Paddle Mag 5 2019 October / November

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l e u F Up Irish Coast Challenge

Olympics KAYAK


Issue 5 2019 OCT/NOV



Full Calendars

T C O 26

22km Downwind

Milnerton to Melkbos WSSL points on offer Equal Prize Money Fantastic Handicap system

r e t n e


7 DEC 23 NOV 5 NOV 26 OCT 28 Sep

Irish Coast Challenge Dublin

West Coast Express Cape Town

Hong Kong Dragon Run Hong Kong

Perth Doctor Perth

20 Beaches Sydney


CHAMP Andy Birkett 16 icf ocean racing champs 20 q&a with csa Less than 100 days to go

38 fuel up For Race Season 42 olympics denied 50 tayne tompson 54 waveski champs 74 richard kohler Does The Breede

80 ref tactics Of Canoe Polo 82 sup disciplines 88 post paddle stretch 94 state of our waterways


24 push and pull 32 fish river canoe marathon Jenna Ward on her Fish 38 irish coast challenge 46 liebenbergsvlei 58 scottburgh to brighton 64 AFRICA CHAMPS ACTION Canoe Polo at its best


58 68 69

Opinion Keep Them Hooked geared up REVIEWS THULE, Performer

Canoe Seat and Zest Test

98 Calendars 106 view from the back of the boat

on the cover



IMAGE PHOTOGRAPHER Graham Daniel Send your letters to

FIND us on the WEB FB @thepaddlemag PUBLISHER Terrence Pomeroy-Ward AD SALES DESIGNER Tracy Ward ADMIN PUBLISHED ON


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.

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.”

Tarryn King

Tarryn started surfing at 14 and has been SUPing for 7 years. she holds multiple SA titles for Surfing and Stand up paddleboarding. She is the current World SUP Sprint Champion, SA SUP waveriding Champion, SA SUP waveriding Champion and Female downwind record holder in SA.. Tarryn and her family spend their lives down at the beach and in the sea, it’s a lifestyle!


Writer of paddling books; designer and manufacturer of some of the most innovative kayaks on the market; expedition paddler with descents on four continents; veteran of races like Dusi, Fish and Berg; freestyle kayaker representing SA 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.

GARY VAN ROOYEN Gary caught his first wave at the age of six and has never looked back. He captained Western Province for five years and has represented South Africa in Windsurfing, Triathlon and Stand Up Paddleboarding. Gary was an avid surfski paddler, completing 5 Cape Point Challenges (2 x on a SUP) and the PE-EL. He also holds the three current titles – SA Legends Champion in Waveriding, Racing and Downwind, and owns Xpression on the Beach in Muizenberg.

AUSTIN KIEFFER Currently the number one ranked Surfski racer in America and placed 8th in the 2017 World Championships. He discovered Surfski in 2012 and had a breakthrough season becoming the 2014 National Champion. In 2016, he turned his attention to the Surfski World Series and competed with success at major events across North America, Australia & Asia. Since then, he has placed in the top 5 in many international races around the world and capped off his 2017 season with a podium finish at the Doctor in Perth. Currently, Austin is living and training in San Diego, CA with his new wife/love of his life, Emily.

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. 6


Russell Sadler Born in Scottburgh on the KZN South coast to lifesaving and paddling legend Mickey Sadler. He made the SA Sprint canoeing team to World Cup in Holland and World Champs in Japan the following year. He has represented SA for lifesaving as competitor and as National coach for 8 years, as well as being head coach at Marine LSC for the past 5 years. “I have made a life out of ocean racing, having been part of the hugely successful Ocean Warriors Iron Man Racing Series phenomenon that culminated with a non stop Iron Man relay from Cape Town to Durban which I was privileged to part of.” Currently director of operations for the newly relaunched WORLD SURF SKI LEAGUE, he is hoping to make a difference to the sport of surf ski.

Trystan Viaene

IMAGE Graham Daniel

PHOTOGRAPHY Canoe South Africa Xpressions on the Beach SA Canoe Polo Irish Coast Paddling Rob Mousley Graham Daniel Photos By Carolyn J Cooper Confederation of African Canoeing Cape Town Sports Photography

Oakpics Irish Coast Challenge Kevin Winter Rory Taylor Richard Kohler SA Canoe Polo Yanalya Brian’s Kayaks


There is so much to be proud about, from the incredible performances by our sprinters at the World Champs in Hungary to the phenomenal follow up at the Africa Games where our athletes secured 10 medals, nine of those being gold and at the same time secured four berths to next years Olympics in Tokyo.

Next up was the brilliant performances by our surf skiers in France at their World Champs as they put on a solid effort. Once again we were treated to good tracking so we were all able to scream and cheer as our athletes romped home. To see so many SA paddlers present at the World Champs is fantastic, to see them doing so well against the world’s best is simply the cherry on the top. On the local front it has been crazy too. We have newly crowned SA K2 River Champs after a nail biting finish for both men and women at the recent Fish River Marathon in Cradock. For both genders it finally came down to the three kilometre home stretch after a resounding 80km of neck and neck racing. Just

down the road from them our canoe polo teams were doing battle at the Africa Championships in Knysna in order to secure a place at the World Championships in Rome 2020. Do read the report to see how we faired against our favourite opponents from the North. Almost on the same stretch of coastline the waveski’ers were doing battle for the converted SA Waveski title. All this and I have only covered half of the things that SA paddlers got up to in the last two months. In the midst of all that we had the inspirational opportunity to catch up with the Birkett family. What an amazing opportunity to chat to the world’s fastest marathoner, nine times Dusi King and all-round brilliant paddler about training, hosting friends, strategy and some of the difficulties that he has overcome. On the flip side, this has been a very difficult edition to put together as I sunk a little deeper in to the SASCOC fiasco. It completely escapes me why a governing body set up to assist our athletes would give our hard earned berth to the

Olympics away. Do read all about it – perhaps I am missing something? I have also joined the Peninsula Paddle under Kevin Winter to hear his comments “this is the worst I have ever seen it!” and joined Peninsula Canoe Club for their annual vlei clean-up arranged by Graham Rowe. For two and a half hours teams of people scrapped, cleared and hauled and hardly made a dent there is so much litter. We have also been following ‘Save our Rivers ZA” quite closely and have been encouraged by the impact that they are having and saddened by the task ahead. The lesson I take for all of this is this – We are not alone! If I am screaming for our athletes while sitting at my desk – I know that there are other South Africans also screaming for them. If I pick up litter – there are hundreds of like minded people doing the same in their neck of the woods. And finally when I go to bed crushed by what is happening to our sprinters I know that I am not alone! Ed.

IMAGE Graham Daniel

world marathon




With less than a month to go before the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in Shaoxing, China we went to find out how our reigning K1 and K2 Champion’s training was going and his thoughts on the racing ahead. TPM Firstly though, how did you get in to paddling? AB While at primary school we had to play a summer sport and I could not catch a cricket ball and so the other summer sport that I was offered was paddling. So that is how I got in to it, just to find something to do for my summer sport. TPM How old were you when you started? AB Probably about the age of 12. I started paddling and being coached by Solly Peckett and got straight in to river paddling. Soon after that the Dusi bug bit me. In the beginning I did not take it too seriously spending six months of the year paddling and the other six months I would do a lot of running and cycling to stay fit. Only at the age of 23 did I make paddling my full time sport as that was when I got in to marathon racing. I really started

enjoying that and it pretty much consumes my time now.

hour events so there is a good overlap between the two.

TPM How are you feeling about the upcoming World Championships? AB I am excited to race and I am really looking forward to it. I love the racing. I have really enjoyed my training in the run up to it. I am just trying to stay healthy and not get sick – that is always the challenge for me. That is why I am not doing the Fish this year. I was sick for about a week after the Push and Pull race. So I am being really conservative in my build up to marathons this year.

TPM What does your basic training programme look like? AB I do a bit of gym work and running but when training for marathons I am mostly in my boat because there is a lot less running involved compared to the Dusi for example.

TPM With less than a month to go how is your training going? AB I am really enjoying the training, I have a really good group of guys down here in East London to train with and they are constantly pushing each other so it has been easy to fit in with them. TPM Who coaches you? AB I actually get coached by a running coach Andrew Booyens, he coaches a number of gold level runners that do marathons all over the world. Recently he has also started coaching a number of paddlers as well. It is mostly done through correspondence which is working out surprisingly well. Canoe marathons and running marathons are quite similar, both being two

TPM Do you have a game plan as you approach race day? AB No, generally my game plan develops as the race progresses, you have various scenarios that I play out in my head but at the end of the day if you are not in the mix coming in to the final portage no matter what your game plan is you are not in a position to win.You need to be able to change your game plan because there are so many variables in the race that at some stage you could find yourself playing catch up as anything can happen.You do need to be able to read what is happening and adjust accordingly. TPM Lately we have seen very fast starts particularly from the European paddlers – what is your approach? AB I think that it is tough start as a number of the Europeans are strong paddlers so you have to be ready for them. At the start you don’t want to be left behind or end up in the second bunch but you also do THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 13

not want to spend too much energy because of your ego, pulling because it is not the end of the race. TPM In the top bunch is there camaraderie or is it each man for himself? AB: I have been doing marathon racing for a while now so I have become friends with all the guys that I am racing and they are all really good guys. I have done a couple of marathons; World Cup events when I have been invited to stay with the guys for that week and in that time you really get to know them. Then it is hard to go out of your way to give them a hard time. There is also no point in creating unnecessary enemies on the water as in a moment’s time you could need to work with them again. TPM Do you ever get the chance to train with Hank? AB I last paddled with Hank at SA marathons and the next time will be in China. It is not easy – both of us are quite busy and have families and work. We have quite busy schedules so we cannot just stop everything in order to be able to train together. But we are quite lucky in that we combine well in the boat and we have done a lot of races together. Fortunately we just gel well in the


boat. TPM How do you decide who gets to drive? AB We always flip a coin to see who is going to drive. Hank won the coin toss at SA Marathons so he will drive for Worlds. It works both ways for us, I am happy to drive and so is Hank so we thought a coin flip would be simplest. TPM Hank McGregor is also your singles team mate on the first day of racing – do you two ever discuss a game plan? AB We have raced each other in marathon champs a number of times and we do tend to help each other – there is no point in having another enemy that you are trying to work over on the water. We definitely do try and look after each other, we are good friends we not going to look for conflict. But we don’t sit down before hand and have an organised game plan. It is just a friendship thing on the water, wherever we can we would help each other. TPM After World Champs there is the Pete Marlin in East London are you going to be there? AB Yes, for sure, Last year was my first one, it is quite different being

able to race locally and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a nice race for me in terms of the distance and the coastline. We have some really great downwind sections along the coast and the normal route is one of the best. Although I don’t have a great history with ski’s. I broke one at a Durban Downwind and in March I followed Joshua Fenn around the point at Yellowsands and that did not work out which was a long swim in. Then I drove over my wife’s new boat and broke the tail off. Luckily we managed to get it fixed just before her trip to Cape Town. TPM What is your highlight of the Pete Marlin? AB For me the whole package makes the event. The fact that you can do singles on Saturday and doubles on Sunday, there are not many events where you get to race twice in the same event. The next is the downwinds – we have the most awesome downwind conditions for most of the time. And it is such a social weekend, we love it because we fill up our house with friends that come and stay over. Often our house is so full we have to kick them off the couch so that we have a place to sit…


Nicole, thank you for the insider info

First Dusi at age 13, with his brother Chris (14 at the time). At 29 he has only missed one Dusi!

Andy has jungle oats and a cup of coffee every single morning for

breakfast with a spoon of peanut butter, he never deviates. He is an avid bee keeper and always has honey on him wherever he goes. He eats enormous amounts of rice ( pots) and game meat that his brother Chris provides. He refuses to touch alcohol and loves tea! His all time favourite snack is a good old peanut

butter sarmie.

