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Issue 5 2018 Oct/Nov

TEAM SA take on the world

+

NEW: SUP

Surfski

Canoe

Race Reviews

Full Calendars


image Cape Photographic Studio


Contents

THULE COMPETITION PAGE 8!

FEATURES 18 ICF World sprint 67 ON THE HORIZON CHAMPS

22 training with cadence Reach your Peak

26

ICF WORLD marathon CHAMPS

PE2EL

70 SUP 74 CANOE POLO Belgium 80 CAPE TOWN WATERWAYS Peninsula Paddle

60 SA’s K2 RIVER CHAMPIONS

RACES IN REVIEW 14 Liebenbergsvlei 48 flcc klip river race 38 nelo summer 52 gara dolphin challenge

coast challenge

42 irish coast

56 what a feeling Breede

paddling champs

2018

82 vlcc Cake Race 44 watuni klip REGULARS 9 a word from you 83 Out and about Spot yourself 10 tidbits News! 88 Calendars 34 Opinion Start them young Canoeing, Surfski and SUP events around the country, get training and planning 78start paddling tips Achieving a good 94 view from the back of the boat


on the cover IMAGE Andy Birkett & Hank McGregor EVENT World Marathon Champs2018 PHOTOGRAPHER Carolyn J Cooper

PHOTOGRAPHY

Graham Daniel Cape Town Sport Photography Cape Photographic Studio Carolyn J Cooper Jean Tresfon Lynda Thompson Celliers Kruger Ray Chaplin Jennie Dallas Anthony Grote Clint Lawson Paddling Photos

Send your letters to admin@thepaddlemag.co.za

FIND us on the WEB thepaddlemag.co.za FB @thepaddlemag PUBLISHER Terrence Pomeroy-Ward terrence@thepaddlemag.co.za AD SALES admin@thepaddlemag.co.za DESIGNER Tracy Ward ADMIN admin@thepaddlemag.co.za PUBLISHED ON Issuu.com


CONTRIBUTORS CELLIERS KRUGER

Celliers Kruger – Writer of paddling books; designer and manufacturer of some of the most innovative kayaks on the market; expedition paddler with descents on 4 continents; veteran of races like Dusi, Fish and Berg; freestyle kayaker representing South Africa at World Championships; safety kayaker and raft guide on various rivers in Africa and Europe; ex-competitor in canoe polo and raft racing; experienced in open canoeing, surfski, slalom, wildwater racing and oar rafting; mechanical engineer with intimate understanding of fluid dynamics; reluctant coach and eternal student.

GRAHAM DANIEL Graham Daniel - Former athlete, staying involved in sport to fuel his life passion by sharing moments of excellence and achievement, supporting those who are doing and being part of it all. “simply searching to make a difference, to showcase the talents, efforts and abilities of others, to share with humanity the wonderful moments we create and enjoy each experience.”

KEVIN BRUNETTE Kevin is an established surfski paddler, having completed three Cape Point Challenges. He is motivated by technique and boat speed, and can often seen on the water perfecting his stroke or at the gym improving his fitness. He is also a keen hiker and mountain biker. Kevin has authored and published a number of books of surfski.

DON WEWEGE Don is the National u21 mens canoe polo coach and heads up canoe polo in the Western Cape. He is a former national and African champion in canoe slalom and has raced in everything from extremekayaking to flatwater sprints.

LYNDA THOMPSON Loves the sea and all the magic it shows

IAN BLACK Ian is a Surfski paddler from Cape Town, currently racing the World Series for Stellar Kayaks and puts great emphasis on analytics for training and racing.

Natali Coetzee Natali is an avid photographer and writer, but she’d just as soon exchange the tools of the trade for a paddle and canoe. She keeps a healthy balance, not quite first nor last when it comes to paddling. Rapids still terrify her, but sometimes, she’ll face those fears. She believes that everyone needs encouragement, and will happily cheer on all other paddlers.

DR KEVIN WINTER Dr Kevin Winter is an academic in the Environmental and Geographical Science Department and a lead researcher in the Future Water Institute at UCT. His research work and teaching focuses on environmental management and in transitioning cities to be more resilient, liveable places. He has been a member of the Friends of the Liesbeek for over 20 years.

MARY BARNARD My granddaughter fell in love with canoeing about 6 years ago. Her love for the sport got me started with capturing all her special moments. I am what they call a Happy Snapper.


FROM THE ED We love this time of year. Everything about our sport just picks up a notch as our teams span in their oxen and make the great trek north again to wage war in their different disciplines. Thanks to really amazing camera work, TracTrac and the ever faithful (and SA biased) Ivan Lawler commentary we were able to watch our ‘young’ sprint team start flexing their muscles in preparation for Tokyo 2020. We were able to watch Bridgitte Hartley progress through the heats and on to the podium for the 1000m. We were all cheered gleefully as Hayley Nixon crossed the finish line and then out of the blue came Sean Rice to take the wins at the Nelo Summer Challenge. Straight after that we all planned our week so that we could be near wi-fi and our computers at the end of the week in order to watch Team SA do it again at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships 2018. Our house just erupted as we watched Andy Birkett and then Andy and Hank

McGregor race across the finish line to claim the top step of the podium. Back at home we have celebrated the another successful running of the Breede River Canoe Race, the Gara Dolphin Coast Challenge and the VKB Liebenbergsvlei race to name but a few. What is clear is that race organisers are working unbelievably hard to get paddlers to enter the races. In the letters to the editor we often get letters of thanks – one of which is included this month. It is always amazing and wonderful to be in my position to be able to report and applaud the work that is being done across the board. We have also reached a milestone in The Paddle Mag’s history as this month we also celebrate our 2nd year of being a publication. So a big round of applause and thanks to the contributors who continuously support our little venture. It is never easy trying to balance

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INBOX

Send your letters to work and the mag and for most of us family life. We are always amazed at what goes on out there – often almost unnoticed by the general paddler. For example we love what the Breede committee and Gauteng Union are doing to nurture their novices. We were amazed by the report Don Wewege sent us about the international canoe polo tour. As the mag has grown so too have the voices of reason and so we would also like to thank you for your valuable words of wisdom in how to grow the mag and reach more paddlers. In that regard you as a reader will see a number of changes in the next few months. We hope that you like the changes and as you read them you will feel inspired to try some of the different paddling disciplines that take place on our beautiful waters. Ed.

admin@thepaddlemag.co.za

I hope that I make your deadline, this is a big shout out to the race organisers of the Liebensbergvlei race. It was amazing – thank you. When mates said we should race a K3 I thought that they were pulling my leg but it was a great race. The water was a little chilly but the vibe and race organisation made up for it. We would certainly rate this race as one to do next year. Thanks for going all out and putting on a great race. #Totallystoked

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TIDBITS Vaikobi have come to SA, headed up by Hayley Nixon! facebook/vaikobisouthafrica www.vaikobi.com

Hank Mcgregor was recently honored by the MEC of the kzndsrsa at the KZN Sport Awards. Well done Hank!

WAHINE SUP SQUAD

2018 will see the introduction of our ‘Spot the Croc’ competition where all funds raised will go to the Cradock Cancer Care Unit! Enter at registeration at this year’s edition of the Fish River Canoe Marathon.

This is one for the ladies! ‘Wahine’ is the hawaiian word for girl, woman or wife. We run a ladies Stand Up Paddle Board group that meet once a week in the morning. At Xpression Wahine sessions, we encourage ladies of all ages to conquer their fears and embrace the ocean, while learning to Stand Up Paddle board with friends. We teach you all you need to know about SUP: skills, techniques, tricks and the best load of fun you’ll have in a long time. LESSONS ARE FREE – BOARD RENTAL R100 www. xpressiononthebeach.com Fish hoek beach sports club women on water A little bad weather and rumbling waves did not keep these women off the beach! Nikki Mocke had them doing pointers for an hour, coaching and correcteing techniques. It was an absolutely awesome day! Food and drinks on sale and a braai after prize giving.

fB Fishhoekbeachsportsclub


Clifton Bulldog Surfski Series R20 entry Registration at 8:00am at the clubhouse Race briefing at 8:45am First batch start: 9:00am Long course: 10km Short course: 4km Food and drinks on sale and a braai after prize giving.

fB CliftonBulldogSurfskiSeries

Looking for a strong Canoe School? Canoeing at Maritzburg College has an illustrious history and we are arguably the top paddling school in the country. Our canoeists get to enjoy the great outdoors while training with top coaches and performing at the highest levels of this challenging and exhilarating sport. College’s location, within walking distance of Camps Drift – home of the Natal Canoe Club (NCC) and the start of the Dusi Canoe Marathon – makes it an ideal school for boys who wish to embrace the wonderful sport that is canoeing. The inter-schools season sees paddlers participating in a variety of disciplines including: Marathon, Sprints, Slalom, Canoe Polo, River Racing and Surf-Ski. It is hoped that by introducing boys to these various disciplines, some will pursue any one of them at an international level. It is a fact that a very high percentage of boys continue with canoeing after they have left College. It remains a very competitive yet social and family-orientated sport.

THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 11


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Liebenbergsvlei

Canoe Marathon 15 & 16 September 2018

es Vaaka

images Graham Daniel 14 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA


What an exciting and adventurous weekend! Annually held Liebenbergsvlei Canoe Marathon starts at Reitz Waterworks (Reitz) and ends at O’Gala Pub & Restaurant (Frankfort) on day two. That’s 70km for the combined days! The race organizers also guaranteed clean, fast flowing water of at least 25 cumecs! This year the Liebenbergsvlei race has really reached new heights. Dabulamanzi Canoe Club, Standard Bank, and VKB Landbou really did a good job at making this race a success. The sponsors, marshalls, seconds, and volunteers were great at bringing ‘gees’ to the event - thank you! The weather was hot, although the spectators were almost blown away by the wind. Fortunately, that didn’t seem to affect the paddlers too much. The event was to award the SA K3 National Championship and for the first time, the SA Schools National Championship, even though it is officially a K1 Race. That meant that there were officially three different races happening on the same stretch of water. Exciting does not quite cover the vibe on the water or from the spectators.

SA K3 National Championship Overall winners, and first K3, had Richard Fly, Andrew Neal, and Stuart Waterworth back home in a total time of 4 hours 4 minutes for both days. The most interesting thing about this combination is that Richard is the only paddler from Gauteng, and the other two were both from KwazuluNatal. The second K3 was Kelly Tarr, Benjamin Tarr, and Joshua Giddings. They were second overall, and the first Under 18s to finish, meaning that they were also the first SA School League team. Their time was 4 hours 7 minutes for both days. The third K3, but first mixed combination was paddled by Dave Hamilton-Brown, Gerhard Moolman, and Morgan Ziervogel. The Dabulamanzi paddlers finished in a time of 4 hours and 8 minutes for both days. Andy Leith, Herman Chalupsky, and Colin Simpskins were the first Masters overall to finish. They were also from different provinces. Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal were pairing up very nicely for the race. The First Vets overall, were also the second mixed K3 16 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA


team. Kobus & Caroline Filmalter teamed up with Andre Zandbergh to finish both days in a time of 4 hours, 15 minutes. The first all-girls team was made up of Jordan Peek, Kim Peek, and Kyeta Purchase, all from Kwazulu-Natal. Grand Masters, Brian Longley, Graham Holm, and Gary Ralph were the first in their category overall. The first U23 K3 followed them closely, Leo Kerkhoff, Manfred Nieuwoudt, and Tegan Lion-Cachet. The first Sub-Vet K3 was paddled by Bruce Dixon, Colin Mussett, and Daryl Dingley. Timothy White, Charles Murray, and Henry Curtis were the first Sub-Masters in a K3 to finish.

K1: For the K1 River Race, it was U23 paddler, Hamish Lovemore (KZN), that whizzed in to claim the top step in a time of 4 hours, 7 minutes only just beating Clinton Cook (KZN) by two seconds. Only six seconds behind, was the first Sub-Vet, Tulani Mbanjwa (KZN) who comfortably took the third step on the podium. It was always going to be a tough battle for the three of them though, as they matched each other stroke for stroke over the two days of rapids and long flat sections. The first U18 K1 paddler was Sibusiso Chwayi (Gauteng). First female paddler was favourite, Bridgette Hartley (KZN). Shane Millward was the first Sub-Master to cross the finish. The Vets were featured when Shaun Maphanga (Gauteng) finished in a time of 4 hours, 30 minutes. Gerrie Moolman (Gauteng) was the first Master paddler in a K1. The first Grand Master was Theo Smit (Gauteng), and Willi Endres (Gauteng) was the first SGM. The first U14 was from Kwazulu-Natal, Benele Khanyile in a time of 5 hours, 6 minutes. Great-Grand-Master, Mike Halliday (KZN), finished in 5 hours, 13 minutes.

