Paddle Mag 2 2017 April / May

Page 1

Issue 2 2017


Setting up your paddle

Orange Descent Canoe Marathon Reviewed

IMAGE: Robin Mousley

Two Day Klip High Altitude Surfski Champs FNB Marine Surfski Series

Calendars plan your life

the need for speed


6 A word from you Reader letters

43 ask the experts

Kyle Friedenstein and Kevin Brunette answer your questions

45 Calendars

Canoeing and Surfski events around the country, get training and planning

49 view from the back of the boat

FEATURES 8 JCC Two day klip 11 team pursuit

26 introducing CSA 28 hout bay calling Not

And now for something entirely different

your average dice

14 sprints

32 marine surfski

Cameron Hudson gives us the low down speed

17 marathon champs first glimpse of what’s coming your way

18 orange descent canoe marathon


38 DABS High Altidude surfski Making waves in Gauteng

40 setting up your

wing paddle Feather and length

22 canoe development CONTRIBUTORS Kyle Friedenstein Kevin Brunette Janet Simpkins Jennie Dallas Celliers Kruger

Cameron Hudson Andy Birkett Bridgitte Hartley Waldo Van Der Linde Richard Kohler

PHOTOGRAPHY Anthony Grote Jacques Marais Jennie Dallas Kirsten Frost Robin Mousley

Andrew Kellet Gina Gomez-Penn Orange Descent Canoe Marathon

Abby Solms

Andy Birkett


NOTE FROM THE ED I am always amazed at the determination and resilience shown by paddlers; from the tough Duzi to the schools sprints I have had the incredible privilege of watching people try and try again and it has made me proud to be part of this community and it inspires me to keep going as I pound away at my computer listening to the birds wake up. We have also been blown away with the support that our little publication has had from the paddling community. We have had letters of appreciation and offers of help which is tremendous in itself. We have also been able to call on the help of some amazing athletes, Andy Birkett, Bridgitte Hartley and Cameron Hudson in order to help us understand the nuances behind the different disciplines and we are certainly stronger and better for that – thank you. We would also like to welcome to new contributors to the mag – Lawrence Blackbeard and Celliers Kruger. Thank you so much for your help – we know that we are stronger for your comradeship.

Seadog IMAGE: Gina Gomez-Penn

In this edition we look at some new exciting races with a difference and an old race that turned out to be a rollercoaster ride after their recent rains. We quickly acknowledge our youth that are coming up through the ranks and their success at the Duzi. But being a South African paddling mag we also took the time to begin to understand two of our lesser known disciplines – Sprints and Marathons. We were amazed at what we discovered and delighted at what we saw happening on all sorts of patches of water. There is often the misconception that these two disciplines should be best left to the professionals and nothing could be further from the truth! We watched people paddle sprinting down the lanes in old river boats and paddling their hearts out just for the love of the sport. We really hope that you are challenged too and that wherever you are in South Africa you make a plan to go and support your local paddlers through the trials and the on to ICF World Marathon Champs 2017 in September.





Children/Small Intermediate Women

The Splash is a great boat to introduce children to the sport of surfski paddling but has also proven to be a hit with smaller intermediate women who struggle with the full sized boats in the Carbonology Sport range. The Splash has all the features that the full sized surfskis have to offer but on a reduced scale. Length 4.85 m Width 0.49 m Height 0.31 m

Weight Class 25kg – 65kg

Glass Vacuum








Weights are approximate depending on model and may vary by ± 5%


SPEED 1 Savage Street, North End, Port Elizabeth Hein van Rooyen +27 (0)83 3800 778, Jason Goedhals +27 (0)83 415 8324,

live slow, paddle fast

A WORD FROM YOU... Send your letters to


stand a chance of seeing yourself in the

next issue of THE PADDLE MAG

WINNING LETTER Fellow Paddlers, I agree whole-heartedly with the article in your latest edition of The Paddle Mag. Thank you to the race organisers who are rewarding our women paddlers with the same financial perk as our men. In terms of sponsorship, putting your name on a female paddler is definitely going to give you more bang for your buck! The chance of getting a spot on the podium is higher amongst the professional female athletes and our top lady paddlers are always on camera and in the news. Good news for the sponsors, but bad news for them if they happen to have entered the Molokai in 2016. I’m paying the same for my kit, sometimes more and as mentioned in the article, all the other costs involved in attending a race are the same. Women train just as hard and have to muscle their way in to a sport that is not easy to start off with. Would a more equal prize pot attract more women to the sport? For sure. Would it encourage the top paddling women to attend more races? Hell yes! Top male paddlers are attracted to the races with the biggest cash incentives, why would it be any different for women? My mother would say we compete because we love it. Well, help us compete more by upping the game and recognising the top ten women in races, upping the prize pot and recognising that we’re working our butts off racing that female competitor who is hot on our tail slip. And while I’m at it - could we have a few “Fenn Boys” in speedos at the Cape Point finish-line in 2017? Maybe that will encourage me to enter this year... Regards, Ruth Fox Ed. Someone must have heard you. Did you see the okes at the end of Dusi Day 1?

Your letter wins you a copy of “SURFSKI – Training for Performance.” by Kevin Brunette (Check him out on page 34 in our ask the expert section).

RACE REPORT: JCC TWO DAY KLIP 28/29 January 2017

The really exciting thing about paddling is that we are privileged to be able to paddle rivers that change in technicality depending on the recent rain. This was definitely true for the Two Day Klip. It had rained solidly for three days prior to the race and the water level kept rising during Friday night to the delight and anxiety of paddlers that were about to navigate the less paddled upper reaches between the Lido Hotel (Buksies Holiday resort) and Henley. The twisting, winding, narrow stretch of river certainly kept paddlers enthralled as they negotiated their way down the river. Experienced paddlers who are bored with the usual plopping down their backyard Klip, could really get stuck in and relish the challenges of the Upper Klip. At this level it was however extremely technical and very fast, requiring exceptionally good reflexes and river reading and some luck to get through to the overnight stop. At the start one could see the tentative faces of paddlers wondering if they had bitten off more than they could chew – only time would tell. Paddlers were treated to some exciting changes in the river as they were thrust towards trees and forced to negotiate sharp corners in strong currents. They also had the delight of dropping into huge wave trains and sometimes having to duck under branches and sometimes humping over trees branches in order to successfully negotiate their way to the end of day one. The dramatic change in the river proved too much for a number of paddlers who took unexpected swims as they negotiated their way home. The Everite Bridge was interesting with its short 50m portage where a paddler got lost on the wrong path in a squatter camp - instead of jogging down the path next to the river clearly marked with barrier tape - others almost took the same incorrect path but were stopped in time. Next up was Daleside Weir where there were only a few swimmers, thanks in part

Images: Jennie Dallas and team

to enthusiastic marshalls on duty pointing out a good line! Double Drop didn’t have many swimmers either much to everyone delight as it turned out to be quite a monster on the day! It is in these situations that we really get to see the camaraderie between paddlers come shining through as we heard numerous comments of paddlers being courteous and helpful, offering assistance and backing off for others as they approached rapids ensuring that newer paddlers had a great day as they developed their river reading skills - well done guys! In this regard a special mention to Kelvin Byres, who came across an injured paddler with a torn intercostal rib muscle and escorted him to safety of the river bank and found someone to assist him further before continuing his race – showing the true spirit of the sport. The challenges of day one proved too much for a number

of paddlers so there were some 20 paddlers less on the second day for various reasons.

over the bridge creating a potentially dangerous suck-under situation which was not engaged!

The second day was still had good water and the river itself was not so technical, as many rapids become easier in the higher water, although there are still challenges at others. A number of spectators gathered at the awesome Serendipity Coffee Shop just out of Henley-On-Klip in order to watch the paddlers come through the nasty Broken Weir. There where only a few swimmers this year and a few who pegged their noses as they came down the broken wall just too far to the right of the tongue.