“Andy is the kindest, most supportive husband and the most incredible dad. He is such a family man. I have also never met such a humble person, he looks scary but is actually a big teddy


Andy is incredibly disciplined. He does not deviate from his training plan with coach Andrew, Booyens. He trains three times a day most days except Sunday, those are cross training sessions whether it be paddling, stretching, running or gym! Andrew is a part of the family and extremely supportive. They are a team and work well together.

pet hate - bullying As a kid Andy was small for his age, and was sometimes victim to bullying. and ridicule because of his Epilepsy. * check out this site if you know a child who is a victim of bullying:

Go and pursue your dreams no matter what Andy is no stranger to overcoming adversity, From a child he has tacked Epilepsy, often only coming to in the doctors offices. Not even this has kept him off the water., although even at age 14 he was still wearing a lifejacket in training times in case he had a fit on the water. His drive to excel and achieve despite what life has thrown his way is awe-inspiring. We hope that those who have simpilar challenges will take heart, strength and courage from this amazing athlete. THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 15



Anyone watching the surf ski World Champs on the tracking system must have gone through so many emotions; is it working, wow that is fast, who is she and the ultimate GO GO GO! As their athletes neared the finish line, partly hoping that the tracking was working and partly hoping that it was wrong and their athletes had some more time. 16 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

One of the best aspects of the tracking is that one can accurately tell where all the paddlers are at any given moment making for very exciting viewing.

the women’s race Right from the start it was clear that Angie Le Roux (FRA) was heading significantly offshore compared to the rest of the women. As a local paddler she had clearly done her homework and decided that this was the best option considering the westerly wind they were heading in to. The other thing that became very clear was that all the women would have to work really hard if they were to catch newcomer to open ocean surf ski racing Danielle McKenzie (NZL).

McKenzie appeared to have given herself a phenomenal start and just hung on to it with everything she had. She was being followed by Rachel Clarke (NZL), Teneale Hutton (NZL) and Jemma Smith (AUS) with Hayley Nixon (RSA) slightly behind and inshore of the rest of the group. Near the half way mark it looked like it was turning in to quite a tussle with McKenzie still in a commanding lead over the chasing bunch but almost parallel to Le Roux who was still quite deep offshore. Nixon was keeping to the inshore line and had passed Clarke and Smith and seemed to be pulling Bonnie Hancock (AUS) and Bianca Beavitt (RSA) along with her.

Only after the half way mark did Le Roux and McKenzie converge and we could see that Le Roux was trailing behind by a significant distance. Nixon seemed to hold her inside line with Hatton on her right and a large chasing pack of Clarke, Smith, Beavitt and Georgia Laird (AUS). The problem for the inshore ladies was that they were on course to nudge passed Roëlan Island and that may not work in their favour considering the chop from the westerly wind. Just after the island the gaps in the ladies race were beginning to open up as the women tired from the frantic pace that McKenzie was setting. Nixon now comfortably in second position some distance behind her. She was followed by

Hatton and Beavitt some 200m behind her and close behind them was Smith, Le Roux, Hancock, Clarke and Laird. The top step was pretty much buttoned up but we would have to wait for the finish to determine the minor steps. In the end Nixon keep her lead from the chasers to claim a hard fought 2nd followed by Hatton in 3rd. 1. Danielle Mckenzie NZL 1h41:29.92 2. Hayley Nixon RSA 1h42:42.53 3. Teneale Hatton NZL 1h43:58.10 4. Angie Le Roux FRA 1h44:42.62 5. Bianca Beavitt RSA 1h45:10.22 6. Georgia Laird AUS 1h46:59.74 7. Bonnie Hancock AUS 1h47:12.67 8. Rachel Clarke NZL 1h48:33.34 9. Chloe Bunnett ESP 1h50:26.98 10. Bridgitte Hartley RSA


The men’s race It is no secret that Hank McGregor (RSA) and Cory Hill (AUS) have had mammoth battles on the water in the previous World Championships. Both are fierce competitors and as the expression goes ‘leave EVERYTHING on the water’ each time they meet. So all eyes were on the two of them at the start to see if Hill would retain his crown for the third time in a row or if McGregor would finally usurp it. This was a mistake as it allowed Sean Rice (RSA) to slip away offshore on pretty much the same track as Le Roux had taken a few minutes earlier. By the time the dust settled it was Sean Rice THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 17

out deep with a packed bunch in the middle consisting of Hill (leading), Nicolas Notten (RSA), Hank McGregor(RSA), Sam Norton(AUS), Jasper Mocke(RSA), Valentin Henot(FRA) and Michael Booth(AUS) with ‘Flash’ Gordan Harbrecht(GER) quite inshore but almost in line with Hill. Although Kenny Rice (RSA) did not appear to get a good start within the first 30min of the race managed to grind his way up to the top bunch of Hill and McGregor and soon they were trading places in the front. All the while S Rice continued on his own track far out to sea.

IMAGE ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships

It looks like at some point the pack became aware of S Rice and favouring his local knowledge made a concerted effort to join him in the deep as they all swung from being


inshore way out to sea. Within a few minutes S Rice was joined by McGregor, Hill and K Rice and soon they were exchanging places at the lead and we all held our breaths. And so it went on for kilometres. The only thing that remained constant was that Notten and Tom Norton (AUS) had settled in to fifth and sixth position respectively. It would take a mammoth effort to catch them from behind and it was clear that none of the leaders had any thoughts on slowing down. So their positions were unlikely to change. It was only as the leading men came past Roëlan Island that S Rice managed to find the strength to start putting a gap between himself and the other leaders. First it was 20m then 50m then it became a

question of who had the sheer determination to try and chase him down. The first to pick up the challenge was Hill as he put in a huge effort to close the gap closely followed by K Rice with McGregor going deep again in search of the elusive runs that would take him closer to the finish line. Coming in to the finish S Rice had managed to stretch his lead to an unassailable 150m on the chasers. But the minor places would come down to the wire. It was only in the closing moments of the race that K Rice finally managed to get his nose ahead of Hill who just piped McGregor in to 4th place. Notten came in 5th and T Norton 6th in very close racing. Sean Rice’s win hands him back the crown he first won at the inaugural World Championship in 2013.

1. Sean Rice RSA 1h27:44.99 2. Kenneth Rice RSA 1h28:22.25 3. Cory Hill AUS 1h28:37.64 4. Hank McGregor RSA 1h28:51.96 5. Nicolas Notten RSA 1h29:20.62 6. Tom Norton AUS 1h30:11.77 7. Gordan Harbrecht GER 1h30:33.21 8. Mackenzie Hynard AUS 1h31:42.16 9. Jasper Mocke RSA 1h32:20.59 10.Michael Booth AUS 1h32:41.81 Although all eyes were on the senior race happening just in front a special mention must go to the winners of the mens and womens U23 titles. In the ladies race Jemma Smith (AUS) could be seen mixing it up with the leading ladies the whole way across the course. For the first few minutes she was lying an incredible 2nd and then finally settled down in to 5th position

for most of the race. In the dying minutes she managed to dig even deeper and haul her boat across the line in 4th position overall for the ladies. This is an incredible accomplishment considering the calibre of women she was racing against. 2nd was Brianna Massie (AUS) and 3rd Kyeta Purchase (RSA) Joshua Fenn (RSA) took over the lead of the U23 mens race from fellow countryman Mark Keeling (RSA) soon after the start of the race. From then on he sprinted away from the other U23’s to pretty much paddle his own race and by the time he got to RoÍlan Island he had more than a 1km gap on the rest of his competitors. He finally finished 10th overall in the men. This fantastic accomplishment earned him gold and the U23 men title.

Hector Henot (FRA) 2nd and Noah Havard (AUS) 3rd. In the junior men Uli Hart (RSA) managed to paddle away from his competition eventually put more than four minutes between himself and his nearest rival Jorge G Enriquez 2nd (ESP) and Mathew Fenn 3rd (RSA). Not to be outdone, Katriana Swetish (USA) managed to put a staggering five minute gap between herself and her nearest competitor in the junior womens race. Next was Jazmin Shipway-Carr (AUS) and 3rd was Claire Dewaste (FRA)

Team SA Medal Haul : 12 Junior Boys U23 Men Senior Men Senior Women U23 Women Masters 2 Master 5 Master 6 Master 7

5 Gold Uli Hart Joshua Fenn Sean Rice

3 Silver

4 Bronse Mathew Fenn

Kenny Rice Hayley Nixon Kyeta Purchase Ernest Van Riet

Bevan Manson Herman Chalupsky Colin Simpkins

Peter O Connor




at my local club i oftEN get asked the most peculiar questions about CSA, so thought we would ask the man holding the can, Mr Colin Simpkins!

Q Do you ever get to go on tour – or are you just the travel agent

Q There is a lot going on at the

moment with nearly every discipline under CSA on tour or about to go on tour, how do you cope?

A Most of my work, with regard to

these tours, is done months ago when the selection of the teams happen. I am merely the “middle man”, ensuring that the discipline committees run their selection events properly and that the selection documents are formulated and collected. Some of the teams are fortunate enough to have a team manager. Once the selection has been ratified by the board, most of the logistical arrangements are taken care of by the relevant team manager. Many paddlers are unaware of the amount of work that it takes to be a team manager, and how much potential stress there is. Issues like kit, boat availability, travel, accommodation, shuttles, visas etc., all have potential for pitfalls. Much of my “post selection” responsibility involves interacting with the ICF and the organising committees, as well as coordinating national colours awards with SASCOC.

par excellence?


I have been very fortunate to have been on a number of tours. I am still a semi competitive “master”, so I get to participate. I am also an ICF marathon ITO (International Technical Official) and have “officiated” at the last few world championships. In addition to this, I am a member of the ICF Ocean Racing Committee. The committee usually holds its annual meeting during the World Championships of that year. So, I am off to France next month. Lucky me.

Q There is a lot of talk about growing the sport and development

but where do you think that we should focus our energy in order to grow the sport?

A I will answer this by using the analogy of school sport. At the

heart of any successful school canoeing program you will find a dedicated and passionate school master or parent. So too with any successful race or program. The success of our sport resides solely with our ability to find the human capital to make a difference. Good ideas and successful programs do not fall out of the sky. They are conceptualised and driven by people. Classic examples would be the Sea Dog series in Cape Town, the new Push and Pull race, the Drak Challenge and many others.


With so many ‘mouths to feed’ how does CSA split its budget between the different disciplines?

A This is an easy question.There is no budget to split. Our sole

source of funding for the disciplines comes from affiliation fees and race levies. All we can do with this is to ensure that structures and systems are kept in place so that the clubs, disciplines and race organisers can operate.

Q A common gripe is that CSA seems geared to deal with the top athletes but the average paddler is an



A common misconception is that CSA is a “stand alone” body that tosses down decisions and policy at their whim. IT is ¬ultimately a reflection of the paddling population in the country.You are CSA. It is an easy concept to understand. Paddlers form clubs, clubs for unions, the unions form CSA. So, in short, paddlers form CSA. If there is a gripe that CSA treats the average paddler as an afterthought, then those who are gripping need to make a change. Make your voice heard. Or, even better, become part of the human capital and make the change for yourself. 22 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

Q You are at the coal face in terms of

paddler numbers, funding and competition, where do you see SA going in the next five years?

the towel?


A The lack of “human capital” (people prepared to put their

We are privileged to live in a country with a host of exciting rivers and an adventurous coastline, providing ample opportunity for some superb racing venues. The Olympic disciplines of sprinting and slalom are not so lucky, with very few facilities close to metropolitan areas. There has been a definite drop off in numbers over the past few years. Much of the decline can be attributed to the protracted drought that has gripped the country. This, coupled with some severe water quality issues in many of our rivers (and training venues), has lead people to look elsewhere. We also need to take a careful look at our “product offering”. Dishing up the same fare year after year can lead to stagnation. We need a few vibrant and exciting innovations to our calendar. The funding model that almost all sporting federations in this country face is a massive disappointment. We receive almost no high performance funding at all. Our national teams are perpetually self-funded. Even our very successful development program is woefully under supported on a national scale. Only the provincial department of sport in KZN makes any significant contribution. And this, only to transformation and development. Our only source of high performance funding is lotto. Successful application to the lottery commission are an absolute lottery in itself. The lotto operates on a project based system. So, even when we are successful with an application, the funding is granted towards specific projects. The successful development of an athlete requires funding to be program based. Unfortunately I cannot see any short term change in the policy of the current government. So the bleeding of our talent to other countries will continue, and the likes of Jean Van Der Westhuyzen will be winning gold medals for another nation. These are very frustrating times to be a sports administrator.

