday will be K2 focused, although organisers do not want to limit the event and K1’s,3’s, surfski’s, sit-on tops and stand-up paddleboards are all welcome to take part.
The series started as a way for McGregor and his wife Pippa to give back to a sport that has given them so much over the years and with an ethos of enjoyment and involvement the series has encouraged non-paddlers and ex-paddlers to get into a boat and enjoy a Friday evening on the water.
“The series comes at a stage in the season when many paddlers are starting their training for the summer season races like the Dusi or the Drak,” says McGregor.
“We encourage these paddlers to commit to paddling the 4km or 8km race with a novice or even a family member or your second, to give someone the opportunity to experience the pleasure of paddling.”
With the 2017 ICF World Marathon Championships being held at Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg in September, Hank and Pippa have arranged for two of the four KZN legs of the series to be held at Camps Drift.
“You can already sense the buzz ahead of the World Champs in Pietermaritzburg, so we have agreed to hold Series races there on August 18, and the last one on 1 September, the Friday before the World Champs! The vibe will be amazing!
“We try to keep it as simple and affordable to enter – to race costs just R20 to enter – and there is R10 000 in prize money and prizes spread over all the race categories, with lots of fun prizes and giveaways,” said McGregor.
Despite the inclusive nature of the event the racing at the front end of the field is always top class and exciting. South Africa will be hosting the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships next month and the series gives those looking to take part the ideal opportunity to get some competitive action.
Added incentives for paddlers that take part are great prizes as well as value for money. Paddlers’ race entry fee of R20 will also include a wors roll at the end.
2017 Euro Steel McGregor Paddle Series:
Race 2 : 28 July – Bidvest McCarthy Toyota Durban North Race, Blue Lagoon
Race 3 : 18 Aug – FNB Race, NCC, Pietermaritzburg
Race 4 : 25 Aug – Bidvest McCarthy Toyota Durban North Race, Blue Lagoon
Race 5 : 1 Sept – Euro Steel Race, NCC, Pietermaritzburg