The results were interesting with some top paddlers out of the race, including the ladies who were asked to withdraw if they hadn’t already lost / damaged their boats, in light of the high fast water flow and slow going (for which later marshals were very grateful as it was already a long day). Loveday Zondi (SOW) was the fastest paddler on day one, while Shaun Mashing (FLCC) was the fastest paddler on Day two. It was Loveday Zondi who stepped up to claim the win in the end in a time of 4:41 and take the first place podium. Tom Engcobo (SOW) finished on the 2nd Podium in 4:44 and Shaun Mashing took 3rd place in 4:49, as well as top Veteran position. The 4th paddler to finish was young Thando Ngamlana (Sow) as first U23, in 4:53, while Alex Roberts (Dabs) finished as first Sub Veteran in 4:55. Meyer

A few bunches of boats crowded up on the take out - but they all managed themselves very well as there were already some withdrawals by that stage and there weren’t big bunches arriving at the same time - the water was flowing

Steyn (Dabs) was the Grand master winner in 5:23. The first K2 finished in 5:26 - Robert Levis and Justin May (Dabs). By all accounts it was a definite challenge to get a K2 around those tricky corners so a big well done to all that managed. Other Results: U18: Loan Magadla (SOW) 5:27 Sub Masters: Benjamin Cockram (Dabs) 5:31. Mixed Doubles: Andre and Mariette Zandbergh (Watuni) 5:52 Masters: Uwe Schmidthaus (VIC) 6:12 Sub Grand Master, JP Pienaar (LIK) in 6:45 Paddlers to watch in the future certainly started to make their mark during this race. One of the

paddlers who took the opportunity to shine was Tristan Trican school leaguer who has just turned 16 and done K1 Klip races but never above Heidelberg Bridge, did his first K2 Fish in October, and sailed through finishing 16th as 2nd Under 18 – an extraordinary effort! Cobus Wagner, second year racing, has done K2 until recently and Fish - and sailed comfortably through as 23rd K1. A special mention should go to Marcell Otto who started learning to paddle last year, struggled swimming everywhere, has suffered the misfortune of broken boats with K2 partners, finished this testing Klip river race in a K1 with hardly a shocked expression on his face in any photos. Well Done! Thanks to the clubs who assisted -

without these committed paddlers, there could be no races in these conditions and these lengths Watuni managed the lower Klip, JCC the Upper Klip, and FLCC the middle Klip - We are extremely grateful to them for all their help and especially the team of JCC/FLCC and an ERK helper also assisted tremendously with tree clearing. It is a thankless time consuming repetitive job, but they worked tirelessly for the benefit of all the paddlers. Especial thanks to Gavin Steyl and his team of merry Robin Hood Forest Tree hunters (Martin Sly, Warren Ziervogel etc) from JCC, Bertie Baard, Craig Smith and Rod Carpenter who are currently keeping the rivers safe for your training and enjoyment.


Images: Kirsten Frost

Stuart Maclaren and Mark Keeling teaming up to lead the way

Its Fast, Its Fun it is called Team Pursuit By Richard Kohler

We love the ingenuity of people, when the rivers are low and transport is expensive some people just get up and make a plan. For the guys is Gauteng they bring the sea to them and have a wicked High Altitude Surfski Champs – neat. The folks in the Western Cape have the

most beautiful sea, but have very little water in their rivers so they devised a brilliant plan to bring the racing nearer to town. It started in 2016 and has been steadily picking up steam in 2017. The concept is great. The venue is Stunning (and it is sheltered from the wind!). The racing is short and sharp and an awesome amount of fun! The idea is that teams of four club members each will race each other head to head in a pursuit knock-out

Shanti Stewart, Dominic Notten and Uli Hart giving it all they’ve got

event over 2400 m (4 x 600m laps). Two teams will start opposite sides of the centre line of the course and race each other in opposite directions around the course. The main principle of the race is that team members assist each other with slip riding. One member of the team is allowed to fall off before the end of the race. Only after the third team member has pasted the centre / finish line after 2400 m will the team be deemed to have finished the race.

It is an easy straight forward concept which does not involve any complicated time keeping. Only a winner and a loser. The teams will proceed according to the knock-out table which guarantees each team at least 3 races. So all you need to do is think of three team mates that can pull you for +/- 7.5km. How do you go about selecting a team – it is really easy. It can be anybody! At this stage the clubs sort out their own teams. This makes it really easy to enter. But we must warn you the organisers have BIG dreams for this type of racing and hope to eventually have two leagues: A professional (like the IPL) and club league. So get training soon! We would love to see it grow in to an inter-provincial type race – just think about how much fun that could be. The other great thing about it is that it is SUPER spectator friendly. If one sets the course around a small dam then spectators can watch the whole race unfold in front of them. At the very least, no matter where you sit on the course the paddlers will pass you four times during the pursuit. It is a bit like watching F1 racing – only much faster. The other great aspect is that it does not need a big space – a lap of 600m is all one needs to get started. With a little bit of organisation even ten teams racing can be done in less than 3 hrs. Lastly it is a terrific way to get people in to paddling – no crashing waves or menacing rapids to start with, just basic fitness and one is good to go! Done on a bigger scale one could race inter-provincial, inter-schools or inter-age groups. The sky really is the limit.

Next date for the Western Cape: 23rd April and 7th May

IMAGES: courtesy Durban Sprint Squad


Welcome to the world of sprints

Okay, so you have seen sprints on the Calendar, you may have even heard about it from a friend whose kid is doing it BUT have you watched it? We have had the privilege of watching schools and Junior and Senior Sprints lately and absolutely loved it! As the sprinting Season is about to step up a couple of notches with the SA champs from the 7th to the 9th April ( Shongweni Dam, KZN) We thought that we would ask Cameron Hudson to help us understand the world of sprints a little better. READY- SET - GO this will change your paddling forever!

in Durban, then once a week in the sea (off season) then I mostly do my gym work in Hillcrest or in Durban at Prime High Performance Institute. I do 5/6 gym sessions a week and 5/6 paddle sessions a week. Gym is done in the morning and then I

Before we kick off though we thought that we would take the opportunity to get to know one of SA’s up-and-coming sprinters so we sat him down and asked him some questions. Meet Cameron Hudson: How old are you? 21 Where are you based? Hillcrest, KwaZulu Natal Are you studying / working? I’m currently studying a Bcom at Varsity College and I have a part time job waitering on the weekends Where do you train? How much time do you spend in the gym as opposed to on the water? I alternate between Shongweni Dam and Point Yacht Club

paddle in the afternoon. I spend just over an hour in the gym, the length of a water session depends on the training, a high intensity speed session usually only lasts an hour where as a longer aerobic

session can last an hour and a half to two hours. As 200m guys we don’t do many really long paddles but I know the 1000m specialist do 40km sessions. How did you get in to sprinting? Was it a school sport or did you take it up outside of school? I took up paddling in grade nine at school and did it very half-heartedly until I participated in my first SA schools Sprints. I pretty much came last in everything but I loved it. After that I always followed all the sprinters while they were overseas as well as international sprinters. There’s nothing as exciting as sprinting. Which distances do you do? I specialise In K1 and K2 200m, but I am trying to improve on my 500m for the future Which race is your favourite and why? 200m is definitely my favourite race. I think 200m is the most difficult distance purely because you can’t make a mistake, the intensity and precision required to put together a perfect 200m is something that takes years to get right. In terms of singles or crew boat I think K2 beats out K1 for me just because of the crew I’m in now, K2 200m is a whole different ballgame and if you get it right it’s the best