Q Have there been moments when you wanted to throw in

hands up), can sometimes be very frustrating. This, more often than not, gets to be balanced out by the pleasure of working with some exceptionally dedicated, unselfish and passionate people. There are just not enough of them. Probably my lowest moments have come when fellow paddlers find cause to be personally confrontational over issues that involve the application of policy that their own peers have put in place.


There appears to be a rapid decline in high performance funding at a time that we really need it, is this a national trend or have we missed the boat somewhere?

A We could not have done any more than we have. Our last

five million rand lotto application resulted in a R250 000 grant. They then have an absurd ruling in place whereby you have a year’s “cooling off” period, during which you cannot re-apply. This, effectively has resulted in a two year period of no high performance funding. The seriousness of our governments support for high performance sport is reflected in the fact that the only source of funding for federations is administered by an entity that falls under the department of trade and industry.Yet they bale out rampantly corrupt and inept SOE’s to the tune of hundreds of billions. The national budget for sport for the next year is just over 1.3 billion. Eskom alone could cost us that in less than a month.

Q You get to represent us at ICF meetings, regattas and all

sorts of different events – what are some of your proudest moments?

A I have been fortunate to have been at the last few World

Marathon Championships, as well as the last World Ocean Racing Championship. To have been involved with a team that is in its heyday, has been my proudest moment. ICF congresses are hard work, and no fun. I am not a politician. I tend to open my mouth to change feet most of the time. Those who know me will vouch for the fact that tact is not one of my strong points.


IMAGES Cape Town Sports Photography curtesy of Push and Pull Paddle

Push and Pull

World marathon champion Andy Birkett claimed the inaugural Bamboo Warehouse Push And Pull Paddle Canoe Marathon title on the Berg River, while Bianca Beavitt wrapped up the women’s equivalent in emphatic style. Birkett started the final 15 kilometre stage from Blou Porselein to Delsma Guest Farm with a 47 second lead in the bank, and powered away on the full Berg River to take the spoils from the chasing trio of Kenny Rice and KZN youngster Stew Little. “I knew from the start that Kenny (Rice) and Stew (Little) would be chasing me down, and with the river flowing so fast I knew it would be flat out the whole way,” said Birkett, who is preparing for the defence of the global K1 and K2 crowns in China in October.

a break on Day Two that Nicky (Notten) and Kenny (Rice) are no push-over!” “Stew Little is a real talent and is probably the best river paddler in the country at the moment and he was right in the race throughout,” he added. The women’s race, which had been fraught with drama throughout, was won by the Berg stalwart Bianca Beavitt. Despite a scare when she capsized in Klei Rapid on the queens stage on Saturday, she had done enough to take a lead of more than ten minutes into the last day over Nikki Birkett, but the day started badly for the seasoned Berg paddler. “I slipped badly coming down to the river at the start and fell on my arm,” said the Century City paddler.

“I put my ears back knowing the stage would be less than an hour and managed to stay ahead of the two guys.

“It was hurting a lot so I decided to pace myself carefully on the day and not make any mistakes,” she added.

“The standard of the competition was really good. I saw when I tried to make

Nikki Birkett posted the fastest

IMAGES Oakpics, curtesy of Push and Pull Paddle

women’s time on the final stage, but it was never going to threaten Beavitt’s comfortable overall lead. Kim van Gysen finished third in the women’s race. Graeme Solomon and Andre Collins continued the form they found on the second stage to take the K2 race from Fanta Gous and Jason Goedhals. The race was unique for a Berg River canoeing event as it included six Stand Up Paddleboarders, as well as a solitary brave K3, in line with the ground-breaking new race’s philosophy of challenging canoeing conventions. The big field of paddlers that took part thrived on the fully catered meals and a tented athletes village, evening live entertainment and special attention paid to families and seconders on the Women’s Day long weekend.


RESULTS MEN 1 Andy Birkett 3:59:36.53 2 Kenneth Rice 4:01:50.51 3 Stewart Little 4:01:51.41 4 Nicholas Notten 4:02:59.19 5 Mark Keeling 4:07:17.72 6 Murray Starr 4:09:14.14 7 Ernest Van Riet 4:09:15.01 8 Stuart Maclaren 4:10:18.26 9 Bartho Visser 4:12:18.13 10 Luke Stowman 4:12:18.71

WOMEN 1 Bianca Beavitt 4:27:39.34 2 Nikki Birkett 4:37:59.50 3 Kim Van Gysen 4:45:38.67 4 Christie Mackenzie 4:46:47.52 5 Candice Murray 4:49:54.85

K2 1 Graeme Solomon Andre Collins 4:19:43.84 2 Jason Goedhals Fanta Gous 4:26:28.10 3 Kelvin Trautman Sabrina Chesterman 4:30:14.69 4 Chris De Waal Dominique Desmeules 4:32:37.57

K3 68 Emanuel Zaloumis Kate Bussin Colin Whitfield 5:12:59.07

SUP 1 Rory Smyth 8:39:57.76 2 Jolene Harris 8:40:00.23 3 Guy Bubb 8:40:14.33 4 Elleni Smyth 8:40:22.60

fuelling up for race season

Summer racing is over in the States, and my heavy volume training is back in full swing. I started gearing things back up in early August to get ready for the Fall races (Lighthouse to Lighthouse and Irish Coast Paddling Championships). With Lighthouse to Lighthouse coming up this weekend, I thought it would be interesting to write about how I fuel my body during these weeks of high volume and high intensity training. Before we dive into my nutrition, I want to explicitly say that this is not an attempt to convert anyone or push my “diet” as the be-all and end-all solution. This article is merely a chance to share the nutritional approach that I use and how it’s worked for me the past two years. As an athlete, I have always eaten relatively healthily, trying to avoid processed foods and stick to organic, whole foods whenever possible. Until a few years ago, however, I

struggled to know exactly what and how much my body needed to not just be healthy, but perform optimally. I eventually contacted a friend and nutrition/health coach (Kelsey Graham) and asked her opinion on what to do. She had me log my eating for two weeks and, after taking a look, she deduced that I was undereating in an attempt to stay “lean.” Beyond that I wasn’t consuming nearly enough carbohydrates to fuel, sustain, and recover properly from my training. I was shocked, but intrigued. I took a leap of faith and over the next few weeks I implemented her suggestions, while tracking my energy levels, training performances and weight. After a month of testing, it was pretty obvious; she was right! With a highercalorie, carbfocused diet and intentionally

consuming at least half my calories before noon, I was I was able to lose fat, sustain energy levels throughout the day and perform at a higher level in afternoon training sessions. Since then, I have used this fueling approach for all of my demanding training blocks and I find that sticking closely to it can really be the difference between absorbing a hard week of training and falling apart. As boring as it is, I try to keep my diet as regular and easy as possible. Below is a rough outline of what I eat on a typical training day.


Lunch 1 Lunch 2

Lunch 3 Dinner


Total Calories Macro Breakdown (approximate)

Austin Kieffer

Oatmeal Milk Granola Coffee Berries Grilled chicken breast White rice Veggies Black beans Eggs Tortillas Avocado Salsa White rice Grilled chicken breast Grilled salmon Grilled veggies Watermelon Mixed salad Banana Milk Apple Rx Bars 3800 Carbs: 575 – 60% Fat: 90 – 22% Protein: 165 – 18%


Fish River Marathon big water tight lines HOT on each others heels...




Jenna Ward and Kyeta Purchase have just become the new SA K2 River Champions as they stormed across the finish line at this year’s Hansa Fish Golden Crisp River Marathon. This is super exciting for them firstly to have won the race and secondly in the build up to what we are hoping will be a fantastic time of competing in China later this month. Jenna has been selected to represent SA in the K1 and K2 events teaming up with Kyeta for the K2. With all the excitement and anticipation we caught up with her. TPM How did the race go? JW The race was really really good. We had two clean days on the river 36 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

and did not make any mistakes and the other girls did not make any mistakes either up until Cradock. So we both had to try and stay as clean as possible and keep each other within eye sight. Sometimes we would go down a rapid first only to have them catch up and on other occasions they would go down first and we would have to catch up. It made for really exciting racing. Kyeta was really strong in the back of the double so whenever I needed the power to get back or pull through a rapid she was there. We were also pretty stable in the boat so I was confident about shooting everything so that really made a big difference. TPM Which part of the river do you enjoy the most? JW Pretty much every time there is a rapid, the Fish has got so many fun rapids and weirs you can be having fun most of the day. This year my favourite part would have to be Keith’s! I think that this is only the second time that I have shot it in a race out of my 12 races. That was really exciting for me. Obviously Keith’s is a fun and daunting rapid so close into the race. Just to go through those big stoppers so early on is a big wakeup call. TPM You have been training with Kyeta for a while did it help in the

race? JW Kyeta and I first paddled together in 2016. The following year she took a break from Canoeing and decided to focus on lifesaving in order to go to Worlds for lifesaving. So I really had to do a lot of persuading to get her back in to canoeing. I knew that she would make a great partner and it is great to have her back for this year. The fact that we are training together every day in our singles really helps, it gives us a good indication of how strong we are individually so when we come together we know that we can rely on each other. TPM You have won this race before - when was that? JW I won it in a K2 in 2017 with Anna Kožíšková. I was subbing in for Abbie who was pregnant at the time so there was a lot of pressure with that. But this occasion is more special knowing how much Kyeta and I have put in together to get the result. It is a great victory and hopefully one day I can win in my single. TPM Is doing the Fish part of the training or something you just do for the fun of it? JW Getting down to the Fish was a bit of a push. Our coach Lee McGregor isn’t too crazy about rivers and with it being a few weeks before China he was not that keen on us doing it. But after a lot of negotiation we managed to swing him and finally he said okay fine as long as we did not sacrifice our training prior to the race. Lee made us keep on training right up to the Tuesday before we left. I said to Kyeta that there is no ways I could sit at home knowing that the Fish was taking place. I would have such FOMO so let’s use it as our last long training session. The Fish is a

great fun weekend away and I would definitely not miss it. Obviously having done this well at the Fish is really quite a confidence booster. TPM What was your game plan? JW The whole way down the river I was thinking that we cannot leave it to an end sprint as we have had a few end sprints with Christie and Bridgitte being an Olympian I knew that we could come off second best so I was really hoping that it would not come to that. I think that at one point on day two Christie and Bridgitte actually spun out at the bottom of a rapid and I wasn’t too sure what was going on so I had to keep on asking Kyeta to check but they were so strong they caught us again. At Cradock they went in first and I must be honest when I heard the crowd gasp I knew that they had swum but we still needed to go over. So I was still pretty nervous but once we had gone over and made it I realised that with only 3km to the finish and with them in the water there was little chance of them catching us. TPM In three weeks time the two boats will be racing against each other again? Do the four of you have a game plan or is it largely each boat for themselves? JW We have not really discussed it to be honest. We don’t ever see Christie and Bridgitte. Christie lives in Cape Town and Bridgitte has been travelling a lot so we don’t really see them or discuss that sort of thing. But when it comes to a race like the World Marathons there are a lot of competitive crews that you have to worry about plus your starting line up is completely random so you have no idea who you will be next to or where you are going to start. I think that if there is a situation where the one of the two

teams needed some assistance and the other could, I think that we definitely would help but it would just be a matter of where you are in the bunch and who is around. In a way every boat for themselves but yes we would keep an eye out for the other SA boat and help them in any way possible without putting any impact on our race.

World Champs later in the year. To give you an idea, the Europeans are racing four World Cups before racing World Champs later in the year whereas we often come in blind after only racing SA trials. It really has been such a help to go over and get that extra training and experience which I hope will pay off at the end of this year.