SA School League National Championship The First U18’s were the K3 combination of Kelly Tarr, Benjamin Tarr, and Joshua Giddings, with the second U18, being Sibusiso Chway in a K1. The first Female U18 to cross the finish was Caitlin Mackenzie(KZN), while fellow paddler, Tracey Oellermann, came second. Sam Butcher was the first Under 16, followed by Lindokuhle Maphumulo. Georgina Howard was the first female Under 16, and Shannon Parker-Dennison placed second. The first U14 was Banele Khanyile. Fanele Mkhunya placed second in a time of 5 hours and 13 minutes. The first female U14 was Olivia Woodburn, with the second being Melonie Croeser. All the Under 16’s & 14’s were from KwazuluNatal. NATALIE COETZEE THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 17


ICF World Sprint Champs

image Portugal World Sprints

Canoeing South Africa took a wonderfully broadminded approach to the coming up 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and the qualification regattas by sending a large team to the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Portugal at the end of August. The Olympic qualification regatta will take place in 2019 in order to secure a berth in the Olympics so this World Champs could best be described as the prelims as one starts building the team. CSA and the team members took a calculated risk in entering events

18 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

that were outside their comfort zone and really mixing things up. We are sure that we joined all of South Africa in rejoicing that Bridgitte Hartley made a return to sprinting. She has been such a phenomenal icon of our sport – inspiring our up and coming sprinters to hold on to their dreams and put in the work in order to make them a reality. Her sprinting took a welcome break after Rio 2016 as she developed her skills in river and surf ski paddling. Hartley has become a fearsome contender

on the river and the sea and her name can often be seen on the podium list of the event. One of her best results to date must be her domination of SA Marathons in St Fransis where she managed to secure a berth in both the K1 and K2 Senior SA Team. With this in mind we were a little surprised to find out that she had put her hand up for the sprint team to represent South Africa in the 1000m and 5000m just two weeks prior to World Marathons. Our amazement turned to absolute delight as we


watched her storm through the field in the semi to take 1st which gave her a place in the A Final. Hartleys 3rd in the A Final was an inspiration as she dug deep over the last 200m to claim her place on the podium. If she can do the same again next year – she is guaranteed a place in the Olympic heats. She also went on to finish 7th in the 5000m. Our Olympic dreams are also centred Esti van Tonder and Chrisjan Coetzee. Both of them showing that they are a couple of

places and sometimes less than three seconds away from securing their places in the Olympic heats. Coetzee lightning fast speed out of the blocks continues to work for him in the 5oom where he often leads the race in the first 200m and then grids it out for the rest hoping not to be caught. This tactic secured him a hard fought 2nd in his B Final for the 500m. He was unfortunately not so lucky in the 200m where he was knocked out in the semis. E arlier this year he consistently made the B Finals and we do hope for

a return to form in the next six months.Van Tonder blitz her way through to the B Finals in both the 200m and 500m showing what a consistent paddlers she is becoming and clearly demonstrating her intention to make it to Tokyo 2020. The pairing of Van Tonder and de Beer have had a great year training and racing together in the K2 200m and are probably a little disappointed in their most recent results having made B Finals earlier this year. But having tasted success we hope that they are quick to get

THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 19


back on the water together and pick up where they left off. There were a number of wonderful astonishments and results from Team SA’s members. First off the bat was the K4 Mens’ team. Putting the team together was an incredibly brave decision when you consider that there were three provinces represented in the boat. In a world where timing is everything to have a K4 team only train for a week together before taking on the world is truly remarkable. For them to make it to the semi-finals on their first time out is brilliant.

image teamsa.co.za

The next amazing team is Hamish Lovemore and Cameron Hudson who are both U23 but opted out of the U23 regatta earlier this year in order to race seniors at this regatta. Hudson has been a 200m specialist so the transition to the 500m and

20 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

1000m has not been easy as he learns to pace himself over the distance. Luckily for him, Lovemore has been training for 500m for a long time so it was wise move to put him in the front to manage the pace. The gamble certainly paid off as the pair made it to the semis in the 1000m and a super B Final result in the K2 500m. The story that has to be told is the one of David Rodriques and Nick Weeks. Rodriques had represented SA two weeks prior to this in the juniors and U23 regatta (please see separate report) but on this occasion teamed up with his normal training parter Nick Weeks as they raced the K2 1000m. Their results could go unnoticed if you are not paying attention so we would like to set the record straight – They missed an A Final by fractions of

a second. They came 4th in a very close semi-final and only the top three went through to the finals. We think that they are amazing and stand in awe of the fact that they very nearly became Team SA’s second A Final. In the closing heat of the three days of racing Hamish Lovemore took on a very experienced and generally older field of paddlers in the mens’ 5000m. In what can only be described as a sprint version of marathons with all the tactics, bunch riding and screamingly fast pace Lovemore did increadibly well to fight for an exhausting 11th place.


Name

Event

Heat

Semi

A / B Final

Bridgitte Hartley

K1 1000m K1 5000m

4th

1st

A Final 3rd A Final 7th

Esti van Tonder

6th 5th 6th

5th 5th 6th

B Final 9th B Final 5th

Kayla de Beer

K1 200m K1 500m K2 200m

Esti van Tonder Chrisjan Coetzee

K1 200m

7th

8th

4th

4th

Hamish Lovemore

K1 500m K1 5000m

Hamish Lovemore

K2 1000m

7th

9th

Cameron Hudson Hamish Lovemore

K2 500m

6th

7th

B Final 7th

Cameron Hudson David Rodriques

K2 200m

6th

4th

Only top 3 from Semi => A Final

K4 500m

6th

9th

image teamsa.co.za

Nick Weeks Chrisjan Coetzee, Mike Arthur, David Rodriques, Nick Weeks

B Final 2nd A Final 11th

THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 21


Training with

Cadence Reach your Peak

images Vaaka When I first began paddling in 2003, there was very little technology to work with as a measure of efficiency and performance. Coaches worked on stopwatches set to alarm every 60 seconds so that you knew where you were in your interval. Regular routes in similar conditions, combined with said stopwatch habits, helped to gauge on-the-day performance. Then there were the heart-rate zone athletes, these guys can monitor and manage their training based purely on their heart rate feedback, they were usually more mature and had a good 22 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

understanding of their athletic abilities already. I imagine that it is similar with other sports. It always fascinated me how marathon runners can pace themselves so well in training. It’s common to “go by how you feel”, but how does that work out when you’re having an off day and need to push through it? The first speed-gauging devices I saw in paddling were hijacked from other sports. I remember a little propeller and monitor kit, I imagine that came from sailing or windsurfing. Sports GPS made a massive impact on paddling. Apart

from being able to gauge how far you were training, you could now also monitor your speed in real-time. This was not only particularly handy when following a predetermined training session in a group, but also allowed you to make sure you don’t slack off when training on your own. Just as there are thousands who learned to train and race without even a stopwatch, there is a generation of paddlers who are dependent on a GPS for training purposes. We all use them, and on the odd occasion that it is left behind, we set into a mild panic,


almost to the point where we might as well just go home. Downwind course record claims are ignored if not available to be ratified by a GPS track these days. In a way it’s a little disappointing, why should we depend on technology to be able to do something as simple as paddle or run? Therein lies the answer: We should really maximise these gadgets to their full potential, being aware of course of the “paralysis by analysis” syndrome. Runners use pace as their primary metric, cyclists use speed, cadence

and more recently power while paddlers have, for the most part, relied on either pace or speed depending on preference. All the above would combine these metrics with distance and time along with heart rate data as part of their training or racing. For paddlers, however, there are limitations to using speed and heart rate data as your only real-time performance metrics, particularly when you consider that conditions are not a fixed point of reference even when you’re training on the same piece of water every day let alone the ocean or river where the effects of wind,

tidal movement and currents are ever-changing. Cadence is not a new concept in paddling and is derived from cycling, which in many ways is like paddling. Strokes Per Minute (SPM) can also be a likened to stride-rate in running and strokerate in swimming. Used in conjunction with all the traditional metrics (HR and speed), cadence could just be the last piece of info you can use while paddling to bump up your performance, increase your efficiency or highlight flaws in your technique. When I started paddling, the coach would have us doing interval drills THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 23


based on strokes per minute. We would have to count this manually and didn’t have a GPS to monitor speed, but the outcome was a quality-loaded session designed at maximising the efficiency of your stroke. There were of course drawbacks to this manual technique, one being that you would only know how many strokes per minute

you were doing once you got to the end of the minute. It was also not easy to determine any pattern or average in analysis. One of the main attractions to surfski, OC and SUP paddling is the ever-changing unpredictability of the ocean and waves. I use my cadence sensor in all my training and racing paddles, not necessarily using the real-time

feedback for some but at least for post-paddle analysis for most. There is little to take from realtime cadence data in a 30-knot downwind run, but the analysis of the paddle could reveal your ability to conserve energy in these conditions.

Paddle Size

Craft

Environment

Factors to consider I am a sucker for paddles. I always have been. I have spent the last nine months or so paddling with various blade shapes, lengths and profiles and with each developing my own theories about why that paddle is the way forward, or not. I have gone from a paddle length of 216 and surface area of 765 cm2 to 219/790 cm2 and I am currently using 212/720cm2. The most recent change is owed to the fact that I recently picked up some visually obvious flaws in my technique. I’m a biggish guy with non-standard body geometry, but I have typically followed the accepted norm in terms of paddles and their size and length. Having both SPM and DPS data on hand, I can confirm that my SPM with the smaller paddle is, on average, in the same parameters as with the biggest paddle. In theory then, I should be faster and cover more ground with the bigger surface area, right? Wrong! In fact, my DPS is better on average with the smaller paddle. This is a technique issue, but I was only able to confirm this by looking at the data.

24 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

Paddle sports involved craft from as short as 14’ to as long as 30’ for multi-person craft. The hydrodynamics between the different craft vary vastly and thus comparing the speed between them will be inaccurate and frankly, insignificant for monitoring progress and efficiency. When combining SPM and DPS, you can identify your efficiency, limits and potential irrespective of what craft you are paddling.

The beauty of paddling, whether it be a stand-up board or a sit-down kayak, is the endless possibilities that the craft offer. We can paddle on rivers full of manageable rapids, on the ocean in storm-force winds or on mirror-like lakes. Each of these offer unique experiences and a different set of variables. DPS while paddling with a river current or surfing downwind at 20km/h will not hold much water (excuse the pun) but your average and/or max SPM will be helpful. SPM and DPS will be hugely beneficial on flatwater. ian black


Vaaka Cadence sensors provide real-time stroke rate and distance per stroke feedback through your ANT+ or Bluetooth-enabled GPS sports watch. Off the water, the Vaaka Analytics software allows both athletes and coaches to analyse and interpret these metrics alongside the regular speed and heart rate data and give insight as to where you can improve your paddling efficiency and performance. Vaaka Analytics Vaakรก Analytics is ground breaking performance analysis software designed for both the elite and everyday paddlers. Vaakรก has developed this analytics software to allow Vaakรก paddle cadence users to upload and analyze their training data. This software makes interpretation of you training data fast and simple. Display your training session as a graph then zoom in on one part of the session and instantly see average data for only that part of the training session selected. Boat speed is a product of stroke rate (cadence) and distance per stroke. Vaakรก Analytics is the first performance analysis product that can display cadence and distance per stroke side by side for any part of your training session.

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ICF World Marathon Championships If you had any doubts in your mind about whether Canoeing South Africa’s amazing results last year on home ground were just fluke then this years results should put your mind to rest. Undaunted by the exchange rate and our aging tracksuits Team SA scrapped 26 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

together their pennies and jumped on planes that were last serviced when their tracksuits were but a twinkle in someones eye to go and defend our honour. And they REALLY REALLY DID! With a display of paddling that would have brought tears to a father eyes and a

sense of sportsmanship that makes you want to snap your shoulders back in pride they were formidable.