feeling. I presume you paddle K1 and K2 what do you do about boats? Do you have to specially import yours? The boats required for Sprinting are very specialised, the majority of top Sprinters locally and international use Nelo Kayaks. I currently use a Nelo Cinco which I had to import from Portugal where it’s manufactured. Calven and I are very lucky that we’ve been lent a K2 Nelo by Cameron MacKenzie as it’s extremely difficult to get a K2 Nelo in SA to use and they are too expensive to buy on top of a K1. In Europe paddling regattas are an almost every summer weekend occurrence but in SA it seems a lot quieter – what happens in SA? Unfortunately there is very little interest and coverage of Sprints in SA and because of that there are no sponsors, which means no events. Funding is also next to nothing so in general there is no support which has caused sprinting to become quite an elitist discipline. Hopefully if sprinting can grow and become more popular then support will follow. Do you have a coach? Is he/ she CSA appointed or do you have to pay personally? I am coached by Neil Evans who was my coach at school as well, he has won World Marathon Champs medals and is the former South African Sprints Chairmen. Considering sprinting is an Olympic discipline – do you qualify for some sort of “sports bursary”? My Partner

and I are currently on the KNCU Academy program, which covers various high performance testing and basic medical (massages, physio etc.). We are hoping to be put back onto The Provincial Elite Athlete Development Program

We will catch up with Cameron later in the year in terms of representing SA and qualifying for the Olympics, but for now we just asked him to explain how sprints work. Here is what he had to say: Sprinting, like marathons is split into two categories, Kayak (K) and Canoe (C) K1, K2 and K4 and C1, C2 and C4 are all raced. There are three distances raced in sprints, 200m, 500m and 1000m with the inclusion of a long distance 5000m race (no longer included in the World Champs programme). Races are run through Heats, Semifinals and then a series of three Finals depending on numbers of participants where top nine competitors go into the A final, next 9 into the B final and next into a C Final. There are nine lanes on a course and competitors are put into lanes according to their positions in previous races (only applies to semifinals and finals). Sprinting is definitely the building blocks of paddle sport, basically

every great marathon and surfski paddler has come from a sprinting background. Oscar Chalupsky, Matt Bouman, Hank McGregor, Ant Stott, Nikki Mocke, Michelle Eray all came from a sprinting background. In a country where marathon and Surfski reign supreme, we seem to forget how valuable the sprinting discipline has been in developing both of those disciplines. We recommend that you go on to YouTube and watch some World Champs and Olympic A finals. A few of Cameron’s favourites would be: - 2013 World champs 500m A final (Brandenburg, Germany) - 2012 Olympic K2 200m A final - 2012 Olympic K1 1000m men’s A final (Eric Larson pulled off a tactically genius race) - 2012/2016 Olympic men’s K1 200m - 2016 Olympic men’s K4 1000m - 2016 Olympic men’s K2 1000m

In terms of South African Sprinting, we have a lot of potential and personally I believe we could be a great sprinting country, looking at what we have achieved so far. Sprinting may be small in SA but the people who do it have fallen in love with it.

I’d obviously recommend a slim line boat that has been set up for Sprinting, however if your skill level only lets you paddle a manta then that is fine, too many people are discouraged because they don’t have or can’t paddle a sprint boat, which is unfortunate because we have seen people having a blast in Jacanas (Knysna Racing) and all sorts of boats from the Velox and legacy range (Kayak Centre). For someone who is serious about sprinting I would recommend biting the bullet and investing in a proper sprint boat. Obviously a Nelo would be first choice but not everyone can afford to buy one so there are affordable local alternatives. Balance wise it will take a while to get it right but going from a stable boat to an unstable boat is not as hard as everyone thinks, a month or two and you’ll be paddling comfortably. (A Nelo is actually a lot more stable than most generic sprint boats - Cameron)

An A final qualifying time for 200m would be in the 35s region with the top guys usually breaking that 35 (W record at 33. 78). In SA u23 times are usually hanging around 36/37 with the top guys breaking that 36 (Calven and Chrisjan broke it a few times ... I’m hoping to get close sometime this year). Woman usually come in around 41s with top woman usually breaking 40 (W record at 37.88), which is a good time for most top junior men, held by Lisa Carrington who is probably on her way to being the most dominant 200m athlete in history) In terms of u23 times, to make it into the A final for 1000m you need to be in the 3:30 range with winners usually getting in the 3:25 (W record at 3:22.4) k2 times are usually around 3:08 (W record at 3:06.7) 500m would be around 1:40 with the top guys getting a 1:36 (W Record 1:35.5) and woman around 1:50 with the top woman getting around 1:48

(official world record is 1:47.06 but Bridgitte actually holds the unofficial world record is at a 1:46) Paddlers tend to only take part in their own provincial champs, purely due to logistical difficulty and costs. It’s a bit impractical to drive all the way to Western Cape or Gauteng for a two day event. Sometimes it’s different though, KZN champs is over the 1st and 2nd of April which is a week away from SA Champs at the same venue, so some competitors will come down and do KZN for extra racing then stay the week and get used to the course. I would love to go and race other provincial champs and regattas, but unfortunately it is expensive to drive all over South Africa with no financial help from the federation. Four years ago the National coach and Sprint Chairman held ‘SA Trial’ events where athletes were given funds towards travel costs and the trials were well received and they were a great preparation for the season. Bianca Beavitt and Melanie Van Niekerk on their way to winning the K2 200m sprints at the African Sprint Champs

The kids put their whole hearts into their race at the Western Cape Champs

Cameron Hudson and Calven Clack cooling down after the sprint

Marathon champs

The Hungarians Are Coming!! And the Germans, British, Chinese, Spanish and some okes from the States… They are assembling on our shores for the highlight of the marathons calendar – The World Marathon Champs! (WMC 2017) They will be here is September! Really Really soon if you think about it. Are you ready? To help you get ready we thought that we would give you a few exciting tips. 1. We have some of the BEST marathon paddlers in the WORLD representing us. Hank McGregor is No 1 (8 Gold medals to his tally) and Andy Birkett is No 2 (Just won the Drak and the Duzi) Jenna Ward(U23) and Kyeta Purchase (Jnr) managed a formidable 2nd in the K2 Women last year so all eyes will be on them to see what they pull out the bag this year. 2. The ICF WMC 2017 is being hosted by Natal Canoe Club in Pietermaritzburg from the 5- 10 September. They have been pulling out all the stops to get ready in time. The portage grass already looks fantastic and the clubhouse is in tip top shape in expectation of

hosting. NCC is a super spectator venue as one can watch the race from either side of the river bank or the grandstands that will be set up overlooking the portage area. It is also easy to get up/ down to the turn buoys if you want to watch the strategy around that. 3. Added to this we have a host of super fit marathoners just itching to add their names to the list of team members now that WMC 2017 is in SA! Whatever happens we are going to be represented by a Super Strong Team. 4. YOU! Yes you. Representing SA, for seniors, juniors and U23 paddlers is restricted to the fastest two boats at SA championships. All other categories can simply enter irrespective of ability. The

more the merrier! It is not every year one can compete in world champs in our home country so especially in the

masters categories, people should be encouraged to take part irrespective of their ability. Teams coming this year, Hungary will definitely be here in full force, France, UK, AUS, Italy, Germany and Spain is always passionate about marathons. From the Europeans I have chatted to, they are quite excited to make their trip into a

holiday. So what should you do? If you are a master – start getting fit, better yet go and find a coach and get them to put you on a programme. It is going to be a blast! You will race the world’s best and people like you all in one heat. Entering the race is always going to be first prize because you never know when you will get a chance again. If you are not a master, or if you are still recovering from an op, think about offering your services to help out on a day or a couple of days. The organisers are going to need people to man the pounds, do admin, be marshals etc. just like any normal race. So if you are free, they will need the help. We will let you know more about that later. Get behind your local paddler. It is going to take a massive amount of work between now and September to get ready. Don’t stop encouraging them when they go past you, offer to run with them at 5am in the morning. Or at least offer to hoot outside their house at 4:45am to get them up! Lastly forgive them if they fall asleep on your couch at 9pm, just wake them up and send them home because while you are sleeping late tomorrow they will be doing laps in the mist.