TPM What was the time spent in Europe racing marathons in the run up to Worlds like? JW As you may know I am good friends with Vanda Kiszli she is the current senior women world champ and we have raced together since 2014 in U23 and then I think in the following year she came out and raced the Dusi with me and she came out the year after that. Since then she has begged me to come and visit and train with her. While staying there I saw how hard they train and why they are the current world champions. It was so exciting that I thought that I had to go back I can only get better from learning from them. It really is so incredible to be in Hungary with the team and be able to pick up a few training tips and tactics and so forth. But Vanda is also a great friend so it is good to be able to share her lifestyle is really something special. Plus she always keeps an eye out for me in the race which I really appreciate because she is so strong that she can control it.

TPM Any advice for young paddlers? JW Keep enjoying it and keep having fun. Try and do as many disciplines as you can. I am one of the many who do the rivers, surf and flat water and I think that that is the reason I am still paddling 16 years later. If I was only doing one discipline I would have gone crazy by now or given up long ago. Being able to jump in a marathon boat, then a surf ski and a river boat within a month really does keep it exciting; you never know what is going to be thrown at you. Just keep going, you will make the most amazing friends, around the world, around your town and in your club and they really do become a part of your life and your family. Plus you get to travel to the most amazing places. We live in the most beautiful country and you will not see these kinds of things if you are not doing these local canoe races. Keep it up and you will learn so much from the sport.

Also going over for the last two years to race the world cups has been really exciting. In South Africa we only race provincial and national trials and both of those are quite diluted races with one or two boats so to be able to race against a quality field of 10 to 15 girls at the world cups has been really beneficial to my training and preparation for

A big shout out to Lee McGregor our coach at the Mac Squad for all the time and effort he has put in to getting us fit for the Fish and World Marathon Champs and to our awesome sponsors, Euro Steel, Gara paddles, Ocean eyewear and Varsity Collage for Kyeta without them none of this would be possible and we are so thankful for their support.


IMAGES Alan Hunter

China Silver Asset Management



After a week of mild weather in the run up to race day, the race committee awoke to a small Craft advisory warning of over force 6 to 7 offshore winds from Irish Maritime Services at 5am. The race committee and safety coordinators had no option except to make an immediate call to postpone the already modified course start for an hour, hoping that the wind would subside enough to allow them to race. Thankfully the wind did drop off

enough to allow the racing to start so at 10am the ladies field took off for the 1000m hotspot prize of 1500Euro. The sprint was won by Gorgia Laird (AUS) by a nose from Hayley Nixon (RSA) who bagged 750 Euro for her 1000m effort with Roisin Cahill (IRL) taking 3rd place and 500 Euro for the hotspot. 10:15am saw the men’s race fire off with Sean Rice (RSA) steaming away like a man on a mission to claim his share of the hotspot purse followed by Gordan Harbrecht (GER) and

Cory Hill in 3rd (AUS). The race was one of the toughest of the year with big prize money and World Surf Ski League points at stake. The conditions were less than ideal with a side on to slight head wind, tidal waves and refractions off the mainland and islands making it so tough. “One of the most mentally difficult races I have done” Hayley Nixon said The trip through Dalkey flattened out in the lee of the Irish Mainland THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 39

from what is usually the trickiest and most technical part of the race to the most manageable before coming out of the lee of the land into force 5/20 knot side on through Scotsman’s Bay to the first turning mark. “Having arrived late on the night before I didn’t know how far the turn was, it felt like miles” Said Sean Rice The men’s field was stacked with the 1, 2, 3 from the hotspot along with Nelo summer challenge winner Tom Norton, Sam Djordan and Austin Kieffer slogging it out for 20kms. A blistered and visibly tired Sean Rice entered the Dun Laoghrie harbour dwarfed by the huge stone fortifications of the Dun Laoghrie harbour for a 750m grind to the finish line at the Royal St Georges Yacht club followed a minute later


by the powerful German Gordan Harbrecht, and a minute later by Cory Hill looking battered but in true form grinning from ear to ear. The ladies race was dominated by the power and experience of South African Surf Skis Golden girl Hayley Nixon who finished a full eight minutes ahead of Georigia Laird in 2nd place with Lizelle Kemp taking out the bronze. The Irish “renegade” contingent was lead across the line by the Cahill siblings, Bernard and Roisin who are quickly establishing themselves as the bench mark in Irish surf ski paddling backed up by the longtime stalwarts Jim Morrisey, Tadgh De Barra, Dermot Hudson, and Roddy Fox. While on the subject of the Irish contingent the SK1 class was dominated by hardy Irish seaman going 1, 2, and 3 with Fergus

Cooper, David Knight and Ronan Browne taking on the 20k course in their sea kayaks. A special three days was had by a great bunch of local and international paddler with their families and friends enjoying the Irish hospitality laid on by the Irish Coast Paddling Championships social course check and curry evening on Thursday, registration Friday and BBQ and Guinness on Saturday. “I’ll be back next year with my family. Perhaps not in the van” Said Gordan Harbrecht who expecting his first child in a couple of weeks ended his season with the ICPC. The World Surf Ski League is looking really interesting with Cory Hill and Austin Kiefer lying equal first for the men’s and Hayley Nixon

and Teneale Hatton all equal in the ladies title race. So ends an epic month of Euro ocean racing, there are a lot of tired and content bodies climbing on ferries and planes over the next two days to rest up and recover for the China Silver Asset Management WEST COAST EXPRESS in Cape Town on the 26 October, Hong Kong Dragon Run 9 November, Perth Doctor 23 Nov, Sydney 20 Beaches 7 Dec. SPONSORS: China Silver Asset Management Vaikobi, Gara Paddles, Fenn, Weitz, Red Bull Ireland And a big thank you out to Irish Coast guard for their assistance with safety.


IMAGES Confederation of African Canoeing

lympics Last week while chatting to a friend he mentioned that Chrisjan Coetzee was not going to the Tokyo Olympics. My first reaction was that I must have heard wrong – he qualified and why would anyone who has spent more money on travel than I have ever spent on a new car not finally go to the most coveted race in the world.

start line. In this case we refer to it a berth (old regatta / yachting term). So in 2011 when Bridgitte Hartley secured her place in the 2012 Olympics the South African Sports and Confederation Olympic Committee (SASCOC) was awarded the position, not Bridgitte. SASCOC then gets to choose if they will take up the berth.

In order to explain the debacle one has to understand the qualification process; there are hundreds of rules and permutations but for the sake of understanding this debate it is important to highlight just a few.

Next comes the actually qualification process:

First the two basic rules / premises of the Olympics: The five rings in the Olympics symbolise the five continents coming together to compete so there are rules in place in order to limit the domination of any one country by the size of their team. For example, if the world’s top 27 sprinters were chosen it would exclude a lot of countries and would be Hungary top heavy. The Olympics is the epitome of a world sports competition so if an athlete is successful in the qualifiers all they are doing is securing a place for their Country on the 42 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

The top five spots from the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Szeged, Hungary are allocated a Country berth at the Tokyo Olympics (so the country gets to decide who fills that berth in the end). The other berths are allocated to the continental qualifiers. There are five of these; North & South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and Oceania. The winner automatically qualifies for the Olympics. Finally one berth is allocated at the 2nd World Cup regatta in May 2020. This berth is awarded to the fastest Country not already allocated a berth at the Olympics. So Liam Heath (UK) could win the 200m but since he already qualified and has confirmed his place, the berth

would be awarded to the next country down and so forth... Each country is only allowed to have one berth per gender per discipline. Since both Esti Van Tonder (K1) and Bridgitte Hartley and Donna Hutton (K2) qualified at the Africa Games, ultimately if SASCOC approved the berths then it would have come down to CSA’s selection criteria to decide which event they wished to be represented at. As an aside once there you are free to enter other events so Lisa Carrington (NZ) can qualify in a K4 and then race K1 and K2 races because she made the team. Which is why you will see more women line up for the 200m than the expected 12. So on paper at least, it is simple, either be in the top five in Hungary, win your Continental regatta or finally be the highest placed not already entered country in May 2020 and according to the Olympics committee you are in. Team SA sprinters had a phenomenal time at the World Championships. Although they did not get the top five that they were looking for, Esti


won her 500m C final in a time of 1:57: 79 which was faster than any of the women in the B Final and would have secured her a bronze in the A Final. Just let that sink in, Esti van Tonder was the third fastest woman over 500m at the World Championships! Chrisjan also went on to post world class times and let’s not forget his Bronze in Poznan at the ICF World Cup earlier this year where he became the South African male sprinter to bag a medal in over a decade. Bridgitte also posted excellent results finishing 4th in the women’s 5000m. Coming off these amazing results they were on a high going into the Africa Games were they were untouchable. Chrisjan, Esti, Bridgitte and Donna won their races very convincingly at the Africa Games and therefore under the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Canoe Federation (ICF) qualified for Tokyo Olympics. For Bridgitte this made it an astounding 4th Olympics qualification. The rest of Team SA also did incredibly well at the Africa Games (9 Gold’s) but the Olympics has trimmed down to five male and five female events as opposed to the 20 or so at the Sprint World Championships. So our athletes who did not race Olympic qualifying races are not part of this discussion. But you may remember that just before the team left for Hungary Colin Simpkins sent out an email saying that SASCOC had instituted their own rules for the qualification. It appears we are the only country in the world were our Olympic organising committee institute rules that supersede the Olympics and ICF themselves. Most countries rejoice if their sportsmen and women actually make the Olympic qualification in any

means possible. But not SASCOC. SASCOC received the letter stating that they had been awarded two berths at the upcoming Olympics. As our athletes did not exceed the SASCOC requirements their berths were declined by SASCOC and returned to the IOC. Basically SASCOC had 10 working days within which to respond from the time of notification. That window period has now closed for the South African sprinters. The Continental qualifications are no less significant, some of you may remember Stephen Bird (ex SA now AUZ paddler) qualified who through the 2015 Continental qualifications and came 8th in Rio. This problem is not new, In 2015 Chrisjan also managed to qualify through the Continental qualifiers (Africa Championships in SA) but was denied a place at the Olympics by SASCOC. But there is a new committee and the sprinters were hoping that SASCOC under the new management would finally have a change of heart. So a strong team took on the Africa Games, achieved outstanding results and returned proudly to wait on our Sports administrators to finally give their blessing! We do not understand the reason for this decision by SASCOC. Nor do we yet understand why SASCOC is allowed to impose rules that supersede the IOC and the ICF’s own rules on the South African athletes. It cannot be a financial issue on behalf of SASCOC, our athletes are self-funded in that they do not receive any funding from CSA or SASCOC so every trip overseas has had to come out of their own pockets. As we understand it, they would gladly have kept on going out of their own pockets. So apart from a couple of tracksuits there is no

additional cost to SASCOC. The Olympic committee has now offer the berths to the Countries that came second and third at the Africa Games. The weekend before going to print all the other countries gladly accepted their offers so paddlers from Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt will be going to the Olympics. At this point it does not appear that we will have any paddling representation at the upcoming Olympics. This will be the first time that we have not had any representation at the Olympics since we were allowed to return after 1994. This is an incredibly hard pill to swallow for the athletes who have already committed long hours in the gym, even more cold and lonely hours on the water and literally tons of their own money to get to the regattas throughout the world in order to get the experience and training that they need to compete at this level. For Bridgitte, Esti and Chrisjan they have been campaigning for more than 10 years each in order to finally represent their country at the Olympics. It is also debilitating for the sport as how does one inspire a young athletes to follow his or her dreams when the ultimate goal – to represent your country at the Olympics is obstructed by the very organisation that was set up to assist athletes. So where to from here? The good news is that our athletes are not giving up without a fight and by the time you read this they will already hard at work getting ready for the third and final qualifier in Duisburg, Germany on the 21 – 24 May 2020. It is a tall ask because even if they are finally successful SASCOC may still not let them go…



Canoe Marathon



Young Guns take the Win Two days of intense racing came down to an end sprint as the 2019 edition of the VKB Liebenbergsvlei Canoe Marathon wrapped up in Frankfort this weekend. Hamish Lovemore (Euro Steel / Varsity College), defending Champion, was able to retain his title this year with training partner and flat-mate, Stewart Little (Euro Steel / Varsity College. This wining combination did not have the racing all their own way and were made to work tirelessly to the finish line as the power-house pairing of Jacques Theron (CG) and Bryan Le Roux (KZN) were fighting all the way to the line for the win. Theron and Le Roux were the overnight leaders by 2 seconds, but relinquished that lead after the final portage around a weir, 5km before the finish line. “The youngsters were too strong today,” commented