Masters It was good to see names like Graeme Solomon (recent winner of the Berg River Marathon) and


images Carolyn J Cooper Photography

Dawid Mocke (4x World Surfski Champ) putting their hands up and showing that they are not afraid of almost 25 km of flat water. The first day they manage to do all the singles heats and on the second day it is all the doubles.

Mr. Faithful himself Mr. Allan Hold got the team off to a cracking start by grabbing the first medal of the day with a super 2nd in the K1 65-69 over 19km. And so the medal haul started. When you see our Masters going about their business you come to realise that as South

Africans have a proud heritage of marathon racing and perhaps we would have more paddling icons if it was not for our checkered past. Huge respect to all the paddlers that took part – you set a very high standard for the seniors to follow. Here are some of the outstanding THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 27


performances. Allan Hold 2nd 65 – 69 K1 19km Brian Langley 1st 70 – 74 K1 19km Radoslaw Olszewski 1st 55 – 59 C1 15.4km Nicolas Oldert 1st 60 – 64 K1 19km Theo Smit 2nd Amy Van Rooyen 2nd 35 – 39 K1 19km Mary Burton 1st 65 – 69 K1 19km Graeme Solomon 1st 45 – 49 K1 22.6km Wayne Jacobs 2nd 35 – 39 K1 22.6km Dawid Mocke 1st 40 – 44 K1 22.6km Day two of the Masters racing quickly picked up where the singles had left off the previous day. The racing was intense but our Masters seem to revel in the opportunity to bump boats and mix it up with other paddlers that have been racing at this standard for years. Our Masters as with our Seniors generally only team up as the race dictates rather than having specific K2 partners that have been homing their skills together for years. It is therefore an incredible testament to the maturity of their paddling that they can race at this level and still cause mayhem amongst the other competing nations. To do them justice we should mention everyone, but here a few of the stand out performances: Colin Wilson & Nicolas Oldert 1st 55 – 59 Colin Simpkins & Ronald Pronk 2nd Theo Smit & Pierre Van Der Merwe 1st 60 – 64 Peter O’Connor & Brian Longley 1st 65 – 69 Johan Van Rooyen & Vincent Buttrick 3rd 70 – 74 Debbie Gillett & Lyn Bennett 2nd 35 – 39 Lis Hart & Romy Findlay 2nd 45 – 49 Mary Burton & Elizabeth Russell 1st 55 – 59 Caroline Henderson & Jacquelyn Button 1st 60 – 64 Wayne Jacobs & Dawid Mocke 2nd 35 – 39 Gustav Radloff & Anthony Rowen 3rd 45 – 49 Gavin Dundas-Starr & Lyn Bennett 2nd 40 – 44 Chris Visser & Caroline Henderson 3rd 55 - 59

IMAGES Graham Daniel

Seniors

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The progression to World Marathon Championships for South African paddlers is very simple. First one qualifies at Provincial level, then at SA Champs and then you are off to Worlds. To the best of our knowledge there are no other marathon races on the African continent. This means that one gets to race twice in a year before walking on to the international stage. For those that can afford it there has been the World


Cups in Shaoxing, Shanghai and more recently Viana Do Castelo for paddlers to sharpen their marathon skills and most importantly get some idea of the fitness of their opposition. The World Cups are immensely useful in helping paddlers get over their stage fright and helping them develop their game plan for the World Championships. All our new team members effectively walked in blind and got ready to fly by the seat of their pants. And fly they did! Thanks to the Fantastic coverage with the use of cameras, drones, super commentator in the form of Ivan Lawler and TracTrac we were able to follow their every move.

Day 1 The curtain raiser saw the junior men and women and U23 women battling it out over roughly 20km on a cool Thursday morning. From the first gun we knew that this was going to be incredibly tough racing. The senior paddlers appear to take a more long term approach and you may have noticed that even in the men’s K2 there were times that they were only paddling at 11km/h. But in the junior heats they appear to try and time trial the full 20km. The starters’ gun simply unleashes budding greyhounds on the course as everyone bolts down the straight with little regard for the mammoth task ahead. The shear speed of the Hungarians primarily, appeared to catch our juniors off guard and they were quickly dropped by the leading bunch and forced to play catch up for the rest of the race. Caitlin Mackenzie was our stand out performer of the day who managed to get in to the leading bunch and hang on there until the end. She put up a super fright to finish 4th behind the Hungarians and Emma Russell (GBR). The U23 Women also did incredibly well against a far more experienced opposition to finish in the top ten with Christie Mackenzie 9th and Sabina Lawrie 10th.

Day 2 Team SA are quick learners and after zipping back to the drawing board on Thursday evening were far more prepared for the other nations on day two. The first lesson was that the European teams put a huge amount of effort in to the first sprint off the line. So one has to be prepared to sprint initially or spend the rest of the race trying to play catch-up. Day two kicks off with the junior K2’s and finishes with the U23 Men’s K1. The junior men and women were far more tactical on day two and it showed in their results. But who will ever forget Hamish Mackenzie and David Evans gallant breakaway after only two laps. The pair went charging THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 29


out in to the front against all odds and we are guessing against advice from their coach in order to lead the race for the next two laps. The question on everyone’s mind was did they have it in them to do so much work on their own at that level of racing. Eventually they were slowly reeled in by Rask (DEN) the outstanding paddler from the day before and his partner. We were left sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for the end sprint. They held on to an inspiring 2nd place and then lost an objection which sent the down to finally be on the podium in 3rd. What they did show the world is that they are a formidable pair happy to take on the world. We are going to have to watch them in the future. Next up was the long awaited U23 Men’s race with Louis Hattingh and Nicolas Notten.You may remember last year when Notten did all the work out in the front only to be piped at the end by Balboa (ARG).

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Well Balboa was out – would this be Notten year? This year the opposition were more conscious of Notten and worked hard not to let him get away from them from the start. So it was a tactical battle right up to the end when the Norwegian and German paddlers managed to get their noses in front of Notten in the end sprint.

Day 3 This day belonged to the senior paddlers; it was the Men and Women’s K1 heats raced over a heart wrenching 26.2km and 29.8km respectfully. We were represented by Jenna Ward who had spent time in Europe earlier in the season and so was more knowledgeable of her competitors and Bridgitte Hartley who was having a phenomenal international tour starting at the World Sprints then Nelo and now she was on the starting line of the World Marathons. For the first half of the race Hartley and Ward were right

up there with the main bunch, not giving an inch and staying focused through all the challenges and portages. It was only in the 4th lap that the gap started to open between the four fastest boats and the rest. Hartley and Ward were relegated to the chasing pack. There were a couple of times when Ward appeared to be slipping off the bunch but with sheer determination (and the use of other paddlers) she would claw her way back on again and away they would go. Hartley was not quite so lucky and having focused on other events in the run up was not able to maintain the pace set by the leading bunch and chasers and so dropped off the pace near the end. Jenna Ward finished 7th and Bridgitte Hartley 12th. Next up it was the men’s race. Hank McGregor has held this title since 2013 but in late 2017 he had announced his retirement from K1 racing so it was left to his protégé Andy Birkett to pick


up the mantle and make this race his own. Birkett was backed up by Jasper Mocke. Mocke with his pit bull tenacity and relentless need for speed was going to make for an interesting stable mate in this race. One only has to think back to SA Champs when Mocke came charging out the blocks and in to a solo lead for the first half of the race before eventually being caught by the then worlds number two. Birkett and Mocké were in the leading bunch from the word GO and barely seemed to be breaking in to a sweat. Birkett hardly put a paddle wrong and seemed content to let the other paddlers do the work only really taking up the pull when it suited him for example just before the portage. Mocké was revelling in the opportunity to mix it up with the world best. Happy to sit in the slip for a few minutes and equally happy to take up the pull if the pace appeared to

be slacking. They worked really well together too, closing the gap on unwanted challenges and hemming in paddlers when need be. But it was in the portages that both men were phenomenal. Their ability to run flat out with a canoe must have sent warning bells off in the other paddlers’ minds. Each time there was a portage the leading bunch got stretched and the back markers had to work harder to catch up. The one paddler that we were all watching with some trepidation was Ramalho. Ramalho’s boat was damaged at the start so it took on a lot of water forcing him to stop for two repairs. He took off to catch the leaders and set an impossible pace in order to reel them in. To his credit and our amazement he did start catching the top 10 and very soon he was less than one minute away from the leaders. So it went on - Birkett happy to be second in to the portage hardly

putting a paddle wrong and Mocké with his risk big attitude making their other paddlers work for their position. There was a lovely example of this at portage 6 when Mocké lead the charge from start to finish putting everyone under a huge amount of pressure but then overstepped his boat on the put in, forcing him to empty and then fight to get back on to the bunch. After the last portage it was just Brikett, Mocké and Boros (HUN) in it to fight out the podium positions. Birkett took the lead going in to the turn forcing the other two to fall behind and more importantly in to his wake. This means that in order for either Mocké or Boros to catch him they would have to either climb over his wake or go wide to avoid it. In the end Birkett was able to put the hammer down and cross the finish line virtually unchallenged by his exhausted opponents. This left Boros and Mocke to fight it out for

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the remaining steps on the podium. It was Boros that had the better end sprint relegating Mocké to 3rd.

Day 4 The day dawned and we all held our breath – it has been such a magical World Marathon Champs so we wondered what the day had in store for Team SA. First up were the Senior Women’s K2 heat with our powerhouses in women’s racing teaming up women that fall outside the senior category. In the first boat was Bridgitte Hartley teaming up with Melissa Van Rooyen (1st Sub Vet at SA Champs) and in the second boat was Hayley Nixon with Christie Mackenzie (U23). Interesting enough the Nixon/ Mackenzie team opted to put Mackenzie in the front for Worlds. We were back on the edge of our chairs the moment the starts gun went off because the Team SA women came out with their guns blazing. But the Hungarians boats were always going to the ones to chase; as they set off down the course all the other boats filed in behind them. Mackenzie managed to stay with the leaders but Hartley was not so fortunate and they soon found themselves pulling the chasing pack. With the sudden withdrawal of Kiszli (HUN) after the first lap the race for the minor places was far more of a possibility. Mackenzie paddled a very mature race considering the standard of paddlers around her, not pushing the pace or challenging the leaders but all the while countering the challenges and biding their time. After the 4th lap it was Csay (HUN) about 300m out in front and a chasing pack of 6 boats. The Mackenzie boat was running really well on the portages and looked calm and collected at the put-ins. 32 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

One little bump of the GBR boat on lap five and suddenly it was down to 4 boats for two medals – the race was ON! The Hartley boat was showing tremendous tenacity as was still hanging on to 7th position at this point but using a lot of energy to catch the boats ahead. The next team to make the break was Barrios (ESP) on the 7th lap so it was almost definitely going to be 1st HUN, 2nd ESP but who would take 3rd? Nixon finished 5th last year could they improve this year? It was between them, the second Spanish boat and the Portuguese boat for the end sprint. In a mad dash for the finish the Spanish boat just piped them by 1s putting them in to a well-earned 4th place overall. Next up it was the men’s K2 heat. Team SA was headed up by Andy Birkett and Hank McGregor in one boat and Stuart MacLaren and U23 star Kenny Rice in the second boat. Birkett had raced to a superb win the day before so it would be a big ask to race at that level again. MacLaren/ Rice have been knocking on this door for a couple of years now – would this be their big break only time would tell. What a phenomenal start – they looked like they were at the 1000m sprints, not 29.8km marathons. The teams tore down the straight with water spraying everywhere! MacLaren and Birkett were clearly ready for them and made the jump in to space with remarkable ease. The MacLaren boat made it look easy as they took their turn pulling at the front whereas the Birkett boat played it safe just behind the leaders but not too far to get caught up in the bumping at the back. At the end of the 2nd portage it was Brikett, France, MacLaren around the turn buoys – this was

turning out to be an epic race. During lap four the pace was too much for a number of the boats and so soon it was down to a leading pack of seven with Birkett and MacLaren still right up there with the rest of them and looking remarkably comfortable with the pace. It was only at the portage at the end of the 6th lap when Boros (HUN) had a particularly fast sprint that the group really started to show which boats still had energy to spare and which once were nearly spent. Unfortunately the MacLaren boat was one of the fatalities and they were left to paddle on their own for the rest of the race. Finally with only one lap to go Birkett came to the front from a long way out and simply hung on to the front forcing the pace and dictating where he wanted to get out to start the last portage. The Birkett boat had a masterful portage and managed to put two boat lengths between them and the chasing pack. This forced the other four boats to paddle hard to catch them at the final turn. In the last 500m there were five boats with Birkett just in the lead. We all held our breaths waiting for the Birkett end sprint to begin. When it came it was the HUN boat of Boros that rose to the challenge and started to catch them. Not a moment too soon Brikett managed to get his nose over the line and take his second win of the Championships!


