Under 23 marathon world champion Hamish Lovemore will make a long overdue return to the N3TC Drak Challenge on 28 and 29 January, hoping to make his presence felt on the overall race podium.
The Durban-based Euro Steel team paddler capped off a stellar 2022 international season by winning the Under23 men’s K1 crown at the ICF Marathon World Championships in Portugal in September, and says that he is rested and focused on making his return to the popular two-stage Drak Challenge on the uMzimkhulu River.
“I last did a Drak back in 2019 and I finished third behind Andy Birkett and Hank McGregor,” said Lovemore. “The goal is to get back onto the podium, ideally the top step, but I am not putting too much pressure on myself.
“I am more of a flatwater specialist but I just enjoy racing the Drak!” he added. “It has been quite a while since I raced my K1 – the last time was in the world champs last year.
“I am trying to trip as much as possible and get my lines sorted, but you can only do so much in time we have before the race,” he said from his training base in Underberg.
“After the Cape Point Challenge, which I did with Pippa McGregor and we finished fifth overall, I have taken some time to recover and reset for the year.
“The Drak is the first real test of the year and I am really looking forward to racing it again and giving it a full go,” he said.