IMAGES: Jacques Marais for The Orange Descent Canoe Marathon

Orange Descent Canoe Marathon

By Waldo Van Der Linde

The hidden gem of South African river paddling. With guaranteed water, thrilling rapids, breath-taking scenery and true Northern Cape hospitality the Orange Descent has it all. The Northern Cape and more so the region of the Green Kalahari has been well established and is widely promoted as one of South Africa’s best adventure destinations. And this is why the Orange Descent and Orange River offers one of the most memorable river paddling experiences and added to this the Green Kalahari offers warm and heartily hospitality and some of the most amazing tourist attractions like Augrabies Falls and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, just to name a few. The Orange Descent Canoe Marathon is a two-day stage race stretching over 73km from Upington to Kakamas and covers one of the most beautiful stretch of water our country has to offer. The paddlers will experience great river paddling and paddler can expect a few exiting rapids, a paddle through a most amazing rock gorge and a short fast 3km paddle in an irrigation canal to link up with the main river again. The Orange Descent will focus on offering great atmosphere for paddlers and seconds alike with ”Potjie Kos” on offer at the two official overnight stops while you enjoy some of your local Orange River Cellars wines and watching photos and video ’s of the days racing. And to top it all off after an amazing two-days of river racing everyone will be treated to an trip to the Augrabies Falls where you will be able to enjoy an glass of local wine while taking in an amazing Northern Cape sunset over the breath taking views of the Augrabies Falls and canyon. The Orange Descent will be the official CSA canoe marathon in the CDCU union and will be under the management of the CDCU and Upington Canoe Club. Date: 28-29 April 2018 Category: K1 Race year (K2 & K3 welcome) Distance: 73km over 2 days Entry Fee: R650 Senior / R350 Junior ENTER: LIKE us on Facebook at

KNCU Development Dusi KNCU paddlers produced an amazing set of results. The Change a Life paddlers once again dominated the top positions. This Dusi was also about participation, giving first time paddlers the opportunity to experience this epic race – and what an event it turned out to be. One of the hardest races in the history of the Dusi! Huge congratulations to everyone who participated and managed a result at the end of the three long, hard days. name




Mvelo Ngidi




Mpilo Zondi


1st U23, 10th overall


Khumbulani Nzimande U23

2nd U23, 11th overall


Nhlanhla Cele


15th overall


Sandile Mtolo


3rd U16, 77th overall


Minenhle Mbhele


4th U18, 64th overall


Lungelo Zondi


26th U18, 281st overall


Xolile Kondile


27th U23, 104th overall


Msawenkosi Mtolo


4th U23, 14th overall

No 9

Sboniso Shozi


5th U23, 18th overall

No 9

Nqobile Makhanya


6th U23, 20th overall

No 9

Thabani Msiya


8th U23, 25th overall

No 9

Raymond Radebe


14th U23, 48th overall

No 9

Mlandeni Radebe


50th overall

No 9

Mxolisi Ntuli


17th U23, 60th overall


Syethemba Majola


24th U23, 90 overall


Zamokuhle Ntanzi


11th U16, 494th overall


Themba Chonco


25th U18, 279th overall


Coach Sipho Canham with KCC paddlers – Themba Chonco (left) and Zamokuhle Ntanzi (right)

Results submitted by coaches and KNCU Union Coordinator – Thulani Mbanjwa.

Dihlabeng Slalom Club, from the Central Districts Canoe Union, also made an appearance at the Dusi – seen here with coach Lindelani Ngidi (centre) are (L) Katleho Success Mahlaba (121st) and (R) Jablane Mofoheng (145th). Raymond Radebe – 48th overall; congratulates Christie Mackenzie – 2nd lady home.

Some of the KNCU team ready for action!!

Soweto Canoe & Recreation Club (SCARC) FNB DUSI REPORT Submitted by Andile Nyanga (Adreach); edited by Janet Simpkins.

SCARC paddlers took on the toughest FNB Dusi river race in a decade. Due to the drought this year’s Dusi, which took place from the 16-18 February 2017, was tougher than previous years. But even the extreme conditions this year did not deter the guys who had put in an enormous amount of training. Their training certainly seemed to pay off as the guys successfully completed the 2017 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon with pride. This year we had one lady, Sneziwe Gxobole tackling the challenge in a K1. She raced through the first day with a smashed boat. However all

the repairs came undone on the rocky day two so she was unable to finish. Frustratingly her boat sank on Inanda dam and she was then forced to withdraw the race. We certainly admire her courage and hope that she competes again next year.

An outstanding performance was put in by our K2 U18 boys, Sinenhlanhla Ludidi and Bengamin Mntonitshi as they won their age group and finished in an outstanding position of 176. These guys are certainly going to be the ones to watch in the coming years. This is a truly remarkable feat considering that the majority of

these paddlers below are first timers on such a big event. We commend them for their dedication and effort which really did pay off as they were able to overcome the given circumstances. From the clubs point of view this is such a huge achievement as hundreds of paddlers set off from Camps drift on Thursday not entirely sure of what the three days of paddling would have in store with uncertain water levels and difficult environmental issues to take in mind. It’s however now became the tradition to embrace the spirit of the FNB Dusi and view the experience in a positive way.

Breakdown of the CSA and Union assisted SCARC results (45) Siyabonga Tyiki – U23 (80) Sipho Qoko- U23 (82) Chazani Gumede – U23 (119) Sbusiso Chwayi - JNR (148) Xolisa Gxobole - U23 (149) Lona Magadla - JNR (176 &1st U18 K2) Sinenhlanhla Ludidi and Benjamin Mntonitshi - JNR (273) Andile Nyanga – U23 (328) Zanenhlanhla Mbala - JNR Sneziwe Gxobole (SNR) at the finish of day one with so (425) Wongama Makhasi - JNR much courage, although the boat was sinking she strived Sneziwe Gxobole (DNF – boat sank) through day two. DNF as her boat sank on Inanda Dam

Siyabonga Tyiki - (U23) 45th overall

Andile Nyanga (U23) after a long three days accepting the welldeserved medal of honour

Our first under 18 K2 Sinenhlanhla Ludidi and Benjamin Mntonintshi happy and excited at the finish of the race

DEVELOPMENT - SPrinting season With the end of the river season having drawn to a close the focus now shifts to the sprinting season. Unions will host their provincial sprinting events in preparation for SA Sprints and the highlight for juniors of all age groups – SA Schools Sprint Champs. Paddlers from U8 right through to U18 get to battle it out for 3 action-packed days from the 28 – 30 April 2017. This year the event will be hosted by Western Cape Canoe Union, at the picturesque Buffeljags Dam just outside of Swellendam. Here is a heads up on who to watch amongst our development paddlers. WCCU sprint champs 2017 – Submitted by Wayne August – WCCU Head coach: U10 boys and girls Aidin Armstrong, who has only just started paddling, is already making his mark coming 2nd in the boys U10 at the WCCU sprint champs. Devan Pedro also from Paarl finished a close 3rd. Whitney Appolis paddled her heart out and in to 3rd position in the girls U10. U12 boys It has been very tough racing between Charlton Klaase and Diaan Fortuin in the U12 boys with Charlton winning the 1000m and 500m and Diaan winning the 200m and the 2000m long distance. Diaan managed to pip Charlton to the top spot after Charlton finished 4th in the 200m and 2000m long distance. The results saw Diaan finishing 1st and Charlton 2nd in the boys U12.