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Opinion

IMAGE Celliers Kruger

Start them Young

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Most paddlers would like their children to paddle. Most paddlers are unsure of how to go about it, but they give it their best shot. Sadly, most paddlers fail. Paddling is one of those rare sports that can be enjoyed from a very young age to a ripe, old age. For many, it is a lifestyle as much as it is a sport. Why do so few children get into paddling, and why do so many of those that do stop paddling when they finish school?

IMAGES Ray Chaplin

I have given this a lot of thought over the years, especially after my own children were born. The first question I often get asked when it comes to kids is: How young can they start? There is no perfect age to start paddling. However, you can literally start getting them on the water as toddlers, as long as you do it safely.

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This may be an extreme example, but both of my kids went on their first six-day Orange River expedition – in a large raft - when they were 16 months old. For them, spending time on rivers is the most natural thing in the world. Most children are able to paddle forward and do basic sweep strokes from around six years of age. From the age of eight, they can start learning different strokes and if you are that way inclined, you can introduce them to moving water too. When they reach 10, they will enjoy playing on small ocean waves or running small rapids (assuming that they already have a good paddling foundation by that time). If you spend a lot of time on whitewater and your children show interest, you could try teaching them to roll from around 12.

These age milestones are merely an indication of what is possible.

How you go about it is much more important. What follows here are not hard rules, but rather a summary of things that I’ve learned. Make it fun. This is the Number 1 rule if you want your kids to keep paddling for years to come. They must enjoy it. It might mean taking your child on a double with you, or towing your child behind you in her own kayak, or just playing around on a swimming pool. Whatever you do, it must be fun and unintimidating for your child. Make it safe. Your child should always wear a PFD (or even a real lifejacket if your child is very small), stick to shallow


water and stay close to shore.You should always wear a PFD too.You won’t be of much help to your child if you struggle to stay afloat yourself. Don’t pressure them and don’t ever get impatient. Not every child is destined for the Olympics, but most children can become proficient paddlers if you allow them to develop at their own pace. Never take your child into a situation that you are not 110% comfortable with yourself. If you show any signs of stress, your child will most likely freak out and may never want to paddle again. Get your child into a kayak that is easy to paddle and that is also very safe. Dealing with a swamped kayak is physically and emotionally draining

for a child. Therefore, I’m a big believer of sit-on-top kayaks for kids. A sit-on-top kayak won’t fill up with water when your child capsizes. They can literally climb back onto the kayak right away and continue paddling. Choose a sit-ontop kayak according to their size and weight, that has decent forward speed and that they can manage off the water without your help. If your child decides to get into racing more seriously, it is normally a good idea to get someone else to coach him/her. Paddling with you should be a fun experience for your child, not something to resent. Few parents are able to be a good parent and a good coach at the same time. • Even if your child chooses to compete, don’t make racing the main goal of their paddling

experience. I’ve seen too many kids that were pressured into racing too early; some of them got good results, even at national level, but the vast majority stopped paddling completely when they finished high school. • When you participate in races, don’t drag your child along every time. Leaving them to hang around at the start or finish of the race while you’re having a good time on the water gets boring. There is a good chance that they will end up resenting paddling, associating it with waiting for you.

Yes,you can start them young, but make it fun. CELLIERS KRUGER

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IMAGES Nelo Summer Challenge

NElo Summer Challenge

This was always going to be epic racing regardless of the conditions. The reason was of course that the Nelo Summer Challenge was neatly wedged in between the World Sprints and World Marathons all of which were wonderfully hosted in various parts of Portugal. So while some paddlers specialise and only focus on their particular discipline 38 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

others and especially the South Africans are game for anything and so entered the Nelo in their droves. Proof of this is that 34 South African paddlers took the opportunity to race the Nelo this year. The conditions played ball this year with a good gust as the paddlers turned to go down wind and then

a safe grind in the end to ensure a safe finish for all. What made this race particularly interesting is that for the first time the organisers actively tried to pit the women against the men by offering a â‚Ź1000 bonus for the first paddler home. The principle is simple enough for us to learn from. Give the women a 13 minute head start and who ever


gets to the beach first wins the bonus. The other big plus is that there was equal prize money for the first three male and female finishers. The organisers were rewarded for their efforts with a fantastic entry of over fifty women in their event. We think that that is a world record! The women tore off the starting

line partly in the excitement of finally getting the Nelo Summer Challenge underway and knowing full well that whoever got in to the downwind section of the race first was going to have a great start. The second part of the encouragement to get going was the realisation that every second counted in the race for the bonus prize. They were

being hunted down by some ferocious paddlers. The hunting pack was made up of Sean Rice (2017 winner), Jasper Mocke, Dawid Mocke, Kenny Rice, Hank McGregor and ever fresh Nicholas Notten. The women knew that they would need to make every run count in order to stay ahead. THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 39


Right from the start it was the South African women that lead out the charge. On the left side it was Bridgitte Hartley that took up the pull and lead the way. On the right side it was Hayley Nixon and Teneale Hatton that set the pace and neither one was content to let the other get the jump on them out the harbour. The two leading packs came together at the harbour wall and it was Nixon that took the lead in to the downwind section. The women managed to pretty much stay together for the first few kilometres out of the harbour but as the swell picked up Nixon was able to pin her ears back and put her experience to good use and in so doing spread out the pack. At the 5km mark Nixon had Hatton and Hartley breathing down her neck while Angie was in line with her but had chosen to go deeper in search of the more consistent runs. Slowly Nixon worked her way out to sea while Hatton and Hartley kept closer to the shore allowing Nixon to get a health gap on them but still Angie was right behind her. Nearing

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the 15km mark Nixon had a commanding lead on her chasers and in these conditions it would nearly impossible for the chasing women to catch her but what about the men? In the mens race it was Hank McGregor that was determined to lay down the challenge and lead the charge off the starting line and out of the harbour. Sean Rice was neatly tucked in to his wash and his brother, Kenny was right behind him. In keeping it a family affair the Mocke brothers, Dawid and Jasper were also jostling for position with neither of them giving an inch. Nicholas Notten (U23) must have felt like he was home training with the squad with all the bumping and challenging because he was up there revealing in the opportunity. The Europeans were clearly not giving up without a fight with paddlers like Harbrecht, Wallace, Bakel (2nd Berg 2018) and Solar putting in the hard yards. The moment the pack turned at the buoy and started heading down wind the pack just disintegrated in to an ‘each man for himself’ mad

dash for the finish. The reason – to clinch the title of Nelo Summer Challenge 2018 Mens Winner and hopefully lay claim to the incentive €1000 first on the beach prize. This is where the elusive Sean Rice made his break and was not seen again until he popped up on the screen charging towards the finish line. Initially a titanic battle unfolded between Dawid Mocke, Hank McGregor, Nicholas Notten and Jasper Mocke with Harbrecht at the back of the pack. Sean Rice used his local knowledge to slip in to a worm hole that took him storming to the front of the race. Here Rice was able to set his own pace unperturbed by the battle going on behind him. He had only one thing on his mind and that was to get to the sharp end of the womans race and then be the first on the beach at Ofir. Meanwhile behind Sean it appeared that Notten and McGregor were regularly trading places with Notten just in the lead at the 5km mark. But it was still anyones race for 2nd and 3rd as the Dawid, Jasper and Kenny


right on their tails. They are all expert downwind paddlers so it was impossible to call it at that point. By the time the chasers reached the 10km mark it was pervious winner, Dawid Mocke that had lead most the way. He had a 35m gap on Hank McGregor and it looked like the podium position was just slipping out of Nicholas Notten’s grasp. This race was turning out to be an all South African affair and what a race it was. The race is never over until it is over and the chasing pack of McGregor, D Mocke and Notten changed places as they hurtled towards the finish line. Just when you thought they had it the 4th place paddler would put in a super human interval and turn the tables again.

What a race! Nixon crossed the 15km mark in the lead but Angie was right behind her and Hatton and Hartley were not that far behind. At that stage it looks like Sean Rice was catching Hatton and it was game on for the first one to the beach. Would Rice catch Nixon – it was going to be close. The chasing men had caught up with the 9th lady, Lawrie (U23). With still 4km to go this was surfski racing at its best. As Nixon passed the pier that signals about 1km to go to the finish she was just in the lead and the wind died. The only thing to do was do was string as many intervals together as possible in oder to keep her boat speed up as she became the proverbial hare in greyhound

racing. It was Nixon that hit the beach first and ran up the beach to claim the 10th Nelo Summer Challenge win and the ‘overall’ win. Sean Rice was about a minute behind her to claim the mens Nelo Summer Challenge title. This goes to show how spot on the race organisers call of 13 minutes head start was. Right behind him was McGregor(M), Notten(M), Angie(W), K Rice(M), Hatton (W), Harbrecht (M), Hartley (W), Eray(W) D. Mocke (M) in that order on to the beach – what a brilliant way to mix things up. Men and women racing neck and neck to the finish. Well done to everyone that did the race and the organisers for putting on such a spectacular event.

Results Place 1 2 3 4 5 6

Men Sean Rice Hank McGregor Nicholas Notten Kenny Rice Gordan Harbrecht Dawid Mocke

Country GBR RSA RSA RSA GER RSA

Women Hayley-jo Nixon Le Angie Teneale Hatton Bridgitte Hartley Michele Eray Judit Verges

Country RSA FRA NZL RSA USA ESP

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irish coast paddling champs SAFFAS making us proud in Ireland! Doubles 1. Dawid Mocke/ Phil Smith (RSA) 1:28:59 2. Esteban Medina/ Daniel Sanchez Viloria (ESP) 1:29:10 3.Valentin Henot/Hector(?) Henot (FRA) 1:29:20 Singles (men) 1. Sean Rice (RSA)1:29:26 2. Cory 'Chill' Hill (AUS) 1:30:23 3. "Flash" Gordan Harbrecht (GER) 1:32:12 4. Hank McGregor (RSA)1:32:43 5. Austin Kieffer (USA) 1:32:50 6. Jasper Mocke (RSA) 1:33:43 Singles (women) 1. Hayley Nixon (RSA) 1:44:22 2. Teneale Hatton (NZ) 1:44:59 3. Bridgitte Hartley (RSA) 1:46:35 4. Jenna Ward (RSA) 1:48:55 5. Angie Le Roux (FRA) 1:49:30 6. Rebecca Newson (GBR) 1:50:41 7. Chloë Bunnett (ESP) 1:51:04

image Irish Coast Paddling Championship 42 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA


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imageS Jennie Dallas

watuni klip 18 August 2018

With the sudden cold front settling on Saturday, there was a surprisingly large field of paddlers who came through to partake in the Watuni Klip River Race. While most people would prefer to stay indoors on colder days, these athletes bravely took to the water at 9am. They started at the Makery (Henley-On44 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

Klip), paddled 2km upstream, and then made a turn to go and finish at Caravan Park (Meyerton). The race covered a distance of some 20km. It was evident from the start that there was a large field of competitive paddlers partaking, and a smaller field of first-timers. The compulsory portage at Henley

Weir was very busy with paddlers out-running each other on the dry ground, only to continue chasing each other on the water. The competition on the water itself was made harder by the obstacles and rapids that the paddlers had to navigate.

The spectators had a great day with


all the viewpoints available to cheer on their teams. The food and drinks at the finish were a welcome touch to finish the day. The race itself was fast, with the first paddler coming in at 1 hour, 23 minutes; setting the fastest time for the Klip River race this year, if not a new record! Under 18 Sibusiso

Chwayi, from the Sowetan Paddling Club, came in first, leading by some two minutes! Victoria Canoe Club’s Richard Cele was second, less than a minute in front of the other VIC team member, Katiso Hlahatsi!

on the first Sub-Master, Benjamin Cockram (DAB). Mark Handley (VIC) was the first Master with a lead on Willem Burger (DAB). Peter Chissano (JCC), who was the first Under 23, gave chase.

