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Fast track to Freedom 

 April 28, 2021

The 27km paddle around Robben Island on Freedom Day, 27 th April 2021, was celebrated in a fast and
furious manner as top paddlers from around the county raced for line honours in the Prescient Freedom
Paddle.

World Marathon Champion, Hank McGregor partnered with Josh Fenn claiming back-to-back
victories and a hat-trick for McGregor. The duo pipped local favourites Dawid Mocke and Jasper Mocke
who were thrilled with their silver medal. The race was not without incident however as the racers were
diverted behind a container vessel, heading to the harbor which crossed the preferred route for the
paddlers.

This split the tight top bunch, unsettling the rhythm they had settled into. The more experienced crews of
McGregor and the Mocke brothers managed the hurdle and created the gap necessary to keep the
youngsters off the pace. Once the opportunity arose, McGregor pounced and shut the door for others to
challenge his superior skills, especially around the far side of Robben Island, navigating the shallow reef and
breaking waves.

Fenn was up to the task of providing the power needed for McGregor to stay in control to the finish line.
The Mocke brothers took all the risks possible however were not able to make up the deficit. Behind them
the youngster of Kenny Rice and Uli Hart, another local Cape Town crew and potential winners of this race
in the future, kept out the other crews looking for the last step on the prestigious podium of the Freedom
Paddle.

The women’s race however, was a different affair, with the order being established early on by another
local crew of Candice Murray and Kira Bester. Their early lead remained this way for the race as they
claimed the top spot in the ladies open race. Murray and Bester had the measure of the highly rated crew
of Chloe Bunnett and Bridgitte Hartley, both winners of multiple titles including an Olympic bronze medal
by Hartley. Defending Freedom Paddle Champions, Jenna Ward and the young Saskia Hockley managed
third place following an incredibly long racing season and particularly busy weekend with Hockley having
competed at the Lifesaving SA Inter-Provincial Championships in Durban over the weekend.

The planning, preparation and partnerships are key to managing the event and one of the most important
were those with the City of Cape Town. Alderman JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and
Security had the following in response to the smooth running of the event, “The COVID-19 pandemic has
had an immense impact on our annual events calendar with some events buckling under the pressure of
restrictions. While many have had to be halted, we are pleased that events such as Freedom Paddle are
continuing to wade through the storm. The City of Cape Town is pleased to provide support to events like
Freedom Paddle to pick up where they left off before the pandemic and we hope these can help reignite
the events ecosystem.”

Race organizer, Robin Tindall experienced first-hand the thrill of circumnavigating the Island with his
brother and father in an S3.” This is a celebration in the truest sense of the word, and I am thrilled that the
idea we had all those years ago has now reached this level of success. It has all been made possible through
teamwork from everyone.”

The significance of family freedoms was very much supported by the race as paddlers as young as Samuel
Mocke (11) completed the short course event with his mother Nikki Mocke, wife to second place finisher
Dawid.

Tindall’s event partner, Richard Kohler is no stranger to challenges and is set to complete a solo paddle
from Cape Town to Brazil in an 8-meter custom designed kayak. After the race, he commented, “we all
have a distance which challenges us and so many have achieved this goal on Freedom Day, of going around
the Island successfully. It brings us great joy to facilitate this and seeing the happiness on the faces of the
paddlers on the finish line makes it all worthwhile.”

With thanks to our partners; Prescient, Euro Steel, City of Cape Town, Dunlop, Department of Culture and
Sport (Western Cape Government), Peninsula Beverages, Carbonology Sport, Devils Peak and Brian’s
Kayaks.

related posts:

McGregor aiming for Freedom Paddle hat-trick
Paddle Celebration of Freedom
Prescient remains firmly committed to Freedom Paddle

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