An Evening with Hank McGregor @ VLC


Victoria Lake Canoeing Club hosted an evening with Hank McGregor on Tuesday 16 May.


With the imminent hosting of the ICF World Marathon Champs in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, later this year, what better way to get inspired and motivated than spending an evening listening to our very own 8-times world champion, six-time gold medal winner at the World Championships and one of the finest all-round paddlers in the history of the sport.


The sell-out success attracted over 100 paddlers and interested parties from across Gauteng.


The afternoon started with a group of interested Berg River marathon paddlers having a training discussion with Hank. This included sharing training, racing and supplementation information and tips which have helped him to an unprecedented 9 Berg titles. Unlike many top performers, Hank was willing to share any advice or lessons learned to both the experienced and new paddlers attempting Berg.


The event then provided an opportunity to visiting paddlers, who were attending the dinner, to participate in the regular VLC Tuesday evening time trial. With the added appeal to time trial against the current 2016 World Champion K1 and K2 marathon champion, the race attracted over 40 boats including some of Gauteng’s top paddling crews. The current course record was shattered by over 3 minutes and the top three boats just managing to pip Hank who was kind enough to take local development youngster Colin Ledwaba in a K2.


The event then moved into the banquet room at VLC for dinner, where everyone who had managed to get tickets were provided an opportunity to put forward questions to Hank. Colin Simpkins from CSA proceeded to interview Hank and pose some of these questions to Hank.


Hank provided some rare insights into his path to success, some of the challenges he faced and also some perspectives on what it takes and is like to be a top performer and multiple world champion.


Overall it was a wonderful opportunity to engage with Hank and get some great insights into the life of one of South Africa’s true sporting legends.


The evening was a great success and provided a rare opportunity for Gauteng paddlers from all clubs to get together, to have a casual dice and then rub shoulders with the best in the world.


The proceeds of the evening will be directed to the VLC Development and Novice paddling programmes to encourage growth in the sport.