The second under 18 paddler, Benjamin Mntonintshi (SOW), came in at 1h28, with a bit of a lead

The first Sub-Grand-Master across the line was from Dabulamanzi Canoe Club, David Browne. THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 45


Fellow team mate, Jaydon Hunt, was the first Under 16 to cross; mere seconds before Centurion Canoe Club’s Alwyn Viljoen, who was the first Sub-Vet.The first woman to finish was Sylvia Nel from

the Likkewaan Canoe Club in Parys. While it is obvious that there was a wide field of paddlers, it’s always great to see how everyone focuses on their own

race. No matter what category, the paddlers were giving their best and out-sprinting each other on the few flat sections. What a privilege to see the dedication! NATALIE COETZEE

Canoe Marathon

IMAGES Tracey-Lee Anderson

23 - 24 June 2018

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imageS Jennie Dallas 48 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA


Florida Lake Canoe Club

Klip River Race

The 26th of August started off on a much better note than the previous weeks’ race. The weather was a little warmer, although there was still a consistent chill in the air. In preparation for the race, you could hear a lot of concern around the novices for the Mine Rapid. Much to everyone’s surprise, the river had once again changed, and that specific rapid was far easier to navigate! Broken Weir and Caravan Park claimed more swimmers than the dreaded Mine Rapid. But in spite of that, it looked like everyone really had a great time on the water. The novices were much wiser, and the regulars were already making plans to beat their opponents. Sibusiso Chwayi, Sowetan U18, once again proved that he has been putting in a lot of work! He crossed the finish with less than a minute’s lead on Richard Cele (VIC). The third podium finisher was Katiso Hlahatsi, also from Victoria Lake Canoe Club. A few other memorable K1 finishers are listed here. The first Vet, 4th overall, was Kobus Filmalter (Watuni). Mark Handley (VIC) won the Masters race in only 2 hours 12 minutes! JCC’s Ryan Ziervogel was the first U23 to complete the race, with Jaydon Hunt (DAB) mere seconds behind as the first Under 16. Ronald Botha (NWU) was the first Sub-Master. The very first Female paddler in a K1 was Mariëtte Zandbergh from Watuni Canoe Club. THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 49


The K2’s also made up a large field, and were equally competitive! Dylan and David Browne, Son and Father duo from Dabulamanzi Canoe Club, were the first across the finish. Nkosi Mzolo and Louis Eksteen were the SOW/DAB combination that placed second. The first Vets for the K2’s were Keith & Peter Flemmer from DABs. The first K2 Sub-Vets were also from DABS,

Kevin Hund & Gerrie du Plooy. The first mixed doubles as well as Sub-Masters, were the Watuni and Likkewaan paddlers, Andre Zandbergh & Sylvia Nel. The first Great Grand Masters of the day overall, were ERK/VIC paddlers, John Rowan & Franz Fischer in 2 hours 25 minutes. It is not often that the Klip

River Races are graced with a lot of K3’s. The second Sub-Vets overall, and the first K3 team, was Daniel McLachlan, Tim Proome, and Andrew Spottiswoode from Dabulamanzi Canoe Club. The second was fellow team mates Kevin Holmes, Grant Thiel, and Brian Whillier. Natali Coetzee

FLCC KLIP

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Vagabond Kayaks is a new South African kayak company that is built on decades of experience and pedigree. We design and manufacture top-quality, plas�c, high-performance recrea�onal, angling and whitewater kayaks. Our launch line-up includes a children's kayak, a tandem and four single recrea�onal sit-on-tops that are also available in angler versions. For beginner and experienced whitewater kayakers, we have a sit-on-top whitewater kayak as well as two sit-in whitewater creekboats with lightweight, composite ou�i�ng. Our sit-on-top sur�ayak will revamp your beach holidays. The revolu�onary, super-stable Mokolo wraps up our range. Whether you paddle for fun, fitness or sport, your Vagabond kayak will take you anywhere. DESIGNED BY CELLIERS KRUGER Award-winning kayak designer

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IMAGES Anthony Grote

Gara Dolphin Coast Challenge

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With their sights firmly set on the upcoming World Marathon Champs K2 title, the crew of Hank McGregor and Andy Birkett delivered a masterclass to claim the two-day 43km Gara Dolphin Coast Challenge title on Sunday. The Euro Steel/Fenn pair banked a tidy two minute overnight lead on the first stage from Pirates SLC in Durban to uMdloti and then more than doubled their lead on the final leg from Salt Rock to uMdloti on Sunday, earning them the KZN double ski title in the process. McGregor and Birkett, who are currently the number one and two ranked flatwater marathon paddlers in the world, have struck up a successful K2 combination and friendship that has taken them to the FNB Dusi crown and the SA Marathon K2 title amongst several others in recent months. “It was the perfect way to wrap up our preparations for the World Champs,” beamed McGregor.

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“Racing surfski really helps to mix up the training and keep it fun, so the race suited us perfectly.” Birkett is a relative surfski novice when compared to McGregor, and revelled in the fast downwind conditions on Sunday. “Andy was whooping and yodelling on some of the big runs, so it was really great to share that together,” said McGregor. The pair has struck up a strong bond since their Dusi triumph, and it clearly helps their performance together. “We are really enjoying each other’s company and I think it shows in our performance,” said Birkett, who had to be ushered across the finish line at the end of the first stage because he was so busy laughing at McGregor getting dumped in the shore break. The race was held in tricky blownout conditions on the first stage and in superb following seas on

the final stage, with the final stage start at Salt Rock proving to be a formidable obstacle, as the crunching shore break took its toll on many of the surfski crews. The final result was moulded by the race officials as two of top four crews, Matt Bouman and Phillip Smith and the pairing of Barry Lewin and Bevan Manson, were disqualified for breaking the rules governing life jackets in surfski races on the first stage, leaving Luke Nisbet and Gene Prato solidly in second, and Masters Herman Chalupsky and Colin Simpkins in third. The women’s race fell impressively to the combination of the current women’s surfski world champion Hayley Nixon and her young partner Christie Mackenzie, holding off a spirited charge from Nikki Birkett and Sabina Lawrie, who actually got to the final stage finish before the winners, thanks to the reversed order start of the second


stage.

average paddlers.

McGregor heaped praise on the event organisers for taking the far-sighted decision to shorten the race, to make it more accessible to

“It falls in line with a global trend in surfski to make races around 20 to 26 kilometres in length each day. “We saw a good growth in the field

for this year’s race because it was more do-able than the old longer distances and suited the weekend warriors a lot more,” he said. GAME PLAN MEDIA

SUMMARY OF RESULTS

1 Andy Birkett/Hank McGregor 1:20:46.99 1:11:57.86 2:32:44.86 2 Luke Nisbet/Gene Prato 1:22:42.73 1:15:48.11 2:38:30.84 3 Herman Chalupsky/Colin Simpkins 1:28:55.54 1:20:00.62 2:48:56.16 4 Zoog Haynes/Lance Howarth 1:30:51.52 1:18:44.27 2:49:35.79 5 Quinton Rutherford/Malcolm Carey 1:30:29.53 1:23:00.63 2:53:30.16 6 Brett Hadiaris/Ross Fountain 1:34:55.61 1:19:55.82 2:54:51.43 7 Tyron Maher/Clinton Cook 1:26:21.04 1:29:20.70 2:55:41.74 8 Oliver Burn/Matt Gunning 1:36:38.82 1:22:53.34 2:59:32.16 9 Michel De Rauville/Luke Symons 1:33:42.97 1:27:26.34 3:01:09.31 10 Steve Cohen/Brad Pearse 1:39:48.74 1:28:13.07 3:08:01.81 WOMEN 1 Hayley Nixon/Christie Mackenzie 1:45:31.62 1:30:31.81 3:16:03.43 2 Nikki Birkett/Sabina Lawrie 1:47:22.20 1:37:03.86 3:24:26.06 SINGLES 1 Malcolm Pitt 1:44:18.86 1:30:55.80 3:15:14.66 2 Lee Furby 1:46:27.48 1:29:29.09 3:15:56.57 3 Guy Collyer 2:00:40.79 1:47:04.88 3:47:45.67 4 Craig Thompson 2:01:01.50 1:47:35.68 3:48:37.19 5 Vernon O’Connell 2:09:52.35 1:48:43.23 3:58:35.58 6 Ray Van Der Poll 2:05:31.72 1:53:18.55 3:58:50.27

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IMAGES Cape Town Sport Photography


WHAT A FEELING Breede 2018

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A testing water level and some frustrating racing conditions especially if you were on the wrong side of average weight. Well done to all paddlers for completing Breede 2018 and to all those new SA K2 title holders. After a rather promiscuous past, Stu Maclaren finally settled on last year’s partner Kenny Rice to take his 4th consecutive Breede Marathon win. Two weeks later the same couple were battling it out with the worlds’ finest in Portugal and put on a remarkable performance. A special congratulations go to all those Novices and Nurturers that embraced the “Nurture a Novice” campaign and completed the race. As competitive athletes (Or so we would like to think), we are generally selfish when it comes to passing down knowledge in what is a very progressive and technical sport. A huge thank you to the 15 seasoned paddlers that took on the challenge to partner with a novice and make their first major river race a safe and less daunting experience.

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The Breede committee will continue to drive this initiative to help newcomers into the sport. We have already announced that all novices entering this category in 2019 will not pay an entry fee. We are also hoping to secure a sponsor to assist us going forward. Booked and paid accommodation, flights, leave, start/end venues, catering, safety etc together with a predictably unpredictable extended rainfall forecast make it impossible to reschedule a race like the Breede. A week later, we would probably have floating over Drew Bridge and Waterfall would have been a ripple. Hopefully next year we’ll be able to synchronize with Mother Nature. Adventurous spirits prevailed once again.Yes, we did bump a few rocks and scratch a few boats but we are now experts at reading water flow and picking deep lines and will be better paddlers for it. The backup decision to run day two twice and shorten the second day were easy to make.

There was no doubt in our minds as to what the level would be five days before race day. The vast majority of Breede catchment comes out of Ceres and this takes four to five days to reach the marathon section of the river. Huge thanks to all Milnerton Canoe Club members that volunteer their time and energy year on year to make this special race possible! Also to the WCCU officials, race sponsors, landowners, safety and support crews and last but not least the seconds and family members that entertain our passion for this sport. RICHARD ALLeN


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KENNY rice TPM How did the race go? KR Race went really well. It wasn’t easy with the relatively low water however after a few bumps on day one whilst Stu warmed up his driving skills, ha ha, we started to really get our rhythm. Day two was fantastic - I thoroughly enjoyed it because you knew all the lines and could really hammer it. Stu drove really well and we flew!

TPM How did you cope with the cold and the low water? KR The cold wasn’t too bad. It was chilly but nothing the right thermal top and beenie can’t help out with! The wind was pretty hectic and that definitly would of added to the cold for other crews who had long days on the river. The low water wasn’t much of an issue - after last year it felt like a breeze! Without our few mistakes on day one we would’ve only had to get out a handful of times which is quite normal and helps to keep the blood flowing in your legs! TPM Any major incidents? KR Nothing at all!

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TPM Best part of the race? KR Day two, I’ve never felt so relaxed and confident in a river as I did on day two. Stu really nailed our lines so we had a great day. Winning was obviously really nice but I definitely had one of my best days on a river on day two. TPM There has been a lot of talk about the race organisers changing the route to suit the paddlers – did it suit you? KR The race organisers dealt with the water issues well - they can only do what they can and theres no point racing day one if its that low, it would wreck boats and leave people not wanting to come back. After our few woopsies on day one I actually didn’t really notice the water as being an issue at all! TPM Anything else that you would like to add? KR Well done to the organisers for keeping it going - it’s tough work especially when nature doesn’t cooperate! It’s a stunning river and a great weekend away for the familys with the wine farms and nice places to go hang out.

SA’s K2 CHAM


STUART maclaren

TPM How did the race go? SM It wasn’t all smooth sailing, on day one it took me a while to find my river legs (Ken was extremely patient with me as the other boats mockingly pointed out I was not choosing the right lines!). Before Drew Bridge I managed to put us high and dry on more than one occasion which was a bit frustrating. Eventually we managed to find some clean water and pulled away from Shaun/Jordy and Gav/ Loveday. Other than that was nice to get some hard grinding in the boat together from Drew Bridge to the finish and then again on day two. TPM How did you cope with the cold and the low water? SM The cold was not that much of an issue, it has been an extremely chilly winter and I guess we have gotten used to it. Then the low water was more forgiving than last year so wasn’t as much of an issue. TPM Any major incidents? SM Nope other than me driving like a wally was a fairly incident free race. TPM Best part of the race? SM I guess just spending some time with Ken before Portugal, Ken really went full beast mode on day two so gave us a good feeling leading up to Worlds. Retaining the title was

2 RIVER HAMPions

the cherry on top. TPM There has been a lot of talk about the race organisers changing the route to suit the paddlers – did it suit you? SM Oh ya, as I mentioned the 1st half of day one did not go well for me (embarrassed face) so leaving that part out of the race suited my driving ability. Dropping the original day one was a good call, that section is not very pleasant so better repeating day two twice.