U14 boys and girls Eugon Williams managed to finish 2nd against his fellow competitor from the Misgund canoe club in the Eastern Cape. Nicole Abrahams and Nicqu-linn August managed to finish 1st and 2nd in the girls U14 and also teamed for the K2’s at the recent WCCU sprints. U16 boys Melvino Klaase managed to finish 3rd in the 1000m and 2nd in the 500m K1 with Angelo Smith finishing 2nd in the 1000m and 3rd in the 500m K1. The pair then teamed up in the K2’s and managed to get silver in K2 sprint distances. In the build-up to the sprinting season Gauteng Schools League run an incredibly successful sprint series which really prepares the youngsters for the major events. Jodie Ellinor-Dreyer from the Gauteng Schools League explains a little more about the concept: The GCU Schools League has been around for many years and has grown from strength to strength. This year we have almost 200 junior paddlers registered on our pre-entry database with male and female paddlers in nearly all age categories from U8 to u18. We have paddlers from 26 primary schools, 30 high schools and 11 clubs. The various Gauteng canoe clubs support the school league by allowing us the opportunity to race at their club, use their facilities, supply marshals and provide catering with the much needed bottle of water in the summer and cup of hot

chocolate in the winter. We have a strong School League race team of 10 volunteers who give of their time to help with time keeping, pounds, taking photos for those close calls on the line, capturing data & results at each race. GCU Sprints is a wonderful opportunity for junior paddlers to build on their race practice for SA Schools Sprint Kayak Championships. To encourage junior participation we awarded participation ribbons to all paddlers and school league points to paddlers depending on their overall points from both the 200m and 500m events. I heard an expression, yesterday, in a documentary about the “Beyond the River” movie that said something along the lines of “ speaks a different language..” and from my time at GCU school league races I am very blessed to actually see this expression in action. It is wonderful to see the youngsters blossom, build on their skills, help and encourage one another and hear the camaraderie as they cheer their team mates on – Jodie Gauteng is coming!! See you at SA Schools 2017 ECCU are planning to bring a nearly 20-strong contingent of development paddlers from their 3 initiatives Misgund, Border and St Francis. While KNCU will finalise their sprint team following their trials at KZN Sprint Champs this coming weekend 1-2 April.

Wemmer Pan event

The Paarl team – watch this space!


2017 To be held at Buffeljags Dam – Outside Swellendam 34°0'31.60”S; 20°32'36.72”E 28 April – 30 April 2017

Entries close Friday 7 April 2017. Late entries accepted at double entry fee till Sunday 23 April 2017. All Enquiries: VENUE


Buffelsjagdam Ontspanningklub, 3.3km North off the N2



Camp Sites & ablution facilities will be available at the venue for Development Athletes and their support teams @ R135 Per person for 3 nights – Pre Booking for camping is essential – email above



Gazebo Sites, parking & ablution facilities will be available at the venue for day visitors



Full meal plan (9 meals Thurs night to Sunday lunch) - R465.00 Breakfast - R30 Lunch – R50 Dinner – R75 These meals will be served at the venue Meals must be pre-booked – email above



Stalls selling snacks and refreshments will be available at the venue, The N2 BP convenience store is 4.2km from the venue and the Swellendam Main Street is 13km from the venue

ACCOMODATION: Camping 34 Glen Barry St Swellendam, 028 514 8575 -13km to venue Kam'bati River Resort, 072 357 1131 – 35km to venue Bontebok, 028 5142735 – 20km to venue

Canoeing South

Meet the Secretary General... Father and a husband who paddles and involves himself in the administration of the sport (as I have done for the past 30 years or more). I have a beautiful wife (who has also represented SA, in marathon as a junior), and 3 fantastic children. When or how did you start paddling? I was sucked into paddling through surf lifesaving. My first competitive sport was surfing. When I was at school I was selected to surf at the SA Champs in East London (1974). Through surfing, I was introduced to surf lifesaving. I began paddling in order to compete in the Iron Man event at lifesaving champs. I had a crack at the Scottburgh to Brighton in a ski, but found it hard work, so I paddled the next two on a racing board instead. The next year I paddled the Lucky Strike Challenge PE to East London (1979). I also did the first three Cape Point. Your first few races? My first canoe race was the Berg. I

think it was in 1980. I had never sat in a K1 in moving water before, so swam almost the entire first day. It was freezing cold. I didn’t sat in a canoe again until I went to university in Pietermaritzburg in 1984. Best race or worst race? My best race ever was my first Umko win (1986), mainly because we had not been expected to. There are simply too many worst races to remember!

ABOUT CSA I often get asked the question “who is CSA”. My stock standard answer to the paddlers is “you are CSA”. The system works like this: A group of paddlers decides to form a club. They elect a committee and a chairman. Their club becomes part of their “union”, which is a union of clubs in that particular province. Most unions have general meetings during the year, to which any club member may attend. Unions, in turn, elect a committee to run the affairs of that province. Each union chairman becomes a member of the CSA board. In SA, we have 5 unions: Gauteng Canoe Union (GCU) Kwazulu Natal Canoe Union (KNCU)

Central Districts Canoe Union (CDCU – being the Free state and most of the Northern Cape) Eastern Cape Canoe Union (ECCU) Western Cape Canoe Union (WCCU). In addition to these five union chairmen, there is also the president and three additional board members (paddler representative, PDI representative and women’s representative). These nine people are the voting members of the board. Non-voting members include the administrator, the accountant, the development coordinator, and the secretary general. In effect, the paddlers choose the chairmen of their club who represents them at the union. The union chooses a chairman who represents them on the CSA board. Ultimately, the CSA board is a representation of the paddler’s wishes. THE INTERNATIONAL CANOE FEDERATION (ICF) National federations such as CSA become members of the continental federation (in our case it is the Confederation of African Canoeing, or CAC), as well as the ICF (International Canoe Federation). The ICF holds a “Congress” every two

h Africa Explained

By Colin Simpkins

years, at which all major decisions are voted on. Each discipline has a committee that is elected at the ICF Congress which is held in the year of the Olympic Games. The discipline committees, as well as the ICF board serve for a term of four years. I am one of five members of the ICF Ocean Racing Committee.

CHALLENGES At the risk of beating the same old drum over and over again, the most pressing issue in our sport is the dearth of human capital when it comes to administration. Paddlers sometimes appear happy to involve themselves in club administration (even this is hardly over-subscribed). However, very few raise their hands to represent at union and

national level. This often leads to a lack of enthusiastic and motivated administrators, which, in turn, leads to the stagnation of the sport. It is not a healthy predicament when people are in positions because nobody else would volunteer. We need new and young people with vibrant ideas so that tired old Quaggas like myself are thrown off of committees.

IMAGES: Robin Mousley

Hout Bay calling

Hout bay tuesday night dices

6pm on Tuesdays October to the end of March 6km / 10km Meet on the beach next to the harbour wall. HBYC for prize giving.

A lot of us head down to our local club on a Tuesday evening and gingerly put our canoes down on the water complaining about how cold it is or how windy it is, but not a tough group of paddlers that meet every Tuesday evening in Hout Bay. These are the stalwarts of paddling. It is rumoured that even the spectator seals have been known to shiver at the sight of these guys getting ready to paddle the Tuesday Hout Bay Series. If you think that you are tough enough it is time to head down to Hout Bay on a Tuesday evening and put it to the test! We caught up with race organiser Richard Sutton and asked him a couple of questions. How did the series start? I was enjoying paddling and had done a lot of sailing in Hout Bay. I thought why not have a surfski series in summer when there wasn’t a canoe time trial. How do people find out about the series? Paddlers are able to find out about the series on the website www. or on the social media channels facebook and twitter. It is best to follow the series on Facebook or twitter if you are doing the series in order to stay up to date with the weather. How many paddlers do you have on a Tuesday evening?

