There was a compact first part of the race, with a group of six paddlers, including two Germans and one Belgian. After the first portage, Joep van Bakel (NED) and Corrijn Dries (BEL) broke away, doing the rest of the race together and finishing with the victory of van Bakel at the sprint. Behind, the other four paddlers were Tonny Benschop (NED), Stefan Fiekers (GER), Steffen Luessing (GER) and Olaf Heijne (NED).
Two kilometres after the portage Luessing lost contact, so the group of three remaining managed to arrive to the finish line, where Fiekers imposed his strenght and finished third, with just one second over Heijne, first veteran, and leaving Benschop fifth and second veteran.
On the medium course of 15 km., from Oorschort, two junior Belgians were leading the race, Matteo de Letter (KCC Gent) and Aron Callewaert (KSK Zwevegem), but de Letter showed a big superiority in the final part of the race and ended up in victory by more than two minutes. In the second group were the first women: Heidy Loncke (BEL), Esther van Loohuizen (NED), both veterans, and the junior Nina Mulder (NED) , paddling together with the junior man Justus Kichner (GER).
|Kobe Pannecoucke following the track of older brother Laurens. Pic: Elly Onnekes|
On the short course of 7 km., with start point at Best, another déjà vu with the terrific performance
and easy victory of Kobe Pannecoucke (BEL), who paddled away from the start and made the whole race by his own.
You can check the results at this link.