TPM Anything else that you would like to add? SM Something has to be said about how beautiful that river is, sometimes you get lost in what’s going on around you. Over the course of the two days we saw multiple Fish Eagles, Kingfishers, and a general abundance of wild life. Having friends and family around always makes for a win of a weekend. I have some strong views on the Breede, as it is considered to be one of the majors. About two years ago a two day race was introduced in Gauteng on the same weekend as the Breede. This pulled numbers away from the Breede as it gave KZN and GAU paddlers a more convenient option.

IMAGE Graham Daniel THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 61


ABBY leisegang

TPM How did it feel to be standing on the top step of the podium? AL It was a great feeling, especially being a Junior. It made me feel like I can accomplish anything I want to now, and that has motivated me to push myself as hard as I possibly can so that I can experience that feeling more often. TPM How did the race go? AL It did not go how I expected it to go, as we paddled by ourselves most of the first day. There were no big problems and we paddled nicely together, so overall I think it went very well. TPM Did you manage to cope with Kim’s pace? AL Kim is lot stronger than I am, but I think I coped quite well as our stroke rates are quite similar. There were a couple of times where I was not sure I could hold on anymore, but Kim was extremely encouraging. She was the most amazing person to paddle with and I feel very privileged to have gotten the opportunity. TPM When did you start paddling rivers? AL I actually only did my first river race on the 21st of July this year. It was

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SA’s K CHAM one of the first C grade qualifiers for Breede. TPM What was your best part of the race? AL I would like to say that the best part was the race as a whole, but if I had to choose I think it would be when there was a bit of a traffic jam at the one obstacle so we did a “portage” where we had to climb over a pile of branches. It probably isn’t what most people would enjoy but it made me realise how exciting and challenging a river race can really be. TPM You have now done sprints, marathons, surf ski and rivers, which is your favourite? AL I love all types of paddling but I definitely think my favourite is rivers. There’s always a beautiful view and you can never get bored because you never know what is waiting for you around the next corner. TPM Goals for the future? AL I am definitely wanting to do the Cape Point Challenge this year if I can find a willing partner. I would really like to go do Fish next year. My main goal right now is to just improve my paddling as much as I can.


K2 RIVER HAMPions TPM Fantastic to see you racing again – can we hope to see you racing more often? KVG Yes definitely, although I don’t know if I would call it racing, more like partaking. I loved being back on the river and look forward to doing more races. I have just entered the Fish and look forward to doing Cape Point at the end of the year with Nikki Mocke in a double. TPM How did the race go? KVG It was great, although it was really sad that there were only two ladies boats. We had a great race, and just enjoyed cruising down the river. TPM You teamed up with a novice and won that must be a first – how did that come about? KVG I was thinking of entering Breede in a single and Abby was planning on doing it with her dad. We did one or two time trials where I was next to them and got chatting about testing out a combo. We did three time trials together and combined well. Then decided to enter the week before. Abby was terrific. She is very strong and has a bright future ahead of her. TPM Any problems on the race? KVG Not really, although the river was low, being lighter than most of the

KIM van gysen

guys helps, so I only had to get out one or two times. We had one silly swim, but luckily due to the shallow water it was quite quick.

TPM What was your favourite part of the race? KVG I just loved being back on the water again. Sometimes we forget what a privilege it is to paddle in such beautiful places and it takes a bit of a break to realize that. I really liked the concept “Nurture a Novice” and think that the organizers are heading in the right direction to draw more people into this amazing sport. TPM How did you guys cope with the cold? KVG The cold didn’t really affect us too much. I actually found it quite pleasant on the water. TPM There has been a lot of talk about the change of route for the Breede – did it suit you or would you have preferred to do day one? KVG I think the shorter route definitely suited me as I have not done much distance. I think the organisers made the right call as it would have been really low at the top. It was also so nice to finish at Kambati both days as that is where we stay and it’s nice and easy with kids.

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IMAGE Jean Tresfon 64 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA


Cape Point Challenge “The Cape Point Challenge is a 50km surfski (ocean paddling) race from Scarborough around the mighty “Cape of Storms” to Fish Hoek. Held annually, it’s one of the oldest and toughest one-day races on the planet.Whether you’re racing for glory or paddling for the fun of it, this iconic and outstandingly scenic race should be on every surfski paddler’s bucket list. “

Sunday 16 December 2018 : 52km Scarborough / Witsand to Fish Hoek Life Saving Club GET QUALIFIED OCT 21 NOV 3 - 4 NOV 4 SUN 25 DEC 2

Surf Ski Race 2 Pete Marlin Race Surfski 4 Surfski 7 - 2 Harbours Surfski 9

Cape Point Qualifier Cape Point Qualifier Cape Point Qualifier Fishhoek Cape Point Qualifier

Gaye Weekes 021 782 1433 secretary@bordercanoeclub.co.za

Gaye Weekes 021 782 1433 admin@fhbsc.co.za Gaye Weekes 021 782 1433

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On the Horizon... The world’s longest and toughest ocean paddle race

PE TO EL

250km over four days

IMAGES Lynda Thompson

Day 1: Blue Water Bay to Woody Cape 75km Day 2: Woody Cape to Port Alfred 53km Day 3: Port Alfred to Hamburg 68km Day 4: Hamburg to Orient Beach in East London 62km

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www.macsquad.co.za


Who is up for the PE2EL? What started out as a challenge between a runner (John Ball) and a paddler (John Woods) has evolved in to the epic Port Elizabeth to East London or PE2EL as it known. Since its inaugural race in 1971 it has been the long distance surfski race to do! This is an amazing race coving some of the most beautiful and rugged coast line you are likely to see in your paddling career. The older paddlers will still refer to it as the ‘Lucky Strike Challenge’ after its major sponsor for a number of years.

Times have moved on and thankfully the surfskis are now lighter and the paddles are winged. But the two things that have not changed are the distances per day or Woody Cape. This is not a race for the faint hearted or those that like to sleep in. Let’s face it the possibility 68 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

of a 4am start is not for everyone. The amazing thing about this race is the shear distance that people get to paddle each day which demands a considerable amount of skill, stamina, mental and physical endurance.

has it that day three is actually the hardest day because you have so far to go having already paddled two Scottbugh 2 Brighton’s or Cape Point Challenges! So make sure that you have something in the tank for day three.

Woody Cape is renowned for the size of the waves that can come rolling in. Sets in the 20ft range are not uncommon and have destroyed misjudged entries and exits. This is not to say that the other beaches are tame. It all depends on the tides and winds that prevail at that time. So nerves of steel and patience are the name of the game if you are up to this challenge. But don’t be put off by the freak examples of big waves. Experienced paddlers will tell you that there are calm days and windy days just like any beach.You just have to hope that the wind is behind you when it does come up. Who knows, you may get to paddle in almost ideal conditions. Rumour

Think that you are up for the challenge? Then first of all it is time to get fit and get used to spending a long time in your boat. Here is a quick look at the suggested training programme from the PE2EL website. The basic idea of this programme is to get you ready to finish it comfortably. Based on your fitness guarantees can’t be made with regards to conditions etc. try and start this programme at least three months out, preferably more if you can. This is just the basics, obviously you can add more if you feel this isn’t enough but make sure that you are recovering properly


Monday: Rest Tuesday: am: 8 – 10x 1000m @ 80% with 2.5min rest pm: 5km run Wednesday: am: rest pm: Time trial Thursday: am: 10-15km steady paddle 50-60% pm: rest Friday: am: 10 – 20 1min intervals with 2min rest pm: 5km run Saturday: am: 15 – 20 km @ 50% pm: rest Sunday: am: long paddle pm: rest Your long paddles should get progressively longer each week until you reach 50 km mark. Every third week tone back your sessions a little to allow for extra recovery time. Try to get into the sea as often as possible, especially for the long paddles. Well if the suggested training schedule did not scare you or better if you read through it thinking – ‘I can do that!’ then it is time to read on. All paddlers must meet qualifying criteria stipulated by the race organisers. The organisers shall be entitled at their sole discretion to determine whether a paddler is

suitably qualified to participate and his participation may be withdrawn at any time before, or during the race, for safety reasons. The decision of the race director shall be final and binding, in this regard. (So you have been warned). Official qualifying races will be held in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal (or elsewhere at the race organizers discretion). So as you work on your fitness, make a point of finding out when your local qualifying races will be held well in advance! Imagine doing all this training only to find that you are out of town for the qualifier.

Yes it is a tough race BUT if you finish you get to wear one of the First Assent Jacket wherever you go and your peers will be in awe of you. So start being nice to your potential seconds now – that way you will have credits in the bank when you finally pop the question. Start training now because the race is run every second year so if you miss 2018 your next opportunity will be in 2020. Do you really want to wait that long?

AccomModation: There are B & B recommendations on the website, but the consensus is that it is easiest to camp in order to be near the start each day. This is particularly important when the race could start at 4am the next morning.

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IMAGE Brenton Geach

FOILING The future is here and the future is FOILING! We have all imagined what the future will look like, from hover boards and flying cars, to cities in the clouds – but it was the humble surfboard which first took to the sky and since then we have not looked back (or down). Foiling or hydrofoiling is not easy but we have teamed up with FoilSmart and Mistral to make the learning curve as easy as possible. We have three foil options, two wave options (<80kg and 80-100kg) a third option for downwinding. All our foils are constructed from a 100% carbon composite and are some of the lightest on the market, weighing at just under 5kg. The foil can be mounted to any surf or SUP board with a KF-Tuttle box to get you going. We also have a complete setup with our Manu range, which comes in 3 SUP & Surf sizes. These designs include parallel outlines and wider tails, which 70 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

give the Manu range great stability and allows us to keep the board shorter for easier manoeuvrability. We have opted for a pulled in nose to prevent catching. We have incorporated a heavy ‘V’ through the nose of the board. This blends into a light single concave through the standing area and a heavy concave in the tail from behind the mast. Lift is maximised through these bottom contours, which also help to channel the water when paddling and create a cushioned effect when touching down. One of the more noticeable features on the Manu range are the bevelled edge speed rails which run the length of the board. These rails release water like a hot knife through butter and prevent the hold and “sticking” feel of a traditional rail. At Xpression On The Beach we pride ourselves at being ahead of the pack in both performance and innovation. The only thing we love more than spending time on the

water is showing you how. So next time you find yourself heading out into the water, why not swing past the shop and grab a foil lesson with one of the “foil guys” who will take you under their “wing” and make you part of the “flock”. When was the last time you did something for the first time? Soar Like A Condor Tyran Cooper


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

RICHARDS BAY PORT CONTROL Tel: 035 753 1991

Stn. 10 Simon’s Town – 082 990 5965

P.E. PORT CONTROL Tel: 041 507 1911

INLAND DAMS AND LAKES

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: http://www.nsri.org.za/emergency-numbers/


South Africa was represented at the SUP 11-City Tour in Holland. We had three Athletes taking part in this challenge: Craig Girdlestone, Shayne Chipps and Tatum Prins.

