Covid-19 hit Murray in a race to defend her crown 

 April 22, 2022

After testing positive for Covid-19 on Monday, defending Prescient Freedom Paddle champion Candice Murray will be hoping that she is fit and strong enough to defend her women’s doubles title with Kira Bester next Wednesday, 27 April.

Murray, who trains with Bester with the Orca Squad in Cape Town, has been under the weather after picking up the virus but believes with rest she will be back fighting fit for the iconic race around Robben Island on Freedom Day.

“Our preparation was going really well before I picked up Covid,” Orca Paddles/Starsky Kayaking’s Murray said.

“I have definitely felt better before but I am confident that I will be strong and good to go by Wednesday and it’s great having such a strong partner in Kira.

“She is such a strong paddler and we combine really nicely in a double ski so we are looking forward to going out there and trying to win back-to-back titles.”

Both Murray and Bester will also be focusing on the SA S1 title race over next weekend but they are looking for that famous doubles title on what is a course and a title that is becoming very sought after.

“It is always nice to have a race that is specifically a doubles race every year and that means that it gives us a shift in focus.

“The course too has become one that is exciting as we never know quite what you are going to get and you will never get a pure downwind.

“With the weather also being fairly unpredictable at this stage only in the few days leading up to the race do you get an idea of what to expect from the weather.”

With the race being an out and back event there are periods where you will have the wind at your back but Murray expects it to be a hard slog and feels that the women’s field will be able to gauge their tactics from the men.

“Being a bit further back than the men means that we can see the lines that they take and use that as a guide but it’s going to be a tough paddle because you will get a side chop but that’s expected.

“Having local knowledge is also an advantage and I think that you will see a few Cape Town crews that might not be big names threatening at the event.

“There is a strong field again this year which makes racing exciting and we are looking forward to getting back out there and racing together,” Murray added.

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