Theron, who is no stranger to the top step of the podium in canoe races. Little was humble in his response, saying “We were lucky to win as we made many mistakes, but are very glad to have pulled it off.” His partner, who drove them to this years victory, is familiar with the VKB Trophy as he has held it for the past three years. “To win this year, and keep the trophy in KZN is very special,” he lamented, “but we had to work hard for the win against a strong crew.” Performance award of the day however, must have gone to the partnership of Clint Cook and Wayne Jacobs, who slipped down the rankings to 7th position on day one due to a broken paddle after 12km into the stage. They pulled out all the stops on day two and clawed their way back onto the podium, passing all the leading contenders who were fighting for that coveted final spot on the podium.

and also winners of the Canoeing South Africa title of SA Schools K2 River Champions, which this race doubled as. Their win gave them victories in the U16 category, the U18 category, the overall victory along with the SA Schools title - a great weekend from of this young crew who thoroughly deserved the win. Over 300 athletes started the race and made their way from Reitz to Tweeling, then onto Frankfort for the final stage, where the celebrations and race stories were swopped with great gusto at the now famous end point of O’Gara’s Pub. For full race results:


The Ladies race saw an even younger combination take the win through Georgina Howard (Epworth) and Shannon ParkerDennison (Epworth), both competitors in the U16 category, THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 49




We chat with 19-year-old Tayne Thompson, Paddling Club Captain for The IIE’s Varsity College Cape Town who won gold U23 and came 15th K2 during the recent SA Championships (30km Freedom Paddle) held in Cape Town. Earlier in April Tayne won two silver medals in the K1 12km and “Round the Blinders Dash

for Cash” 1km challenge at the annual BUCO Adventure Surf Ski Challenge in Plettenberg Bay. Thompson takes us through the challenges he faced at the start of the singles race and how he made up for it in the doubles race. He also discusses how he looks forward to the Pete Marlin Surfski Race which will take place in East London in November and

the Cape Point Challenge taking place in Cape Town in December. Thompson is a very disciplined sportsman and his determination and commitment to the sport of paddling demonstrates the true meaning of VC Sports Life. We look at how Thompson’s journey and passion for paddling began and his subsequent paddling to greatness.

What sparked your interest in paddling?

As a baby my dad, Brendon Thompson, would put me in the back of his double canoe while paddling - after a couple of laps I’d usually fall asleep. So, my love for this sport started when I was very young. Growing up I was very competitive in sports and loved being in the water, so I guess it was just the natural fit for me. Who inspired you along your journey ? who is your biggest inspiration today – and why?

While growing up in East London, I was fortunate enough to watch and learn from a bunch of older guys who I call the ‘Turbo Ballies’. They taught me so much about this sport and they still do today. I was lucky enough to watch guys like Hank McGregor, Sean Rubenstein and Grant Van Der Walt dice each other at some crazy speeds, which was just insane. But my biggest inspiration is most certainly my Dad. While supporting him on plenty of races, I learnt how tough he is, and he showed me that, with hard work and dedication, you can achieve anything in life. He has taught me so much and pushed me beyond what I thought were my limits. When did you decide to start racing competitively?

I started racing competitively in the Guppie Paddling Programme and won my first SA title in the U/8 category at SA Sprints. From there, I kept racing for fun, but I got side-tracked for a few years focusing on surfing, and paddling was just a hobby then. I learnt a lot about the surf from spending so much time in the water surfing. I was able to use my surfing skills in Surfski paddling, which has helped me on quite a few occasions. I started doing lifesaving when I was 14 years old and that ignited my passion for paddling again. I was lucky enough to have Josh Fenn and William Wood in East London with me and we are all the same age. The three of us trained together, which was a win for all of us because we pushed each other. What are your greatest successes and why?

I’ve had few achievements in my career, but I was unlucky to miss my chance to race in the U/18 division due to my health issues. My most memorable achievement would be winning the Surfers Marathon with my Dad in 2017. I’ve watched the race since I was a young boy and have always wanted to win it, so to tick that off my list, and with my Dad, was memorable. What were your biggest challenges, why and how did you overcome them?

In 2015 I had a close call when I contracted the E. coli virus. After recovering I started paddling again but no matter how hard I trained my endurance was not the same. After three years of battling, the doctors found out that the lining of my heart was severely damaged, and it needed to be removed. I had to have heart surgery (a pericardiectomy) in 2017. It has taken me a while to recover from the surgery, but I’ve been feeling much better ever since. I still have to do regular check-ups on my health, but it definitely doesn’t hold me back. I learnt that you can overcome your greatest challenges if you have the correct mind-set. What about your training programme - do you have a specific race lead up/ training regime or do you follow a more general programme?

I follow the program set by my coach Pete Cole, but sometimes I must make some changes to fit in with my studies. I usually gym 3-4 times a week and I use swimming as my cross training, which I do three times a week. Due to my muscles and ribs being damaged in the heart operation, I must do quite a lot of stretching and mobility exercises which I get from a bio kineticist. Do you train on your own or do you have a coach?


I moved from East London to Cape Town last year and joined the Orka training squad, which is coached by Pete Cole. The squad comprises of some amazing paddlers, who push, motivate and advise me. The squad is fond of my jokes, especially Stu Maclaren so our squad is very close. You also won at BUCO Adventure Surf Ski Challenge and the SA Championship Freedom Paddle. Which race did you enjoy most and why?

Both races were well organised and had different courses to the normal Surfski races. At the BUCO Adventure Surfski Challenge, I raced against some suitable doubles and my mate Bevan Manson. The course was really interesting, with a portage on each of the four laps and having to go in and out of the surf each time. Bevan managed to break away on the third lap, so I pulled myself up on the last lap, but Bevan used his unorthodox man strength and I wasn’t able to catch up with him. Paddling around Robben Island on Freedom Day at the SA Championship Freedom Paddle is a really unique experience. The route is different to any other Surfski races I have ever done. Taking in the kelp and the way that the waves break around the island I had to quickly adapt to it. It’s really hard to say which race was my favourite, because I really enjoyed both challenges each race presented. Do you follow a particular diet and mind sharing some detail?

I don’t follow any diet, but I do take my nutrition seriously to help with my recovery and to boost my energy levels. I don’t cut out carbs, I just eat healthy carbs which give me long-lasting energy. Fortunately, I haven’t been influenced by the Cape Town cyclists, who only drink flat whites and eat smashed avocado on rye. I’m no chef at all, but growing up in East London, I know how to braai chops quite well. Talk us through SA Championship Freedom Paddle – Did you do a recon of the route beforehand?

The SA Championship Freedom Paddle was quite a tough one, given the flat conditions on the day. I doubled up with my good mate Zach Preyser, who is very strong on the flats. Leading up to the race, we couldn’t do the course in training, but I spent a lot of time paddling in those waters when I take tours for Atlantic Outlook. I also did the race last year, so I knew the course relatively well. Did you have a strategy going in to the race?

Our strategy was to try and get ourselves into a good spot at the start and get a good wave to sit on after everything had settled. From there, I knew that we were just going to have stay focused and alert for any challenges or position changes. The start didn’t go as planned, but we were able to work on it and get onto a decent group. We were able to catch up on eight boats in front of us with the help of the others in the group. At which point in the race did you realise that you had it?

Our goal was to win our age category, finish in the top fifteen and try to push for a top 10 if possible. We were able to win the U/23 division and placed in the top 15. We didn’t know that we had won the U/23 division until after the race, because I was just really focused on catching the group ahead of us and wasn’t even think about it. Looking to 2019 what is next?

I’m not quite sure what’s next for this year just yet. I raced the SA singles Surfski trials the following day, but unfortunately my back completely seized up due to an ongoing injury. I’ve been focusing on getting my back injury fixed since then, but I have been training. The next major Surfski races that I will be doing is the Pete Marlin and Cape Point Challenge later this year, but I’m hoping to do some river races before then. How do you maintain a balance between your studies,your paddling and having a social life?

In order to have all three, I make sure that I follow my studying and training program so that I know when I will have free time. Sometimes I have to skip a session or two for my studies, but I usually manage to do them on my own if I miss one. My priority is always varsity, but Varsity College is really understanding and supportive of my paddling, which makes things a lot easier and I’m able to do both. In terms of my social life, I spend a lot of time with my mates on the weekends. When leading up to big races, I cut out alcohol and focus on getting enough sleep in, so I substitute the partying with bonding. Deidré Daniels


Macski South Africa

IMAGE Rory Taylor

Waveski Champs

The ocean delivered three days of solid swell and waves into the rocky bay of Jongensfontein during the Macski South Africa Waveski Champs, which kicked off on the 21st September 2019. Surf conditions however were somewhat challenging with a large and often unpredictable wave peeling into the bay. Competitors from around the country were greeted with 4 - 6 foot surf for the start of the three 54 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

day contest. Juniors; Marcus Esterhysen and Francios Roesstorff battled it out in their instant final on day 1, in the great condition. Esterhysen was the first to drop down on the wave, drawing the crowd’s attention with his punchy style, totalling at 7.2. Roesttorff followed suit, putting out all the stops, showcasing great form and perseverance throughout the

30min heat, claiming second place, with a total score of 6.33. All the age group divisions were surfed through to their respective Semi Finals, with each of these finals, including the open finals, scheduled to run on Monday. Conditions changed continuously throughout the day, with the low tide offering up high performance surfing opportunities. A 30kph wind swept

across the point, creating a bumpy platform for BIG wipe-outs in the testing surf that remained for the day. Bruce Viaene and Mike Wessels added an impromptu feature to this year’s contest, commentating on each of the heats until the final heat of Day. Positive, punchy banter was dispersed by the two leading waveskier’s as they built up the

camaraderie among competitors and spectators alike. As the contest continue, the commentators circle featured Ant Stott, Duran Martin, Schalk Van Wyk and Bradley Crawcutt.

who said that the windy conditions did not allow him to stop paddling throughout the 20 minute heat. This statement rang true throughout the day, sapping the much needed energy from each surfer.

Day two of the contest was plagued by howling winds which pushed all competitors to their paddling limit in every heat. First heat of the day was won by Bruce Viaene (Border)

Not a moment went by where the contestants could even consider to ease up on the non-stop paddling just to stay in the right position to catch a wave. THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 55

Action started to heat up in Heat six where Percy Louw (WP), Neal Stephenson (Plett), Ryan Griffith (KZN), and Frenchman, Eric Perrier headed out. It was Griffith who took an early lead but was soon overtaken by the smooth but potent surfing of Louw who solidified his dominance with an excellent score of 8.67. Griffith, who is another surfer who is in form, could not keep up but secured a 2nd place and progressed to Round four.

IMAGE Bruce Viaene

Highest heat total (15.33) of the day two belong to none other but Mike Wessels of Cape Town who overcame not only his competitors


but the conditions too. Taking off at the back, Wessels powered his way to the inside with a combination of critical moves earning himself a 8.33 in the process. Making his way out through the pounding surf again, Wessels backed up that excellent score with a 7.0. Fortunately, on Final’s Day (Day three) the wind backed off, the sun was shining and the waves were plentiful making for an exciting contest for waveskiers, supporters and locals alike. The heat of the day was the 30 minute Open Division (man on man) final which saw Mike Wessels

from Cape Town and Bruce Viaene from East London up against one another. Wessels by eventually selecting slightly better waves was able to swing the judge’s scores ever so slightly in his favour, edging out Viaene for the SA title. Heleen Rossouw won the women’s laurels, making it a double for the Western Cape. The age group divisions where just as hotly contested and the quality of surfing witnessed from the shore was a great spectacle for all, especially the final heat of the day; the Senior Final.Viaene managed to brush off the disappointment

from the Open Final defeat, and dominated the Senior Final, claiming the South African Waveski Senior Title, ahead of 2018 Open Champ, Duran Martin (2nd), Mike Wessels (3rd) and Ryan Griffith (4th). Neil Stephenson managed to master his brand new waveski, surfing victoriously, winning the Masters Final. Rory Taylor enthusiastically claimed the Grandmaster’s Title with a cracker of a heat score, dominating his opposition throughout his final. Following suit; Ken Clemment, gave his competition a solid battle, and won his first division title in the Veteran division.