We have between 25 to 70 paddlers on any given night. But a lot depends on the weather and the traffic coming out of town. How long is an average long course / short course? There are two courses. A long course that is +-10km and short course +-5km. On a nice day we might increase this a bit. The favourite route appears to be out to Vulcan rock and back but the route is set on the day depending on the conditions The photos of Hout Bay are always flat and beautiful are there days when it is wild? You need to look at a few more of the photos on facebook. Not all the races are in prefect conditions. We have some wet and wild days in the bay for those few paddlers who are keen to take on the challenge. What conditions are the most challenging to paddle in? When the winds is gusting over 25knots, the race is cancelled. But we have had races where the wind has picked up during the race to be gusting over 25knots. Paddlers love the downwind leg of the race. All the hard work getting to the turn buoy is rewarded on the way back down. When does the series run from (Spring Series and Autumn Series) approx dates? Start after the fish river marathon and runs till mid March. We try to fit in 20 races. Meeting in the Hout Bay Yacht Club pub for prize giving looks like a winner - has it always been like that?

Yes we have always had post-race drinks and prize giving. That’s what we paddling for ;) Are most of the paddlers from Hout Bay? Most paddlers are from Hout Bay and Constantia area. We get the odd paddlers from Milnerton. You yourself are a paddler do you manage to paddle in the series? I sometime paddle in the series, if there is someone to do the registration and timing on the day. But I mainly look after this and paddle before the races. You must have seen some interesting changes in paddling over the years? Yes the series has been going for 17 years. It has been interesting see how surfski number grew for 3 to 4 years about 10 years ago. Sadly now the numbers are dropping off at races. People are still paddling, just not racing. You ran the series, went overseas and then came back and continued running the series. You must really like it. What makes this series so special for you? It just fun and great to have a bunch of paddlers who enjoy the series. Who are your more regular sponsors? Oude Molen, Carbonology Sports, Second Skins and Butlers Pizza have all been involved with the series for a number of years. Without their ongoing support the series would not be possible. It is great that they still happy to sponsor the series with prizes.

IMAGES: Anthony Grote

17h30 on Fridays Marine Surf Lifesaving Club, Addington Beach

On-the-day Registration: 16h30 inside Marine Surf Lifesaving Club Short Course: 4km (1 Lap) Long Course: 8km (2 laps) Compulsory Equipment: PFD (personal floatation device or lifejacket) The series got off to a flying start this year. It was so early that it caught a number of paddlers completely off guard. It feels like Barry Lewin and his crew did not rest at all over Christmas but instead took the time to hammer away at putting together a slicker series for everyone enjoyment. The first race of the season was held on the 6 January. So while most paddlers were still

Zoog Heyns and his son Ty riding the wave to the finish

wondering why they did not fit in to their usually unbelievably comfy Funky Pants, Barry and his crew were setting up banners/ launching rescue boats and once again getting ready to welcome people to simply amazing racing. Fortunately for a lot of paddlers the weather played ball for the first three races. This gave them time to regain

their sea legs and do sneak training to work off the last bit of Christmas puddling that was still laying around before judgement day on the 4th race. Not even the rain could deter paddlers from coming out to celebrate the start of the weekend in the best manner possible. And come they did. The FNB Marines Series consistently gets hundreds of paddlers to line up on the starting

line week after week. Just copy the link here watch?v=57aRIyoDpfY to watch Hank and Matt on classic runs.

commit everything to winning the dice one more time and so the battle rages on much to the delight and applause of the watching paddlers.

This series is also at the heart of marathon battles that are going a long way to breeding and shaping our future Surfski Champions. At the apex is the battle of the decade between Euro Steel/ Epic Kayaks Hank McGregor and SMG/ Epic Kayaks Matt Bouman. This battle feels like it has been going on since war was first declared in Middle Earth and still it rages on. It is testament to the unwavering determination of each of these paddlers that each week they take their place on the start line ready to

This is not to say that they are the only ones doing battle in the men’s series; Wade Krieger and Gene Prato along with come-back kid Grant van der Walt were always right up there in the midst of the battle, winning several skirmishes but just not enough to win the war yet. This intense racing between some of the world’s best paddlers does wonders in terms of inspiring our younger generations to get out there and simply never give up. All the credit goes to Hank McGregor who won every race he entered and was

crowned king of the series. The next battle that is getting fiercer every season is the fight for domination between the women. Our current World Surfski Series winner, Hayley Nixon was in the mix from the first race but did not have an easy time of it. With every race coming down to the wire and often the victor being determined by the last wave in there really has not been much in it. With such varying weather and surf conditions each of the women had to bide their time and maximise their opportunity when the weather presented itself. Euro Steel’s Bridgitte Hartley fresh from her Olympic bid was able to capitalise on every opportunity when

the surf was small and speed was king over stability. Euro Steel / Carbonology Hayley Nixon on the other hand has spent a lot more time in the sea and was able to make the most of varying conditions relying on her technique and experience. Chasing hard behind them were the likes of Michelle Burn the champion when the going gets Big (winning race 4 & 8) and Kyeta Purchase who is batting well above her age group and will certainly be one of the paddlers to watch at the World Marathon Champs in September. No one can afford to relax for a moment because snapping at their heels are the ever keen paddlers Donna Winter, Kerry Segal and new kid on the block Pippa McGregor. In the end it was Hayley Nixon with her never give up attitude that came shooting across the line to take race 10 and the title. The Marines Series is also home to family racing. Thanks partly to the safety boat on the water one can often watch moms and dads racing the kids (I wonder if they bet beers – like we do?). On any giving Friday there are 6 doubles with parent / child combinations taking on the Challenge. The combinations with younger kids tend to do the short course which is a tremendous way to introduce them to the sport while older kids have graduated to the fitness exacting long course. Either way there is a sense of delight and accomplishment when the boat crosses the finish line. Doing race 1 and 2 is one thing, but one really has to admire the parents and children’s bravery when you see them out and racing during race 4 and 8! You encourage all of us!

Matt Bouman charging towards the finish

Kyeta Purchase, Donna Winter, Hayley Nixon and Michelle Burn

Hank McGregor laughing his way through the break

Ponta do Ouro

Orange River Mouth

Tugela River Mouth

Port St Johns Dassen Island Cape Agulhas

SALDANHA PORT CONTROL Tel: 022 714 1726 Stn. 24 Lambert’s Bay – 060 960 3027 Stn. 04 Mykonos – 082 990 5966 Stn. 34 Yzerfontein – 082 990 5974

CAPE TOWN PORT CONTROL Tel: 021 449 3500 Stn. 18 Melkbosstrand – 082 990 5958 Stn. 03 Table Bay – 082 990 5963

Seal Point

Great Fish River Mouth

Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) Tel: 021 938 3300 NSRI HQ: 021 434 4011 MOSSEL BAY PORT CONTROL Tel: 044 604 6271 Stn. 33 Witsand – 082 990 5957 Stn. 31 Still Bay – 082 990 5978 Stn. 15 Mossel Bay – 082 990 5954 Stn. 23 Wilderness – 082 990 5955 Stn. 12 Knysna – 082 990 5956

EAST LONDON PORT CONTROL Tel: 043 700 2100 Stn. 07 East London – 082 990 5972 Stn. 28 Port St Johns – 082 550 5430

DURBAN PORT CONTROL Tel: 031 361 8567 Stn. 32 Port Edward – 082 990 5951 Stn. 20 Shelly Beach – 082 990 5950 Stn. 05 Durban – 082 990 5948