READ MORE: mistral.com/11cities SA RESULTS

IMAGE Mistral.com

Tatum Prins 9th Elite Ladies Craig 21st Masters Men Shayne 29th Masters Men

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The annual #ROXYFitness Run SUP Yoga Event powered by Surf Emporium is almost upon us. This year, it will be held from 9am to 12pm on Saturday, 01 December 2018 at the Imperial Yacht Club in Muizenberg. This event is a global Roxy initiative motivating women to get active. The first leg of the event is the 5km fun run and will take place along the marinas water edge. Thereafter is the SUP race. Surf Emporium runs a â&#x20AC;&#x153;how to SUPâ&#x20AC;? session for beginners as well as an intermediate and advanced course for the more experienced paddlers. And lastly, the yoga session is held on a grass patch outdoors, where women are encouraged to dress in their brightest colours - the brighter the better! Prizes are awarded on the day for best dressed, as well as first, second and third place in each sports discipline. Registration is completely free and it is an exclusively female event. The first 150 participants to sign-in on the day will also each receive a gift bag as well as a free Roxy t-shirt worth R299! To register, head on over to https:// surfemporium.co.za/roxy-run-sup-yoga/. For more info, please get in touch with Natasha Capes at 021 788 8687 or natasha@surfemporium.co.za. Contact details: Surf Emporium Muizenberg 021 788 8687 info@surfemporium.co.za www.surfemporium.co.za THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 73


IMAGES Clint Lawson Two young National Canoe Polo teams took part in a two week tour of Belgium in August to gain some experience towards qualifying for the World Championship in Rome 2020. A u21 Mensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; team comprising of players from Gauteng, KZN and the Western Cape were coached 74 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

and managed by Don Wewege (WC). They were joined by a mostly u18 ladies team with the only non u18 player being their coach and manager, Laurel Oettel (KZN). Only the managers and one of the girlsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; players had ever toured internationally before so this was a

real eye-opener for the kids! The teams took part in two tournaments, the Gekko tournament in Gent followed by the De-Paddle tournament in Ieper. In between the tournaments, the teams were joined by a number of different teams for training sessions


SA Canoe Polo

Tours Belgium

as the players sort to grow their skills. Lots of sightseeing was also done during the two weeks! The first tournament was a very big learning curve for both the teams as the level of competition was higher than they had every faced. The men played in the 1st Division in amongst

some of the best teams in the world! After some big losses as well as some closer games, they fought well to end up in 18th in the division. The ladies team was put into Division 2 as there was not enough ladies teams to keep the ladies division. This proved extremely tough for the girls but they grew from strength to

strength despite playing against much stronger menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s teams! The ladies had a nail biting final game against Meridian R1 which saw them go into extra time before they scored the winning goal to finish 21st in the division. The next week was filled with THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 75


training as the teams made their way to Ieper for the final tournament. The men’s team travelled the city of Boom to join some of the local teams for some training on one of the days, while the ladies team trained together with the local club team. Both teams were helped a huge amount by local and international polo legend, Sandy “Speedy” Decommer who guided the teams during the week as well as during the tournaments. The De-Paddle tournament is one of the biggest in the world with nearly 70 teams taking part in four divisions. For this tournament, the men’s team played in the 2nd division while the ladies were able to play in a ladies division. The men’s team really stepped up their level of performance and got some very good results against some much stronger teams including a draw against Bichette who finished 11th in the division! Their final position was 24th in the division although had some of the results swung in their favour, they would have been inside the top 20! The ladies team had a very tough start to their tournament as one

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of the more experienced players, Bronwyn Goode, was injured in a freak accident prior to the start of their first game! The resulting trip to the hospital meant that the ladies had only five players to start the game and with no coach to help, Speedy and Don stepped in to assist. The team was back to seven members by the final game of the first day although Bronwyn had to sit out the rest of the tournament. The rest of the tournament was very successful for the ladies as they put together some of their best polo to finish 7th in their division. The experience gained by all the players was huge as well as meeting players from all around the world. The polo community is now preparing for the African Championships to be held next year which will be the qualifications for the World Championships in Rome 2020. The competition for the national sides for next year is looking tight and with this large group of kids being in the fold, it bodes well for South African polo! All in all, it was a very successful tour with the goals of learning and experiencing European polo being

fully achieved by each and every person competing. As with all tours, a huge thank-you must go to the parents who funded it as well as the team sponsors (Fluid Kayaks) and the clubs in Gent and Ieper for their support! The full traveling squads were as follows: Mens’ team: (Manager and Coach) Don Wewege Tristan Drummond Matthew Eckhart Daneel Van Wyk Troy Drummond Bryce Lawson Kyle Hardy Ladies team: (Player, Coach and Manager) Laurel Oettel Bronwyn Goode Amy Peckett Cayleigh Shaw Megan Eckhart Jade Starr Emmi Wood Abigail Bezuidenhout DON WEWEGE


improvE your paddling experience

Available from www.lulu.com (just type in â&#x20AC;&#x153;surfskiâ&#x20AC;?), or contact author Kevin Brunette: brunette@iafrica.com


achieving a good start

A good start is essential, because it provides clear water into which you can move. Not only do you want an unobstructed path, but also donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want your stroking action to be impeded.

IMAGE Tessa Brunette 78 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

It is to your advantage to get away quickly. There is not much speed differential between competent paddlers, so if you get left behind, even with a sprint competency, it can take considerable effort to catch up. A good start establishes your position and as you are near the front, you can take the line you want.

Getting involved with the masses It is pointless being assertive at the start, only to end up with broken gear because you were not

quick enough in getting away, also perhaps not prepared to give way to stronger paddlers coming through. You may want to avoid the masses, because this invariably holds you up and you run the risk of damage. The bigger the swell, the more space is required between boats. A start can be cramped for space, with paddles clashing and craft crashing. Be careful of avoiding the masses, however. If you hang back, you can get left behind and have to make way on your own. If marking specific rivals, you have to get involved in


some of the rough and tumble. A certain street smartness is necessary to contend with the pack.

Getting away Count down to the start, ready to go the instant the siren blasts. Use the adrenalin rush to drive you on your way. Set off at sprint speed, because any distance lost will be hard to make up, unless you possess a distinct speed advantage. Keep straight into the oncoming surf. Be assertive in attacking the crests; otherwise paddlers catch up and you risk damage. One ski can be cresting a wave, while another is in the trough. On a short triangular course, put maximum effort into getting to the first turn marker to establish your position at or near the front. Stay at sprint speed for your set start distance, which might be 200 strokes, three minutes or perhaps

the first turn marker. This must be realistic and once achieved, settle into your race rhythm and initiate your course tactics. With a good start, you could have some breathing space over chasing paddlers.

Containing your heart rate If your heart rate is in the red zone for too long, you will need to recover. Only once your heart rate stabilises, will you be able to settle into race pace. Blowing at the start can effectively end your contest, even before completing the first few hundred meters.

Contesting a hotspot Many events have a hotspot located a short distance from the start, perhaps 500 meters to a kilometre out to sea. If you want to contest the hotspot, be careful not to overextend yourself in the process. Only a few paddlers, tend to get involved, because of the adverse effect it has on overall race tactics. KEVIN BRUNETTE

A spiking heart rate can be the result of not warming up sufficiently, with the instantaneous demand exceeding its capacity. Although you might have led the fleet through the surf, effectively winning the start, you can soon end up chasing the pack.

THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 79


Cape Townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

water crisis

is in its waterways

IMAGE Gavin Lawson

An unhealthy syndrome

80 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA


September the 15th was World Clean-Up Day and it coincided with the 9th Peninsula Paddle event that saw a lively group of citizen activists paddling from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic shoreline to bring attention to the state of Cape Town’s waterways. These waterways are like veins in the human body that carry blood to every part of the system, but if damaged they take a long time to heal and may even perish. Cape Town rivers, canals and lakes carry surface water through the city with most flowing out to sea, and some underground. The health of our waterways is important for cleaning polluted water, for attracting and connecting people across our divided city, and in helping to keep nature in the city. Sadly, our waterways are in a state of neglect and are channels for the disposal of solid waste, plastics and liquid contaminants that has caused an urban water syndrome. It is harder to find the cure. We need active citizens more than ever, but we also need Herculean political, support from the City and involvement of the private sector. Over the last 12 months in Cape Town, the conversation has been about Day Zero and the supply of water, but we cannot hope to build a resilient, water sensitive city if our waterways are polluted and pose a risk of damaging underground water resources.

Losing the battle Saturday’s message was just as it was when the Peninsula Paddle idea first began in 2009, is that ‘the health of the city is seen in its waterways’. The waterways have improved since the first paddle, but not nearly enough. It looks like the battle is slowly being lost. Three years of drought have put these waterways are great stress but there is increasing human impact, general public negligence neglect, and not enough resources in the City of Cape Town to turn the situation around. It may become too costly to restore the damage and the impact will be widespread. The urban water syndrome could turn our beaches into unsafe places to visit while our waterways become increasingly unpleasant places to live.

Lobbying for change The Paddle raised awareness on the day as paddlers journeyed from Muizenberg to Milnerton through some of the most unpleasant canals and rivers. The City of Cape Town will need to take a stronger lead to deal with urban drainage and enable new partnerships to address the problem. We cannot continue to allow tons of plastics and other solid litter to flow out to sea every day. It is unacceptable and is a mark of utter failure. DR KEVIN WINTER THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 81


Victoria Lake Canoe Club Cake Race 2 September 2018 For those of you that do not know, VLC hosts a ‘cake’ race every year aimed at novices. Instead of prize money going to paddlers, novices are rewarded with cake. It is really a nice way of saying, Welcome to the community! This year Nicola and Bruce from Shailime Baking Solutions sponsored three cakes. The first boat home (not necessarily a novice), and then one for the first female and male novices. The cakes are really a favourite, and many paddlers look forward to this annual event. But VLC really went the extra mile with this race, and organized a complimentary hamburger and refreshment for every participant at the finish. They really should be commended for hosting a race with such a festive and welcoming vibe! The race took place on the 2nd of September, and started at Ixoxo, on the Klip River. With 20km ahead of them, most of the novices were happy to hear that the first rapid, Mine Rapid, was a compulsory portage. With the Fish River Canoe Marathon looming ever closer, the extra practice was great to have! The first novice was a female paddler who partnered with a more experienced male partner. Well done Kirsty Pott and Jason Brown! The Dab duo had less than a minute lead on the first male novice paddler, Thabo Selela. This JCC paddler was also the second U16 to finish. 82 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

Corni van der Merwe (ACD) was another of our first year paddling novices. She partnered with Daniel Taylor to finish in a time of 2:02, competing in the Sub-Vet category. Butch Grobbelaar (FLCC) was the oldest novice in the race. He competed in a K1, and was the first Great Grand Master overall! That is very remarkable, especially when you take into account that he has only recently started paddling, and this race was his first river race. Bert Matruje (JCC) is another novice that needs a mention. Although also new to the river, he managed to finish first in the U14 category! Being a novice race, it is always important to highlight their achievements. But it is also important to highlight a few of the other achievements. First overall was Veteran paddler, Kobus Filmalter (WAT). Second was Dylan Browne (DAB), who happily claimed the first Under 18 position. A really close third was Andre Zandbergh (WAT) in the Sub Master category. The first Under 16 was Jaydon Hunt (DAB). Fellow club members, Meyer Steyn, was the first Grand Master, and David Browne was the first Sub Grand Master. The first female K1 paddler was Sylvia Nel (LIK), and she paddles for the Masters! The first K1 SubVet finisher was Bradley Thornton

(DAB). The K2’s were also present. Richard Greeff (FLCC) and Paulo Ferrao (VIC) were the first to finish. They were also the fourth boat overall, meaning that they were the second Vets to finish. The First Sub Vets to cross the line were Kevin Hunt and Gerrie du Plooy. They were happy to represent DAB as they were the 5th boat overall. The K3’s also came to enjoy the race. The first mixed combination of the race, was the K3 paddled by Sandile Hlongwane (DAB), Shelley Robertson (CEN), and Hanli Bezuidenhout (CEN). The first Masters of the race to finish was also a K3, Michael Roy, Martin Sly, and Willie du Plessis from JCC.


