EASTERN Cape crowd favourite Greg Louw and “Fisher King” Len Jenkins have teamed up and formed a potentially title-winning combination ahead of the Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon in Cradock next weekend.
Having touched down just two weeks ago from a four-month sabbatical in North America, Jenkins will be hard-pressed to prepare himself in time for the Eastern Cape’s paddling major.
However, if ever anyone was able to pull it off, Jenkins, who has claimed the last six K1 Fish titles, would be that man. Louw said they had only chatted properly and decided since Jenkins’s return to race the Fish together.
“That didn’t leave us with much time to prepare or for Len to get fit again but if anyone knows how to be successful at the Fish, then it’s Len.
“He 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,” Louw chuckled.
Despite the entry being seen by many as one straight out of left field, the pair have paddled together in the past and their individual pedigrees leave little room for debate.
“When we were 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.”
Port Elizabeth’s Louw said he could not ask for better partner for the Fish.
“I’ve got a man who knows exactly how to win this race and a lot about paddling in general too.”
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.
Besides his own title hopes, Louw is also excited by the strong presence of Eastern Cape paddlers on the long list of top 10 hopefuls, including his brother Ryan, who is paddling with young Stuart Lang.
“Then there are also Chopper [Richard von Wildemann] and Barry Lewin who, if they can sit straight in the boat for once, could do well.”