Stn. 14 Plettenberg Bay – 082 990 5975


Stn. 10 Simon’s Town – 082 990 5965

P.E. PORT CONTROL Tel: 041 507 1911


Stn. 16 Strandfontein – 082 990 6753

Stn. 36 Oyster Bay – 082 990 5968

Stn. 22 Vaal Dam – 083 626 5128

Stn. 09 Gordon’s Bay – 072 448 8482

Stn. 21 St Francis Bay – 082 990 5969

Stn. 27 Victoria Lake – 060 991 9301

Stn. 17 Hermanus – 082 990 5967

Stn. 37 Jeffreys Bay – 079 916 0390

Stn. 25 Hartbeespoort Dam – 082 990 5961

Stn. 29 Air Sea Rescue – 082 990 5980

Stn. 06 Port Elizabeth – 082 990 0828

Stn. 35 Witbank Dam – 060 962 2620

Stn. 30 Agulhas – 082 990 5952

Stn. 11 Port Alfred – 082 990 5971

Stn. 38 Theewaterskloof – 072 446 6344

Stn. 02 Bakoven – 082 990 5962 Stn. 08 Hout Bay – 082 990 5964 Stn. 26 Kommetjie – 082 990 5979

Stn. 19 Richards Bay – 082 990 5949

CRAIG LAMBINON: 082 380 3800 (Communications)

You can download a digital version of these emergency numbers from our website:


The world’s only High Altitude Surfski Race drew over 150 paddlers to Emmarentia Dam. It was a festive affair, everyone had the time of their lives with the Jetskis and motorboat riders definitely enjoying the opportunity to create wakes up and down the small dam! Spectators also enjoyed the spectacle with all kinds of promo’s including camels to entertain them. It was a grand opportunity to watch some of SA’s best top paddlers in

our own back yard with a lot of out of town visitors participating - from Lowveld and Eastern Cape, as well as Kwa-Zulu Natal! It certainly was a great success.

Andy Birkett were the 2nd finishing K2, in 3rd overall (Dabs/Natal) in 45 minutes and Jasper Mocke was the first K1 finisher (WP) some 21 seconds later.

Well done to Wayne Jacobs and Dave Hamilton-Brown who led the race from start to finish - all 10kms, in a time of 43 minutes (Dabs) as Sub Veteran winners as well, followed by Hank McGregor with his wife Pippa, in 44 minutes (KZN) - leading Mixed Double and first K2. Colin Wilson and

The LADIES RACE was dominated by the KZN ladies - with Bridgitte Hartley, who finished first in 49 minutes, our national pride (boasting an Olympic Bronze medal), with Hayley Nixon finishing in 50 minutes, and Kerry Segal 3rd in 54 minutes. 4th Anna Clifford Arwidi (Dabs, the

first finishing Gauteng lady) 57 mins 5th Michelle Van Reenan 1:00, as Sub Veteran champ 6th Sarah Evans (Dabs) 1:01 (she was missed out on the results as she was in her husband’s boat with his number on and wasn’t picked up as a lady finisher!) 7th Lisa Currell (Dabs) 1:02 8th Holly Spencer, as the Under 23 ladies winner 1:03. 9th Marian Lombard (Watuni) was the official lady finisher 1:21 (there was an unknown Alicia Botha who finished in 1:17). There were also a number of MIXED DOUBLE surfski’s participating apart from the wining double McGregor combo.....and it was apparently NOT Wikus Loots and Andrea van Tonder (LOW) who were the 2nd place mixed Double finishers in 48 minutes, as Andreas insists on his

male genes being present, checked and validated, so the 2nd Mixed doubles crew were actually Martin van den Bergh and Morgan Ziervogel in 50 minutes (JCC) making Janet Bartlett and Bruce Dixon the 3rd Mixed double crew in 52 minutes! Top podium first place age category finishers included the First Sub Veteran K1 from EC - Bevan Manson in 46 minutes, Sowetan Under 23 champions, Siyabonga Tyiki and Thando Ngamlana in 48 minutes, with David Rodrigues (Dabs) being the first K1 Under 23 finisher in 50 minutes. The first Sub Grand master finisher (EC) Rob Smith in 48:37, while Gary Ralph and Voler Eberle finished as the first K2 SGM team in 50 miutes (Dabs). The first Sub Master finishers (DABS) Andrew Hall and Anthony Rowan in 48 :51 minutes with Michael Stewart (ERK) being the first Sub Master K1 finisher

in 49 minutes. The first Veteran (DABS) was Mark Garden in 49 minutes, and the K2 veteran top finishers were John Cunningham and Claude Nish in 54 minutes (Dabs). The first Masters (Dabs) in 50 minutes - Sean Martin and Alaric Pagel! The K1 Master finisher was KZN’s Kevin Murray in 55 minutes. Peter O Connor and Nigel Harvey were the Grand master finishers in 51 minutes (Dabs) although Graham Holm was the K1 top GM finisher (Dabs) in 54 minutes. Brian Longley the first finishing Great Grand Master finisher (Dabs) in 54 minutes, with the first Under 18 (Dabs) being Matthew Eckart in 55 minutes! Sowetan Zanenhanhla Mbala finished as the first Under 16 (Sow) in 57 minutes.

Length and feather angles of wing paddles BY Celliers Kruger The length, feather angle, shaft stiffness and blade shape/size are the four most important factors that determine the suitability of a paddle for any specific application. In this article I will focus on the length and feather angle of wing paddles specifically.


The old rule of thumb for the length of a wing paddle is to stand next to the paddle and stretch out your one arm above your head. You should be able to curl your fingers around

the tip of the blade. This rule is still a good starting point, but there is more to it. For sprinting, you would use the longest paddle that you can feasibly handle in terms of power and maintaining good technique. For a paddler of average height, this would typically translate to a paddle of around 218cm long. For longer distances, a slightly shorter paddle (say 2-3cm shorter) is recommend, otherwise your strength and style will most likely deteriorate.

In rapids, a shorter paddle is always better. It allows you to increase your stroke rate when a sudden burst of speed is needed, and it also allows you to react faster when correction strokes are called for. For our hypothetical paddler of average height, who sprints with a 218cm paddle and does marathons with a 215cm paddle, a paddle of about 212cm is a good call for running the type of rapids that you would encounter on rivers like the Dusi and

Learn to paddle a SURFSKI on the sea. All equipment provided and all levels accepted. Meet new people and discover a great lifestyle activity.

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Kyle Friedenstein


Feather angle

The feather angle is the angle between the two blades. It is also the source of a never-ending debate that started way back when the Eskimos made their first sealskin kayaks and it hasn’t stopped since. The main reason that the debate is still ongoing is that paddlers get attached to the feather angle that they started paddling with and will defend the merits of their chosen/taught angle without ever considering alternatives. It’s a bit like religion… Here is the simple truth of feather angles: all things considered, the correct feather angle is largely determined by the angle of your paddle stroke. It is a matter of physics. Which means that if you have good technique with a wing paddle and have a fairly vertical stroke (60° is considered fairly vertical in the case of paddle strokes), your paddle should ideally have a feather angle of 60°. If your paddle’s feather angle is substantially different from what your stroke angle is, you can be sure that the wrist on your controlling hand is bending and twisting to get the blade on the opposite side smoothly into the water. How does this relate to sprinting vs marathon vs rapids? When you sprint, you are most likely to have your best technique in action, and your paddle will most likely enter the water quite vertically. Which means a feather angle of 60°, or maybe even 65°, will be ideal. On longer distances, most paddlers tend to have more sloppy technique, and the paddle stroke becomes less vertical. The result is that most paddlers should use a slightly flatter feather angle for long distance, say 10-15 degrees flatter. That would make the feather angle for a long distance paddle around 45° to 50° for most paddlers. In rapids, a flatter paddle stroke is recommended for the sake of

stability. As a result, a flatter feather angle is also recommend, say 35° to 40°. It is surprisingly easy to adjust to different feather angles, because it is so directly connected to stroke angles. Using the exact same technique, a 60° feather angle will feel the same when you do high angle strokes as a 45° feather angle when you do less vertical strokes.