An exciting initiative from contest organizers was to have some of the finals filmed and broadcast live via Facebook. This allowed viewers from all over the globe to watch the action live. All live-filmed heats and daily video highlight reels are available via the South African Waveski Surfing Association Facebook page.

RESULTS open men 1 Mike Wessels WP 2 Bruce Viaene Border 3 Ryan Griffith KZN 4 Steph LeRoux WP

senior men

Trystan Viaene

1 Bruce Viaene Border 2 Duran Martin KZN 3 Mike Wessels WP 4 Ryan Griffith KZN

ladies final 1 Heleen Rossouw WP 2 Sandra Pienaar EC 3 Natalie Newman WP

juniors 1 Marcus Esterhuyse WP 2 Francois Roesstorff Border

masters 1 Neal Stephenson WP 2 Schalk Van Wyk WP 3 Sheldon Schroeder KZN 4 Timothy Redelinghuys Border

grand masters 1 Rory Taylor WP 2 Steph LeRoux WP 3 Doug Copeland Border 4 Darren Bunker WP

veterans 1 Ken Clements WP 2 Jermey Pienaar EC 3 Dave Griffith KZN 4 Darryl Moodie KZN



keep them



I’ve been a member of our local kayak club for about 16 years. The Likkewaan Canoe Club, based just outside Parys on the Vaal River, is perfectly located: it has many kilometres of flatwater to train on, with a variety of possible routes through channels between islands. The club is also the starting point for a three-kilometre section of class 2-3 rapids, with a perfect take-out spot in town. At the club, a canoe polo court was set up a few years ago, with an active group of paddlers playing polo every week. Our club house is not fancy, and we don’t have a bar for kuiering after time trial, but you couldn’t ask for a better location for a paddling club. The club does not have many members, Parys is a small town after all. The active members


participate in a variety of disciplines: sprints, marathon, river racing, canoe polo, whitewater, recreational paddling, you name it. In addition to that, the club has a long history of having very competitive Schools League paddlers. The Parys Primary and High School teams have consistently been amongst the top contenders in the Gauteng Schools League for many years. Here is the peculiar thing though: despite our club having so much to offer, of the hundreds of school paddlers that came through the club over the past two decades, not a single one has continued paddling after leaving school. None. Zilch. Our club is by no means an isolated example. It is a country-wide phenomenon: the majority of school paddlers do not continue paddling

after school. School sports, in general, tend to attract participants at school level only, with a small elite group continuing into adulthood. There is a simple reason for this: almost all school sports are competitive by nature. The few who really excel at school level go on to compete at regional, provincial or national level as seniors. Paddling is different to most sports though. While it has a highly competitive side, this is also a recreational activity that people across all ages and abilities can participate in. Also, paddling is hugely diverse: there are many disciplines to choose from, so there is no reason to get stuck in just one discipline for the rest of your life.

The natural progression for school paddlers should be to continue paddling after school, either on a competitive or recreational level and to take advantage of the many disciplines on offer. But for most, that transition never happens. Why not? In my mind, the reason is simple: there is too much focus on the competitive side of paddling at school level. Most children experience paddling in much the same way as rugby or hockey or tennis or athletics: it is a way to represent one’s school, earn medals and make provincial/national teams. There is nothing wrong with achieving any of these, of course. But, as paddling parents/coaches/ clubs/unions, is this really all that we want our children to achieve? Purely

putting our children through the system to select those outliers who have the potential to win medals for the country on the international stage as adults? The bulk of CSA members are adults, not children. If paddling loses most school-age participants when they leave school, it means that future members of CSA need to be recruited from scratch. We have to find ways to luring would-be adult paddlers with a message that promotes paddling as an amazing sport that caters for all abilities. Would it not be more productive to share this message with children who are already paddling? As a designer and manufacturer of kayaks, it is my job to come up with answers to these same questions. I have no doubt that

Sally who received a Kwando (my new kids sit-on-top kayak) as a birthday present is more likely to be a paddler as an adult than most children who are currently participating in the Schools League. Part of the reason is that the Kwando is a great design. But the biggest reason is much simpler: Sally experiences paddling as a fun activity. That is the key. FUN. A child who experiences paddling as something fun to do, is much more likely to continue paddling as an adult than those children that have been coached and drilled to get as fit and strong and fast as possible. By the time they complete school, most children who have been pressured to train and perform - in any activity - end up resenting that activity.


I was recently asked by a number of parents in our club to coach their children on a regular basis. I committed to do it, but I had one condition: the focus of my coaching would not be to prepare them for winning medals at Schools League. I made it clear that if this is their motivation for wanting their children to paddle, then I would not be the right coach. The children that I coach may compete in some of the Schools League events next year. And yes, I will prepare them in advance, to make sure they are not completely outclassed by the others. But do I care if they win medals? Not at all. Do I care how many points they collect for their school? Nah. Not my concern. What I do care about is teaching them a wide variety of skills. I want them to be able to get into any type of canoe or kayak at any time in


the future and be able to paddle it. I want them to be able to do many different strokes and steer a boat without a rudder. I want them to understand the difference between wing paddles and flat paddles, know when to use each one and why. I want them to learn about currents and waves and water creatures. I want them to learn about rivers and overnight trips and sharing the experiences with others. Most importantly, I want them to have fun. I started this way of coaching two months ago and without doubt I know that my charges are enjoying it, and that they look forward to each session. Sadly, I have already received push-back from others in our club. Apparently, playing is not considered training. Apparently, one time-trial a month instead of every week is not good enough. I don’t blame them for thinking that way, because for too long the focus has been on medals. This obsession with

medals is lost on me. I don’t claim to have the complete solution, nor do I suggest that all children’s coaches should do what I do. But, in principle, I totally believe that the only way to keep them hooked is by making paddling fun. Some of my students may decide to take competition more seriously later. When this time comes, I will gladly provide my support because this decision will come from their own informed experience. Some may decide to start playing canoe polo or to do slalom racing, or they may become an expedition kayaker or a river guide. I’m all for that. Others may stop paddling. That’s OK too. I hope that by then the seed would have been planted and nurtured to see them return to paddling as adults, because they will remember the fun they had on the water as a child. CELLIERS KRUGER


africa champs action 64 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA


Rome 2020... this has been the focus of the South African Canoe Polo squads for the last three years! The 2019 African Championships at the Waterfront in Knysna would be the event that decides who goes to Rome and who will need to plan for the next worlds. South Africa fielded teams in all the World Championship categories, namely Men, Women, u21 Men and u21 Women. The contenders for the World Championships slot would be Namibia who fielded extremely strong teams, including an u21 team that finished 11th a the last World Championships and thus earned an automatic qualification. Unfortunately there were no womens’ teams fielded by Namibia 66 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

so our SA women and u21 women teams automatically qualify for the World Championships Alongside the main continental tournament was a round robin tournament with local teams, the womens teams and the “B” teams. Day one of the tournament started with brutal cold and windy conditions making life difficult for officials and competitors alike! Play was even called off for a period of 20min due to lightning! By the afternoon the rain had cleared making way for a classic Knysna sunset! The men and u21 men Continental titles would be decided by a best of three and in the u21 division the Namibians drew first blood with a convincing win

over the SA u21 team. The South African’s would not accept defeat that easily and fought back to win the 2nd game, leaving it all to play for on day two! The South African men managed to edge Namibia in their first two Continental games to secure their qualification to Rome. The games were not easy for the South African’s as the Namibian team managed to get the first goal in both games. The experience of the SA men showed as they got themselves back into the lead and stayed there! The 2nd day of competition saw the final few pool games and then the knock-out games. The SA men and Namibian men teams were the standout performers and moved

their way through to the finals with ease. The SA u21 women faced a fierce battle against the SA women’s team but were able to take the win in a fiercely contested game! The u21 women then continued their winning streak to beat the SA u21 mens B team to finish an impressive 7th overall. The final was a fierce game between a wounded Namibian team looking to recover from their Continental championship defeat to the SA Men and a confident SA Mens team! No team truly had the upper hand and after full time, the scores were drawn at 3-3. It took two halves of extra time for the South African’s to finally get the edge and score the winning goal! The celebrations on

the bank showed the meaning of this victory to the SA team! The final game of the tournament was the final u21 Continental championship game. With the SA u21 team already qualified for worlds due to the Namibian team having automatically qualified, this was just for the title! It was another tense game and looked to be going into extra time before Namibia scored the winning goal with just six seconds left to play! They retained their u21 African title and this will give them a good boost going into the World Championships. The SA u21 men will also take this result well considering the quality of the Namibian team.

All attention now leads to Rome! The squads will have a number of selection camps before deciding the travelling teams at the end of April. All of the squads will have stiff competition for the teams. The final tournament for the season will be in Cape Town at the Cape Town International Boat show. After that, there is a bit of a break before the craziness of the World Champs selection starts! DON WEWEGE


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Rapid Hydration Bladder R395.00 The MOCKE Rapid Hydration Bladder is a high performance, versatile sports hydration bladder suitable for integrating with most PFD’s and hydration backpacks.



Thule WingBar Evo 118 roof racks When Thule sent us a set of their WingBar Evo 118 roof racks to review I don’t think that they realised what they were in for.You see I also co-own a kayak touring company, so in the last month we have loaded all sorts of shapes and sizes of surfskis and kayaks on to the racks. I must tell you we have fallen in love with the racks. I know that as a review I should be neutral – but these are the bomb! We had the WingBars for a couple of days just on their own and they were marvellous; wide, strong and so quiet. Added to this was the really neat way you can lock your racks on to the car made us feel much safer about the racks when the car was parked at Millers and other quiet spots. There were several times that we had about 68kg’s of kayaks on the roof and not once did we notice them wobble in the wind. Then a friend lent us their DockGrips (the Thule canoe cradles) so that we could test the versatility of the racks. We just needed to slide the DockGrips in this

very clever little groove in the WingBars, hand tighten in place and we were good to go. In the last month we have loaded the racks with almost every conceivable shape and size canoe / surfski and whitewater boat that you could think of and each time we came away from the experience more appreciative of the ease of use and fantastic support that it offered the craft in question. To give you some idea of what the racks have carried in the last month: The Point Watersport Apex 2 and the Carbonology Zest double skies. The Kayak Centre Zeplin – this is worth mentioning because it has a sharp V in the front of the ski but flattens out completely under the seat and I was able to adjust the DockGrips a the push of a button to get a really snug fit. The Fluid Polobat (canoe polo boat). But the best for me was when we saw how well the DockGrips worked with the other craft we finally started loading the 37kg Vagabond Mazowe in the cradles as well. The Mazowe is ‘narrow’ in the front and about 86cm wide at its widest point – no problem. Just quickly move the feet apart, tighten the screws and load the kayak.

What we loved about the racks They are wider (more than double) than the roof racks we were using. This is brilliant as it automatically gives a wider surface area for the boat to sit on so less chance of pressure dings and the straps are wider apart giving a better grip on the boat in the wind. They certainly are much quieter as well! While roof THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 69

rack whistle is not really an issue in town driving it made a huge difference on the open road. We often loaded up to 68kg of kayaks on the WingBar Evo roof racks and they did they budge. Not even in the high winds on the way home from an event. The WingBar Evo’s are rounded for the aerodynamics but at the same time they have done away with the sharp corners that so often lead to pressure dings when loading SUPS and surfboards. Brilliant by default.

