(2017 ☆ ARCHIVED) Hank McGregor - South Africa

hank mcgregor world paddle awards 2016 canoe kayak marathon south africa nominee sportsman year champion sportscene nelo

HANK MCGREGOR (South Africa) – Nominee for 2017 Sportsman of the Year Award. Photo credit: Balint Vekassy


  • Born: 1979, sports: canoe marathon (K1 or K2), downriver, ocean-racing and surfski, represents: South Africa
  • 2017: Gold K1 & K2 World Marathon Championships; Gold World Cup Surf Ski; Silver Molokai Surf Ski Race
  • 2016: Gold K1 & K2 World Marathon Championships; Gold Berg River Marathon; Gold Maui Jim Molokai Challenge
  • 2015: Gold K1 & Silver K2 World Marathon Championships; Gold Berg River Marathon
  • 2014: Gold K1 & K2 World Marathon Championships; Gold K1 Hansa Fish River Marathon; Gold Non-Stop Dusi Canoe Marathon; Gold K1 Maui Jim Molokai Challenge

Hank McGregor has officially reached legend status after winning (another!) double gold in the K1 and K2 at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in September, replicating his historic wins in 2014 and 2016. The two gold medals now gives the South African paddling icon a total of ten world championship titles, seven of which have been in the K1 event (K1: 2003, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017; K2: 2014, 2016, 2017).

In front of a home crowd in South Africa, Hanks experience and world class tactics proved to be too good. With 500m to go after the gruelling 30km paddle, he was in pole position and outsprinted his competitors to take him his ninth World Title. In the K2 event tactics again came into play, with he and his K2 partner Jasper Mocke played their cards close to their chest before unleashing in the final straight to take the win ahead of Hungary and the other South African crew. 

These two historic wins cements Hanks name in the history books as one of the most dominating canoe marathon paddlers of his generation and possibly of all time. He is also one of the most multi-talented and diverse athletes across all competitive paddlesports. In addition to his successes as a marathon paddler he is a multiple South African river marathon champion, multiple South African surfski champion and winner of numerous international ocean races. In 2017 he won the ICF World Cup surf ski race in Mauritius and claimed a close silver medal at the famous Molokai Ski Race in Hawaii.

He has paddled competitvely, and been winning, for over 20 years, and his results only seem to be getting better. In addition to his amazing achievements on the water, Hank is a devoted family man, runs a small construction company and is devoted to improving Surf Ski paddling in South Africa. As the winner of the 2014 WPA Sportsman of the Year Award, this year marks Hanks fourth consecutive nomination. 

Activities and achievements off water:

  • Hank and his wife Pippa have organised the inaugural Euro Steel McGregor Series, aimed at getting paddlers into their boats and paddling in the early season, to have some fun events to participate in and to encourage new and young participants into the sport and into the wonderful world of marathon racing.
  • WPA Sportsman of the Year 2014.
  • Hanks father Lee was a top swimmer for South Africa who was not allowed to compete at the Olympics or World Championships because of apartheid in the country at the time. Lee became a leading ocean, surfski and river paddler, plus an ironman instead.
  • Hank and his wife Pippa have one child.


This is a 2017 archived nominee. Voting has closed.

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