It is clear that for the typical K1 paddler in South Africa who does a bit of sprinting, marathons and river racing, one wing paddle with a fixed length and feather angle will always be a compromise. It is an option to have multiple wing paddles, each catering for different conditions. The more logical option is to have a wing paddle with a split shaft, which means that the length and angle can be adjusted. The added advantage of a split shaft is that you can even adjust the length and angle while you’re racing. For instance, on a race like the Dusi, our hypothetical paddler could start Day 2 with his paddle set at 212cm long and 40° feather, and then change it to 215cm long and 50° when he hits Inanda Dam. Split-shaft paddles cost a bit more than one-piece shafts. The advantages certainly outweigh the extra cost though. The ability to change the length and feather angle of your paddle according to the conditions will certainly make you a more efficient paddler.

ASK THE EXPERTS Kevin Brunette An experienced surfski paddler, having completed three Cape Point Challenges. Motivated by technique and boat speed, and can often be seen on the water or at the gym perfecting his stroke and improving his fitness. A keen hiker and mountain biker. Kevin has authored and published these books: • SURFSKI: With the Pros • SURFSKI: Paddling Downwind • SURFSKI: Perfecting your Technique • SURFSKI: Surviving at Sea • SURFSKI: Training for Performance • SURFSKI: Winning the Races • SQUASH: With the Pros Follow the link


Hi, I read with interest your response to Fiona in the last edition and I have one question that causes endless debate after time trials. Please end it once and for all. Who should sit in the front of the double K2 / S2. Thanks Barry.


Barry. Because of the variables, there can be no definitive answer on this question, but here are a few guidelines for the more serious doubles combinations. Placement of paddlers front and back depends on the individuals’ competencies. The role of the front paddler is to steer the craft and to set the tempo. The back paddler must be comfortable with a longer paddle to

IMAGE: Gina Gomez-Penn

provide power and keep the craft upright. Boat trim is important, so you want the heavier paddler at the back, where most of the craft’s volume is located. In flat water, the front paddler should have the more established and consistent stroke, because the back paddler has to mimic what goes on in front. In rough water conditions such as downwind, the more assertive paddler needs to take up the front seat. In close quarter paddling, the more competitive individual should pilot the craft to get around the turn markers and to the finish line. The best way to determine the placement of a doubles pairing is to test the options. With the desired outcome of sharing the load and performance, it might not what you planned or expected. Success might just depend on having a partner with a pliable and accommodating personality, especially as you fatigue.


This is a question for Kyle, since he has just won the Port Elizabeth to East London event. I would really like to improve my fitness and go faster. Due to work, family and other commitments, I can only paddle the time trial during the week and occasionally do a race over the weekend. Going into winter it will be dark by the time I can get on the water. Is there any basic programme that I can work towards to get fitter without getting on the water? Should I gym and if so which exercises should I do? Should I run in the mornings and should I do long runs or intervals? Your help would be greatly appreciated. Regards Craig


Hi Craig. Ask yourself…. Can you squeeze in a 20 minute paddle, either early in the morning or a quick paddle after work? I have seen guys do incredibly well on a short, no messing about power paddle. Dawid Mocke is someone who works from 09h00 to 17h00 and balances his family life at the same time. He will keep fit by doing a 20 minute interval training session during the week. Last year during the Cape Town winter, I trained until the light faded. I would then finish off my workout session on land with some Body weight circuit training. There is no secret… the best training for paddling is paddling, so if you can find a way to get on the water for even 20 minutes a day, this will by far be the best option for improving your paddling speed. If a short paddle is not possible, there are many things you can do that will work as a strong substitute. Running and swimming. These two exercises I have personally found to be the best for building the type of cardio endurance required for paddling. Hill running is a great way for us paddlers, who are not conditioned runners to get our heart rates up. This way you won’t need to do the high impact sprints or intervals, thus minimizing the accompanied injuries. A swimming interval session in the pool is highly recommended! If you have time to fit in some gym this also can help build strength and power. More Importantly drawing up a training schedule is essential to better manage your time. Every day you should know exactly what training session you are doing as well as how long the session will take and what the focus of the session will be. This way you will be able to better plan your routines and mix them up a little if it starts to get monotonous. Training sessions don’t have to be long and boring, however by the time you are done you must feel the workout. If this is not the case adjustments are required for an increased level of difficulty in the exercise. Learn to enjoy the feeling that comes with achieving your short and longterm goals as a result of sticking to your training, rather than the actual training itself. I hope this will give you some ideas moving forward. Best of luck…

Kyle Friedenstein Age 24 Lives in Cape Town South Africa Owner at Surfski School CT RACING 2 x Winner of the Scottborough to Brighton Winner of Dolphin Coast 1st U23 KZN Provincial Champs 7th at the Mauritius Ocean Classic Winner of the 2016 PE2EL

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View from the back of the boat

Those who know me will confirm that I am generally a very pragmatic person so it came as a surprise to many that I was going to paddle Dusi 2017 with someone I’d never met. He’d come recommended by a fellow paddler and is also a surf-skier. I thought if you can paddle in the cold windy cape seas you can paddle anywhere.

All three days were typically hot February days, so getting hot and sweaty was inevitable. Not ideal on a blind date. On the way down to the bottom of Ngumeni portage there are awesome motivational and funny signs. One of which stated NO CANOE-DELLING in the bushes – who has energy to Canoe-del after Ngumeni Portage?

We agreed to meet on the Wednesday before Dusi to sort out our Dusi boat and do a quick 8kms from Ernie Pearce to Low Level Bridge– would be a good idea to see if we could stay in the boat.

Due to the drought the entrance to Inanda was vastly different to previous Dusi’s. Many boats were stranded on sand bars. We too found ourselves on a sandbar. Terrence hopped out the boat which then was a little lighter and I decided to paddle on without him. It must have looked like another paddlers spat to the onlookers. After a few meters I decided I might need Terrence to get to the finish so I let him hop in again to slog it out to the end of day 2.

We shot Ernie Pearce nicely and Terrence broke into song… I knew then that this was going to be a very entertaining 3 days. Amazing how you don’t show all your cards at the beginning of the game. Terrence’s nemesis is Mussons and mine is Taxi rapid – after shooting these perfectly we thought we were home and dry for the rest of day one. Pride comes before a fall and we had a refreshing swim before Guineafowl and another at the end of Missions rapid.

IMAGE: Jetline Action Photo

We had an eight hour day 2, and I asked Terrence then “Is this your longest Dusi?” He said no and one day he would tell me about Hennie. On the morning of day 3 we heard that the anticipated release didn’t happen and we needed to decide whether to go over Burma or rock

hop around. Apparently you haven’t done a Dusi unless you’ve done Burma…there is a particularly good reason generally paddle round. I think 90% of the field chose Burma and so there was a traffic jam and a very social walk up Burma. Thankfully the locals helped us find our way down or we still be out there trying to find our way to Durban. We finally found the river again after Burma portage and were a bit dismayed when the water was ankle deep. We attached our tie-down to our boat (which Terrence didn’t think we needed when I asked him to take it at the start of day three) and trudged towards Durban. The only time I felt like I could go no further was when we were walking through Mango. But with Terrence’s great sense of humour, the great attitude of other paddlers and an opportunity to see the top paddlers zoom past us we plodded on to the finish. A 20 hour Dusi later I suspect that Terrence will be telling Hennie about me. Terrence thanks for going on longest “Blind Date” ever.

IMAGE: Jacques Marais for The Orange Descent Canoe Marathon

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