What we loved about the DockGrip Cradles. Everything just worked. Thule products are very well engineered from the simple hand tightening screw to adjust the width apart to the little button on the


side to adjust the angle of the cradle. One can choose between a steep and medium cradle angle for canoes and surf skis and we often chose the flat for the kayaks. It was so easy to do, I made several adjustments a week depending on our requirements. The wide rubber pads on the DockGrips mean that our precious cargo (The Carbonology Zest was a demo) is snuggly held in place the whole time. No more sliding across the car is high winds. I also opted to put a surfboard that we had to transport on the flat DockGrips pads as four large rubber pads trumps a hard metal roof rack any day.

Performer Canoe Seat It is funny that there has been a boom in the canoe industry in terms of canoes for all sorts of paddlers; finally there are a number of bigger boats for the non-stick like paddlers. One can buy a craft based on your ability, weight and bank balance.

back of the seat. One can tilt the seat forward, position it horizontally or tilt it backwards. The other is that once you have your seat clamped in the best position for your leg length you can still make micro adjustments backwards and forwards.

The problem is that very little thought appears to go into the seat design. So if one suffers from the dreaded ‘dead leg’ syndrome it does not help to change your craft because chances are the seat will be very similar if not exactly the same. This means that regardless of the canoe one chooses one would still have to go home and try your own padding in order to overcome the pain.

Ok, so what is it like

Well that is set to be a thing of the past because enter the Performance seat! Finally a designer has thought about what it means to be comfortable in ones canoe for five or six hours. It is a one of a kind revolutionary seat. As far as we know it is firstly ‘ergonomically’ made seat for you coccyx. We bet your current canoe manufacturer cannot say that? Added to that there are essentially two changes that you can make on the seat in order to get the best fit. The most important is that one can adjust the tilt between from the front to the The Performer Seat

The first thing that struck me was that the seat is a bit higher than my regular seat. This is a big plus for me as it instantly put me in a more commanding position to start my paddle stroke from. On the flip side it made the boat a lot twitchier until I got used to it. The first time I tried it, was during a weekend away so that was about five hours on the water. At the end of it I must admit that was left wondering what all the fuss was about. Unfortunately I did not take any tools in order to make adjustments so it was only during the following week that I got to experiment with the seat. So here is a hint – take a screwdriver and pliers with you to your favourite patch of flat water. It took about two weeks of paddling (10 hours) and experimenting until I found my fit. I adjusted the pitch of the seat forwards and backwards and made several micro adjustments until finally it was perfect! The demo seat comes with three size seat Jamii Hamlin on 083 444 5955

options and I found that the large seat pitched slightly forward suiting me perfectly. Wow! all that was left to do was paddle and paddle. The new raised position was so comfortable that I started taking my seat to the time trials and stuck it in the front and back of a Foxbat without any need for padding. I even put it in the Accord when my son wanted to go for a paddle, although there is did need a strip of padding between the seat and the hull to get the best fit. Overall verdict It took me a while to get the perfect fit, but it was definitly worth it in the end. I have never put my hands up for marathons because I could not imagine running after spending time in a canoe but I would certainly give it a go now. For the first time my hips legs were not numb. Now I just have to work on my overall fitness. “I bought a Performer seat from Jamii prior to the 2019 Berg river canoe marathon after using a friend’s seat for a month and have been paddling with it ever since. I found the seat very comfortable compared to a bucket seat.There is also a significant range to set the seat height. It is definitely my preference for the dam or the river. “ Herkie Sandenbergh THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 71

Zest test The first thing that struck me was how light it is – even in the glass layup. My wife and paddling partners often complain when I ask them to help with my current double, but with the Zest no one even murmured. The ski is so light that it comes with two handles that actually work! Traditionally even on my upmarket ski the only way to carry a double is by the nose and tail, the Zest has handles next to the


Team 1 usually train on a more stable double so their comments would be telling in terms of stability. Well they shot off in to the deep and returned about twenty minutes later with big grins on their faces – “this ski is light and wonderfully responsive, we were very keen to try out the new boat on trial and it didn’t take much to get our butts into the


Team 2 are relatively new to surfski’ing, but have a white water history that would make you green with envy. Within a couple of seconds they had the Zest all set up for them and then off they went chasing Team 1 (now back in their very stable double) out to the lighthouse. Quite a brave move when one considers that 72 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

cockpits that you can actually use to carry the ski. This is a BIG help at the start or finish of a race because often the calf / paddle leashes are not long enough especially for the back paddler to be clipped in and reach the back of the ski.

up. On the first morning that we demo’ed it there were three teams anxiously waiting to try it. Within seconds we were able to adjust the front and back footplates for the next team and off they went. No looking for tools or fussing around.

** We DO NOT recommend that you secure your leashes before getting out past backline in meduim to big surf.

The day was choppy with the wind coming from the south and the prevailing swell from the west causing a frustrating chop on the sea.

The next is how easy it is to set

Carbonology Zest!

conditions were really kind that particular morning, the boat felt pretty My thoughts as a relative novice? stable. We purposely rocked it side to Firstly, very fast! I assume the weight side a bit and it felt really comfortable difference compared with our older (I think they refer to this as secondary heavy boat makes a massive difference. stability?) I would definitely feel Or perhaps the more streamlined comfortable taking this boat out in shape? Maybe a combination? But it choppy conditions or for a Millers run felt like we could fly. Quite effortlessly! for example.” - Mike Harrison Secondly, stability: although the sea

the conditions got choppier the moment one left the shelter of the bay. They too returned with only complements for the ski and seem to have loved the trip home with the small swells to chase. “We had the opportunity to paddle the Carbonology Zest double this weekend.We are not very experienced

in the ocean and found the ski really friendly. It was stable, light and fast. Especially liked the footrest and pedal which were solid and responsive” – James Simpson “When I think of the description for “Zest”, I think of heightened sensesthe addded extra to ‘perfect’ a dish. This is what I found when paddling

the Carbonology Zest SurfSki - the added extras to ‘perfect’ a Surfski experience.The ‘zing and the zang’. The boat sat beautifully in very ‘busy’

water; she played in the currents while keeping her stability; her lines are pretty and her weight is light. My kinda boat. Definition of “Zest” (noun)

great enthusiasm & energy. “– Nicola Simpson

That’s us! In two clicks we were sorted in terms of leg length and ready to hit the surf. The first thing that struck me was how easy it was to accelerate through the surf. I have had the opportunity to paddle entry level and elite doubles lately and I was instantly surprised at how quickly this ski got off the mark especially since it was just a social paddle.

The next was how responsive it is, I think that my partner for the day and I have spent too much time in our stable doubles lately so had forgotten how playful a ski could be.Yes it rocked side to side more than our normal skis but within five minutes we got used to it and after a few more minutes really started to enjoy the experience. The big difference for me is that with the

Zest even on the first paddle we started working the swell that was coming from the left in order to gain speed as we headed out the bay. As we turned and headed home it was able to accelerate on the small swells coming from the south and made good headway in the chop.

Over the next two weeks I paddled it in the vlei with new paddlers and in and out of Muizenburg beach with an experienced paddler and we loved playing in the ski. Muizenburg Beach is often amazing for wave riding with a surfski as the wave builds from far out so one can catch it on a fast double and ride it for about 100m before the SUP and longboard surfers are in a position to contest the wave. Our usual mad scramble to get the boat speed up in order to catch the wave was soon replaced with a far more relaxed paddle to get the boat on to the wave. On the wave it was great, the nose is high enough that even with 180kgs on board it did on plough in to the bottom of the wave. But it was it manurability that had us hooting for delight! Once

on the wave its stability seems to improve dramatically making it feel rock solid. Next the sleekness of the ski afforded us the opportunity to turn left and right on the wave without ever digging the rail of the ski in to the wave. Even at 7.2m long we were happliy weaving inbetween the surfers on backline in order stay on the wave. They on ther other hand were not so happy; so we moved on after 5 or so waves.

legs due to the rebound off the cliffs and one great downwind leg from the marina to the start / finish.


We did not get the opportunity to take it on a good downwind as time and work did not permit and we erred on the side of caution, prefering not to paddle a demo ski for the G-Bay Winter Series 2019 5th race. But in retrospect we should have as the conditions were ideal for a test – two tough choppy

The last comment about the ski is that I just love the finishing touches for example a proper scupla / bullet system to drain the boat, cut away sides for the front and back paddler and bungi cords to secure your jiuce bottles in front of the footplates for the longer paddles. I have been meaning to try this ski for a while and I was delighted that I got the opportunity. Team 2 loved it so much they have already bought a hybrid. So if you are in the market for an intermediate ski I would strongly recommend that you give the Carbonology Zest a try. Weight: Glass vacum 23kg Length 7.2m THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 73

Richard Kohler does the Breede 74 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA


The winters in the Cape are bitterly cold as the temperatures plummet and the coast gets battered by cold front after cold front. And this year we have had the pleasure of a significant number of them bringing with them welcome rain that has seen our dams climbing from a miserable 20% to well above 70%. We were a little sceptical when we heard the news that Richard intended to SUP from the source of the Breede down to the mouth. Well we waited for the whole endeavour to be over (in case he invited me to join him) climbed out from under the duvet and went to find out more. According to Wikipedia the Breede River is 337km long. Its source is in the Wittebrug Nature Reserve and then it heads south down the Slanghoek valley that most will be familiar with as they approach the Huguenot Tunnel from the Worcester side. From there it winds its way down passing just west of Swellendam. Then it goes under the N2 then down passed Malgas and finally to the mouth at Witsands; on the east side of De Hoop Nature Reserve. TPM How many days did you take? RK Five days, I started on Saturday and finished on Wednesday. The original plan was to do it in seven days but I managed to do it in five. TPM Did you meet anyone else on the water? RK Not a soul on the water. Only at the ponte I come across a Gautenger crossing the river. TPM You had all your camping equipment on your SUP, no outside assistance? RK I had 30kg of gear on the SUP. I probably had a little too much; silly things like a pair of clothes for the end which I dragged down to the 76 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

end. For paddling all I took was a base layer top, a pair of lycra tights, a pair of waterproof pants, a wind jacket and booties. Eventually I had to tie the smelly Helly top down otherwise when I wake up in the morning it didn’t want to get onto me and I did not really want to get in to it! After the 4th day I stopped noticing the smell. I also had a pair of socks, a pair of thermal long john pants and top and a pair of crocs. In the morning it was out of the thermals and into wet and smelly paddling kit. TPM How did you train? RK Well I have a surf SUP and I have done a bit of surfing but I have probably been on a SUP less than 30 times and that includes the practice / testing for this event. I tested the SUP with equipment only twice before the event. TPM Why pick this as an adventure? RK It is a little more challenging that what I am used too. Normally when I paddle on the Breede its in race mode which I have been doing it for 20 years. I still enjoy that but I wanted something challenging and SUP’ing was that because I am a novice. SUPing on rivers is nonexistent in the Cape. It gets interesting with trees and tree blocks because now you are almost 2m tall so it is not like in a K1 when you can just put your head on the deck to get under a branch. Now you have to avoid them completely or work out a plan to bash through which usually ends with fall. It’s very difficult to back paddle a SUP in flowing water.You tend to drift towards disaster unless you make a plan. TPM Was the whole trip unassisted? RK Originally I was going to do

food drops but in the end I took everything. Judy, my wife, helped carry my board to the water, took a couple of photos and waved me goodbye. 5 days later she picked me up. TPM What was the best part? RK It was nice not to be racing for a change, you get to appreciate your surroundings so much more. Physically it is demanding, my longest day was over nine hours and you are standing and balancing all the time. Not many of our races are nine hours long, but this was at a slower pace but still very demanding physically. Some time ago I heard about a paddler who kayaked before the evolution of wing blades referred to wing paddles as “dumb paddles”. I never understood what he meant but he described it as it “just goes in one way and out one way”. So while paddling this trip with essentially a flat paddle I could reach out and make the craft glide sideways, I could do a draw strokes and sweep strokes and have greater control over the craft especially as there is no rudder on the SUP. On the second day of paddling I realised that this was not a dumb paddle. Although not new to me, I got to practice these paddle strokes a lot and that was lekker.You learn and you learn and advance your skills. TPM What sort of distances did you cover in a day? RK Day 1 = 57km, Day 2 = 63.5km, Day 3 = 63.5km, Day 4 = 73km, Day 5 = 54km giving me a total of 310km.Ya, don’t believe everything you read on Wiki. TPM What was the wind like? RK It was insane, I got to a stage when I could no longer stand, I was on my knees and I was using

my paddle to brace the whole time because I had no steerage as well. As the waves hit the board it would lift just enough for the wind to get under and it would just flip the SUP, even with the 30kg of kit on it. That is how strong the wind was blowing against an incoming tide. I was left to hold on to a strap at the back of the board as the board flipped over and over again. I was only five metres from the shore and thinking I could drown right here. My only option was to do was try and make it to the bank, pull the SUP up the sand and run into the bushes and cower out of the wind and try and get warm. I have never experienced anything like that – it was a gradual, gradual change and then suddenly all hell broke loose. If you have ever driven down Camps Bay on a very windy day when the sea is covered by swerling spray. That’s what it was like when I bailed, about 2km from the mouth. The only thing to do was go and hide in between the holiday houses at the mouth. The owners of the houses leave the curtains open and doors of the cupboards open so that you can see that there is nothing to steal – so there I was looking in thinking this is so unfair. I just want to go inside and get warm. In the end found shelter on someone’s stoep where I made a cup of soup to warm myself up. Eventually I summonsed the energy to drag my SUP along the water’s edge to the mouth and called it a day. I phoned Judy and asked her to come and fetch me and she said nope, she can only fetch me the next day. She said she had arranged for me to spend the night at the local hotel but it was impossible to get across the mouth in that wind so I spent the last night sheltering in my tent. I was glad to have a little food left over for dinner. THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 77

