The elite challenge for the 2019 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon title took on a decidedly different complexion when eleven times world marathon champion Hank McGregor arrived unexpectedly and won the key Dusi seeding race the Steelco Ozzie Gladwin recently.
McGregor won the last FNB Dusi title with Andy Birkett in the K2 championship year, but many had expected the 41 year old Durban ace to skip the 2019 singles Dusi race.
“Never say never,” he said, fuelling the speculation around his possible Dusi K1 challenge from 14 to 16 February.
“I still have to make the final call on Dusi, as I might have some surfski opportunities abroad at around the same time.
“I love the Dusi! There is so much hype and excitement that it is just a great thing to be part of,” the Euro Steel star added.
At the Ozzie Gladwin McGregor had plenty of gas in the tank as he blitzed away from Thulani Mbanjwa and Under 23 athlete Stew Little to claim the title.
“It was the first time I had been back in my river K1 since the Drak Challenge!” he quipped. “I am usually in Australia for the Perth Doctor around the time of the Ozzie Gladwin, but I have been seeing another kind of doctor (his wife Pippa has just given birth to their second son) I thought I would race the Ozzie.
McGregor said that his summer season would definitely include a challenge for the N3TC Drak Challenge title on 19 and 20 January, after which he might focus his energies on a Dusi Challenge.
“I know that my K2 partner Andy Birkett is training like crazy for the Dusi so I might try and give him a run for his money,” said McGregor.
McGregor has a K1 Dusi win to his credit in 2005 to go with his 2019 K2 win the Birkett and his K2 with ‘Dusi Duke’ Martin Dreyer in 2006.