OUT

&ABOUT

Sept Training Camp with Andre Hawarden

THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 83


OUT

&ABOUT

84 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA


Breede Series (at the vlei) August 2018

THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 85


OUT

&ABOUT

86 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA


Upper Umgeni Trip Sept 2018 IMAGES Paddling Photos

THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 87


Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Race Events , events & more events

88 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA


THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 89


EASTERN CAPE DATE OCTOBER FRI 6 - SAT 6 SUN 14 FRI 19 THU 25 NOVEMBER SAT 3 - SUN 4 FRI 9 FRI 16 FRI 23 DECEMBER SAT 1 - SUN 2 SAT 22 FRI 28 MARCH SAT 9 SUN 10

RACE

DETAILS

Hansa Fish Marathon 2018 John Woods Challenge Border Summer Series Border Summer Series

Fish River, Craddock, 84km

Pete Marlin Race Border Summer Series Border Summer Series Border Summer Series

Cape Point Qualifier

PE - EL Carey Olsen Shark Point Surfski Sporty Anderson Surfski Race SA Canoe Polo Championships

CONTACT

secretary@bordercanoeclub.co.za secretary@bordercanoeclub.co.za secretary@bordercanoeclub.co.za secretary@bordercanoeclub.co.za secretary@bordercanoeclub.co.za secretary@bordercanoeclub.co.za secretary@bordercanoeclub.co.za

St Francis Beach, 18km St Francis Beach, 18km Knysna

GAU T E N G DATE OCTOBER SAT 13 SAT 20 SUN 21 SAT 27 NOVEMBER SUN 4 SUN 11 SAT 24 DECEMBER SUN 2 JANUARY SUN 12 SUN 20 SAT 26 SUN 27 FEBRUARY SAT 2 / SUN 3 TUE 5 SAT 10 SUN 24 MARCH SAT 2

RACE

DETAILS

CONTACT

Schools League Race 10 Likkewaan 2 Day Race

Dabulamanzi Canoe Club Parys

info@gcu.co.za Herman Vogel 076 092 2566

DABS 24 hour Enduro

Dabulamanzi Canoe Club

info@dabulamanzi.co.za

Schools League Final Race 11 JCC Klip - Vaal VLC Maluti

Homestead Dam, Benoni

nfo@gcu.co.za Mike Roy 083 274 6643 Theresa Welsh 082 330 0214

FLCC Dusi Klip

Heidelberg Bridge to Caravan jenniedallas23@gmail.com Park

DABS Dambusters Dabulamanzi Canoe Club Schools League Sprints Race 1 JCC JCC 2 Day Klip Klip River

info@dabulamanzi.co.za Mike Roy 083 274 6643 Mike Roy 083 274 6643

LCC Elands Memorial VLC Nite Race Schools League Sprints Race 2 K2 Marathon

Elands River Victoria Lake, Germiston VLC JCC

Herman Vogel 076 092 2566 Theresa Welsh 082 330 0214 Theresa Welsh 082 330 0214 Mike Roy 083 274 6643

High Altitude Ski Race

Dabulamanzi Canoe Club

info@dabulamanzi.co.za


K W A - Z U L U N ATA L DATE OCTOBER SAT 13 SAT 13 or SUN 14 SAT 13 or SUN 14 SUN 14 SAT 20

RACE

DETAILS

CONTACT

Capitol Caterers Schools 10 Lap Enduro Da’Real Downwind Series Race 4 SA Canoe Polo Trials

Camps Drift

KNCU schools

Pirates - WEstbrook or Toti, 30km

Pirates Surf Lifesaving Club

Table Mountain Descent

Table Mountain to Nagle Dam, 20km Ricahards Bay to Mtunzini, 35km Pirates to Tinley, 30 or 50km

Lembethe Canoe Club

SAT 20 or SUN 21 SAT 20 SUN 21 WED 24 SUN 28 SUN 28

Mouth to Mounth Downwind Ski Race Da’Real Downwind Series Race 5 Dam to Dam 2-man Relay K1 and K2 Da’Real Rbay - Pirates Downwind Surfski Challenge 6 Umpetha Challenge

NOVEMBER SAT 10 SUN 11

Popes Walk Alan Gardiner Memorial

SAT 17

Ithala Challenge

SUN 25 DECEMBER SUN 2 THU 6 SUN 9 SUN 16 SUN 16

Ozzie Gladwin Supa-Quick Fezela Challenge NCC Nite Race No 8 to Josephines Bridge Winkle - Toti - Winkle KZN MD Champs

SUN 30 JANUARY SAT 5 SUN 6 TUES 8

Fast Drak

FRI 1 MON 14 SAT 12 SUN 13 SAT 19 SUN 20 SAT 26

Commemorative Dusi Canvas Journey 50 Miler (One day) Mfula to eNanda Resort N3TC Drak Challenge

Impilo Bushman’s Race Lion’s River Race Crusader’s Nite Race

Ascot Bush Lodge Challenge

virna.mcmaster@vbidz.co.za Pirates Surf Lifesaving Club

Albert Falls, 25km (K1) or 30km (K2) Richards Bay to Pirates, 162km Camps Drift to Bishopstowe Hall, 18km

Lembethe Canoe Club

Dusi Bridge to Mfula Store Ibis Point to Mbeje’s Store, 22km Bivane Dam to Ithala Game Reserve, 42km Bon Accord Park, 29km

stellacanoe.club@gmail.com stellacanoe.club@gmail.com

Bon Accord Park, 25km Camps Drift, 15km Úmkomaas, 15km Winklespruit LSC, 15km Sccottsons Bridge to 2nd Coleford Bridge, 25km Underberg, 65km

marybarnard@telkomsa.net Mary Millward 033 342 1528 secretary@kingfishercc.co.za

Mooi River, 18km Lion’s River to Midmar, 15km KCC Clubhouse, Blue Lagoon, 16km Alex Park, PMB to Blue Lagoon, Durban, 120km Mission to Mfula Store, 40km 25km Castleburn Bridge to Hopewell Farm, 65km Camps Drift to Low Level, 10km

Pirates Surf Lifesaving Club Mary Millward 033 342 1528

umfolozi canoe club Mary Millward 033 342 1528

richard@underbergforge.co.za nfo@crusaderscc.co.za chairman@impilocanoeclub.co.za

croftfarm@mweb.co.za info@crusaderscc.co.za marybarnard@telkomsa.net admin@umz.co.za secretary@kingfishercc.co.za richard@underbergforge.co.za lesw@twc.org.za


DATE SAT 27 FEBRUARY SAT 2 SUN 3 SAT !0 SUN 11 WED 13 THU 14 SAT 16 SAT 23 SUN 24 MARCH FRI 1 SAT 9 SUN 10 SAT 16 SUN 17 SAT 23 SUN 24

RACE

DETAILS

CONTACT

Campbels to Dusi Bridge

25km

Eston Canoe Club

Capitol Caterer’s Schools Sprints Inanda Dam to Durban

Nagle Dam

KNCU Schools

Water release dependent, 35km Wagendrift to Lambert Park, Estcourt, 12km

secretary@kingfishercc.co.za

Capitol Caterer’s Bushman’s Race Dusi Open Day Dusi Expo and Registration Dusi Canoe Marathon Capitol Caterer’s Schools K1 River Champs Nyala Pans to St Elmo’s Non-Stop Dusi Capitol Caterer’s Schools Mooi River Race Hella- Hella to Josephines Bridge Umkomaas Marathon Tugela Marathon

Camps Drift to Blue Lagoon, 120km 16km Umkomaas, 25km

KNCU Schools info@dusi.co.za nfo@dusi.co.za Mary Millward 033 342 1528 KNCU Schools admin@umz.co.za

Camps Drift to Blue Lagoom, Mary Millward 033 342 1528 120km 12km KNCU Schools Umkomaas

secretary@kingfishercc.co.za

67km

secretary@kingfishercc.co.za

Middlesdrift to another Big Fig, 75km

info@crusaderscc.co.za

WESTERN CAPE DATE OCTOBER SUN 14 SAT 20 SUN 21 SAT 27 SAT 27 or SUN 28 NOVEMBER SAT 3 SUN 4 SUN 11 SUN 18 SUN 25 DECEMBER SAT 1 SUN 2 SUN 9 SUN 16

RACE

DETAILS

CONTACT admin@fhbsc.co.za

Surf Ski 1 - Three Beaches Ski Race Junior Triple Series 1 Surf Ski Race 2 Junior Triple Series 2 Surf Ski 3

Cape Point Qualifier

Gaye Weekes 021 782 1433

Langebaan

Rob Meintjies 083 635 2557

Junior Triple Series Surfski 4 Surfski 5 Surfski 6

Cape Point Qualifier Oceana Power Boat Club Milnerton to Melkbos

Gaye Weekes 021 782 1433 info@saveoceana.co.za

Surfski 7 - 2 Harbours

Fishhoek

admin@fhbsc.co.za

Surfski 8 - Daniel Conradie Surfski 9 Surfski 10 - Peter Creese Fenn Cape Point Challenge

92 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

secretary@centurycitycanoeclub. co.za

armandvanniekerk@yahoo.com

Cape Point Qualifier

Gaye Weekes 021 782 1433 Pete Cole 083 675 0616


S U P RA C I N G DATE 21 - 24 SEP 29 - 30 SEP 10 - 11 NOV

RACE

DETAILS

CONTACT

Starboard Emmerentia Race Emmerentia Pili-Pili Whale of a Race Witsands Mistral Summer SUP Weekend Cape Town

S U P S URF I N G DATE 10 - 11 NOV

RACE

DETAILS

CONTACT

Mistral Summer SUP Weekend Cape Town

I N T E R N AT I O N A L DATE

RACE

DETAILS

OCT 19 - 21

2018 ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Cup

France

OCT 13 - 16 2019 MAY 23 - 26 MAY 30 - JUN 2 MAY 31 - JUN 2 JUL 25 - 28 AUG 21 - 25 OCT 7 - 8 OCT 10 - 13

Youth Olympic Games

Buenos Aires, Argentina

ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup ICF Canoe Marathon World Cup ICF Junior & U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships Canoe Marathon Masters World Cup Canoe Marathon World Championships

Poland Germany Norway Romania China China

Photos By Carolyn J Cooper

photosbycarolynjcooper@hotmail.com.au Photography 2018 Portugal:World Champs Onkaparinga Canoe Club Race Loxton South Australia

THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 93


View from the back of the boat My success rate at going through rapids is a process of playing the odds. If you go through enough rapids then the odds of making it naturally increase the amount of times you do it, rather than a reflection of my natural ability. In fact my Duzi partner may comment that this year the odds were against us in most of the rapids. So it was with a degree of trepidation that when I saw Andre Hawarden’s offer of training weekend on the Breede that I thought I really should take him up on the offer even if it is just for my Duzi partner’s sake. So I registered, paid my money and watched the water levels on the Breede look very promising in the run up to the weekend. Friday afternoon arrived and I finally got to pack my car and set off on a wonderful drive past canola fields in bloom towards Swellendam wondering what the weekend had in store for us. Glancing around the dinner table on Friday I suddenly realised that I had just entered the league of 94 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

Champions. Andre is an ex Duzi Champ and SA white water winner and as for the other three participants, two have raced internationally and one has just finished the Berg and is training for PE 2 EL. This was going to be interesting! I can count the number of time I have been on a river this year on one hand – the others can count it using everyone else’s fingers and toes. Saturday morning dawned and it was with a degree of anxiety that we set off on the only section of the Breede River that is A graded. What if the gambling/ rapid gods worked against me again and I ended up swimming down all the rapids? What if the four other paddlers started paddling at their normal pace – how was I ever going to keep up? My boat has survived a number of Duzi’s thanks to the ingenuity of my father in-law rather than my driving ability and is definitely in need of an upgrade – would today be the day that it finally sank.


We had just shot our first rapid when we passed a group of paddlers in inflatable craft and I did wonder if my skills set was better suited to their boats rather than mine. I should not have worried, Andre is an awesome coach, thorough in his explanation and wonderful in his ability to use different parts of the river for different lessons. Right from the top of the rapids he taught us to look at different approach angles, obstacles and the flow of the water. He soon had us shooting rapids at different angles, stopping to examine others before shooting them and vastly improving our boat manoeuvrability skills.Yes I swam, but all of us did at some point â&#x20AC;&#x201C; except for Andre who masterfully went through the drill again and again so that we could watch what he was doing.

watch fish eagles, giant kingfishers and numerous other bird life that make our rivers so magical. We picnicked on the banks of the river before setting off on the second half of the day. We live in a stunningly beautiful part of the world and clearly we miss a lot when we are just focused on catching the boat ahead of us on race day. And just in case you were wondering, the whole group slowed down to my pace so I was never left to my own devices and were happy to let me ride their slip between the rapids so that that we arrived together at the next spot. So next time you see a trip being organised / offered just jump in, you are in for a wonderful weekend! I am so looking forward to apply my new skills on the next river race.

But most importantly we laughed and loved being able to experience the river in a non-competitive tripping environment. Between rapids we had the chance to THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 95


IMAGE Dale Staples

Profile for The Paddle Mag

Paddle Mag 5 2018 - October / November  

A magazine for the South African paddling community. We celebrate the success of our paddlers both locally and abroad in sprints, surfski, m...

Paddle Mag 5 2018 - October / November  

A magazine for the South African paddling community. We celebrate the success of our paddlers both locally and abroad in sprints, surfski, m...

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