Hockly and Burn tackle Freedom Paddle 

 April 22, 2023

Cape Town – As the 2023 Prescient Freedom Paddle edges closer, the partnerships are taking shape and one of the women’s crews to watch will be the veteran/youngster crew of Michelle Burn and Saskia Hockly.

The Durban-based pair have decided to team up for the 27km shoot-out from Oceana Power Boat Club, around the iconic Robben Island and back on 27 April and they will no-doubt be one of the crews vying for the women’s crown on Freedom Day.

The duo has history together having teamed up to win the SA S2 Championships in 2021.

Burn won the Freedom Paddle in 2019 with Hayley Nixon so she has tasted success at the race and for Hockly, who is making big strides in the national paddling circles is eager to team up with the veteran for the Freedom Day race.

“Mich and I have an awesome relationship and it’s just great for me that I can jump in a double with her after everything she has achieved in her paddling career,” Hockly said.

“We get along well and paddle well together and I’m really excited to see how we do this year against a really strong field of women paddlers.”

It’s been a quiet start to 2023 for Hockly who raced the N3TC Drak Challenge in January but has been keeping occupied with races and events locally as she now looks to the rest of the year.

“I took some time off after Cape Point Challenge but I’m definitely back into training again now and I feel like I am ready for the race.

“I haven’t been racing that much. I did the Drak Challenge and Life Saving Nationals, but that’s about it from a paddling front along with some local series races.

“I’m excited to kick-start my competitive season with the Freedom Paddle and it’s going to be tough with the likes of Bridg (Hartley) and Pips (McGregor), who’s been training really hard for the Molokai later this year, back.

“The likes of Kira Bester and Candice Murray are also entered, and we know that they can paddle like champions, so the competition will definitely make the race exciting.”

Taking on the 27km round trip that takes in one of South Africa’s most iconic landmarks makes the race special, however there is another element that makes the Freedom Paddle a race to remember.

“Being able to paddle around the island is something that not many people do and to be able to do it in the conditions that we have done it in the past is such a pleasure.

“The weather has been awesome and it’s been incredible to be able to take in the views and it’s such an amazing experience to be able to paddle around the island each year, it never gets old,” the Euro Steel star said.

This year, like years gone by, will attract the best of the best to Cape Town and with such a strong field as well as a large field, the Freedom Paddle continues to grow into one of the premier paddling events in South Africa.

“The camaraderie of all the paddlers coming from all over the country to race and everyone can meet up again after the holiday season and catch up.

“It’s such an awesome vibe every year and I’m really looking forward to the race this year,” Hockly added.

related posts:

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}