The following morning I paddled across the river, checked in and had a shower and some breakfast before Judy fetched me and took me camping for four days. TPM Which was your best day? RK The first day, doing the top section of the river, the first 15km – not knowing what was around the corner is very interesting. It is also quite fast flowing compared to the rest of the river. Then after the usual Wysersdrift finish I had never continued under the N1 to Nekkies before. There I encountered lots of trees in the river and had some challenges getting around them. Seeing Fish eagles every day was lekker. I also got to see a number of otters. On the first night I got woken up at about 2am with a noises around me and it was otters jumping around on my SUP board and sniffing my kit. Eventually I had to chase them away in case they could damage the inflatable SUP. An important lesson is that unless the wind is behind you a SUP is not the ideal transport. During day 2


the wind was blowing quite hard but fortunately for me there are still sections where the Bluegum trees have not yet been removed so it was still quite sheltered. Here the river was starting to meander a lot and there would be a section where the wind was behind me which is cool but as I went around a corner I would go into a headwind so I had to stick to the edge of the river in order to make any progress. The trickiest part was the first time I tried to paddle side on to a strong wind. I tried to hug the bank for the protection but the wind just pushed me into the middle of the river and once I was there, the wind just took charge no matter what I tried to do. From there I quickly end up on the leeward side of the river stuck in the reeds going “Okay Richard, now what?” I could not go forwards or backwards – it was ridiculous. It took me what felt like hours to get out of that predicament. TPM Why did you use an inflatable SUP? RK Because I had one

TPM What did you think of the condition of the water? RK I was impressed by the lack of plastic pollution. The Berg River is full of plastic but on the Breede I saw twenty pieces of plastic it was a lot. I was especially paying attention for that and I was pleasantly surprised. But the further you get down the river you can pick up the pollution from the farming; the phosphates and other chemicals.You can smell it and see it in the river; there is quite a lot of agricultural pollution. I drank river water the whole way down, I did not take any clean water with me. I filtered the water through a “life straw” and I used about four litres a day. TPM Considering your next adventure – did you use this opportunity to test any of the food? RK Yes, I found this company based in George called ‘Outdoor Food Lab’ and it was great. It was very tasty even though I could not get my food to look like the photo on the packet. It was also very easy to make – add the contents to cold

water, boil it up and let it stand for five minutes. One portion was more than enough for me. I would have a little cereal with milk in the morning and lunch was a large handful of nuts. I was surprised that I was never hungry. I probably only lost a kilogram in the whole time. TPM How did you survive the cold? RK I had a simple routine to keep warm. As soon as I finished paddling I got out of the wet kit, changed into overnight stuff, put up the tent, make water, made dinner and go to bed. I woke up about an hour before sunrise and I got going about 15 minutes after sunrise and I tried to get off the water about an hour before sunset which gave me just enough time to do everything before it got dark. TPM What is the one thing you could not do without? RK The little sachets of Drink a Pop. I would use half a sachet in 750ml just to add some flavour to the water.


Canoe Polo

REF Tactics The officials in a game of canoe polo are seldom mentioned but play a crucial role in how the game plays out. Like hockey and water polo, canoe polo uses two refs, one on either sideline. The number one referee is on the same side as the officials table and performs the main tasks such as starting the game, restarting after a goal and having the final say if there is a disagreement between the two refs.

There are also two sideline judges, one on each goalline of the pitch. Their job is to notify the refs of the ball going out of bounds or illegal substituions. They will also assist in ensuring players are correctly lined up before starting play. The officials table usually consists of three officials which handle the scoring, timing and managing the cards awarded. In South Africa, we have a national reffing ranking system which helps get our new refs the experience they need. The levels are Grade 3 (lowest level) up to Grade 1 (highest level). Grade 1 referees are usually ICF level referees but can also be graded as Grade 1 following a practical assessment as well as a verbal test. Grade 2 and 3 refs have a practical assessment and a written test. Currently SA has a number of grade 2 and 3 refs but only a few Grade 1 refs. SA’s most experienced refs are Clive Whitton and Kevin Meier. Laurel Oettlè is SA’s most experienced 80 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

womens’ ref. Meier has reffed at the last few World Championships as he is ICF qualified. The ICF also has a grading of A,B and C. During the recent African Championships, the ICF provided the opportunity for more refs to become ICF qualified. Eleven passed the written test with six being selected to be assessed by the ICF official during the weekend. Three of those refs passed the assessment and will now be graded as ICF refs. They are John Richardson, Michael Halls and Don Wewege. If you want to do a ref’s course either to learn the rules of the sport or to move into a reffing posisiont, contact your provincial polo committee and they will let you know the details of the next course.



IMAGE Brian’s Kayak’s FB: Millers Downwind

SUP Downwind Downwinding, as it is most commonly referred to is an aspect of the sport that will bring you a huge amount of enjoyment. It is an incredible adrenalin rush and certainly one of your best workouts. Later for the gym!

WHERE DO I BEGIN? There are a number of considerations before attempting your first downwind paddle. 82 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA



You need to at least be competently standing and balancing on an SUP and be able to paddle for 30-45 minutes at a stretch. Even if it is open ocean or flat water that you have been doing. Don’t try downwinding if you are not ready for this. It just ends up as a frustrating and exhausting experience and some folks simply don’t come back because they weren’t ready for it.

You should chose a board that is at least 12’6, but preferably a 14’ plus. You need width for stability and the length for glide to get you onto the ocean and wind swells. The most common size for beginners is a 14’ x 30”. Rather be more comfortable than make it too challenging on your first couple of attempts. It is always advisable to check any moving parts of your board, like your fin or if the board has a rudder

cable and even the leash plug. Invest in a PFD (Personal floatation device), the Mocke PFD is the most popular and is really comfortable. Next up is a water-proof cell-phone pouch and a good, sturdy coil leash. It is always advisable that either you, your paddling partner or your instructor links up to RSA SafeTRX. This is a free app by the NSRI that ensures your safety out at sea. Your paddle height is critical and its length should be approximately a

fist above your head, not shorter.

CONDITIONS In Cape Town, our prevailing wind is a south-easter in summer and a north-wester in winter. So, the popular runs from October to March are the Millers to Fish Hoek downwind or the Milnerton to Blouberg run. It is advisable to do a shorter version first, like Boulders to Glencairn or Milnerton to Table View. That way you are still enjoying

yourself and not too tired. Be careful of the rain and the westerly coming up in winter. Check on Windguru, Windy or Magic Seaweed as they are always good indicators of what the wind is up to.

TECHNIQUE I always suggest that paddlers stand in a slight surf stance (one foot six inches to a foot ahead of the other) as it improves balance and makes you sturdier on your board. When THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 83

is passing you. I know it sounds strange, but as mentioned, the swell is travelling much faster than you can paddle. By paddling your nose into the trough behind the swell, you get picked up by the swell behind and this is what gives you the ride. Totally different to surfing,

where you look behind you to see what is coming, you watch in front instead. Good luck and stay safe.


IMAGE Xpression on the Beach FB

a swell or wave catches you, your board accelerates from 6km/hr to 14km/hr and the most common mistake is that you fall off the back, so be ready for it. The most important element of downwinding is that you have to paddle yourself into the back of the swell that

Xpression on the Beach


Individual and group lessons 021-7090596

SUP Waveriding Wave riding was initially the more popular side of the sport as a lot of surfers transitioned from surfing to SUP surfing. SUP surfing is basically surfing but with a paddle. What makes SUP surfing so much more exciting because you can use your paddle as a pivot as well as a way to make your turns more critical and powerful. The size of the board is determined on your weight, height and expertise level. Just like surfing, you get high performance boards and then you get your more cruising

longboard style boards. Initially most guys were opting for the high performance boards because that’s what they were used to transitioning from their surfboards, but now days the ‘cruising’ longboard style boards seem to be the in thing! BOARD OPTIONS

• Cruiser – Round nose usually 9-10ft long about 30-34inch wide and 120-150litres. This is a great board for someone learning to SUP

surf or for someone that wants to just cruise down the line.

• High performance – Pointed or stub nose, usually quite a bit narrower and thinner.You lose a few litres when you go narrower.Your board needs to be thinner in order to have it perform in the waves the way that you will want it to. With this being said it also depends on the experience level of the paddler. TARRYN KING

IMAGE Xpression on the Beach FB THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 85

SUP Flatwater Flatwater paddling is suitable for anyone! All you need is a board that has enough volume to hold your weight and a paddle that suits your height. A 12’6 or 14ft race board is ideal for flatwater. 5 TIPS THAT WILL HELP YOU DURING A FLATWATER RACE •

Cross Train – Between getting paddling fit for your races you should try and do some other sort of exercise – Cardio, light weights, swimming or yoga are great ways to cross train. This works incredibly well towards building strength. Have a decent breakfast –


something light and full of energy. Make sure you eat at least 1-2hours before your race to avoid indigestion or possibly getting a stitch.Make sure you’re on the right equipment – If you are paddling on flatwater, you will want to make sure your board and paddle are the right length.Your board needs to be either a 14ft or 12’6ft race board.Your paddle needs to be cut to a comfortable height and rule of thumb is the handle needs to be a fist above the top of your head. A small blade works better as you will be expending more energy with a larger blade pulling the water.

Quicker strokes are required when racing, which is easier with a smaller blade •

Rotate your torso to help prevent injury – Rotating your torso during each paddle stroke allows you to use your bigger muscles in your core and the larger muscles around your hip area, allowing for a more powerful stroke through the water and further reach.

Keep Hydrated – If the race is 8km or longer, it’s a good idea to paddle with a hydration pack.


IMAGE Xpression on the Beach FB THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 87


Post Paddle Stretch THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 89

The following yoga poses for paddlers offer solutions for some of the most common post-paddle adventure aches and pains and will keep you feeling good. Tight, tired and aching muscles are common after a day of paddling. The following poses help you find relief and regain flexibility.


one of the easiest and best stretches for tired legs and tight shoulders.

1. Start on your hands and knees. Engage your core so that your back is neither arching or sagging. 2. Spread your fingers wide with the middle finger pointing forward. Flex your toes, press your hands into the

earth, lift your hips up and back. 3. With your heels still lifted straighten your legs. 4. Slowly lower your heels towards the earth (do not bend your legs to get them there).

5. Release your head and press into the earth to deepen your stretch. 6. Hold it for three to five deep, slow breaths. 7. Return to all fours to release.


incredibly beneficial if you are feeling tightness in your legs or holding tension in your back, shoulders or neck area. 1. Step your feet apart wide with hands on hips.Your toes should be pointed forward and parallel to one another. 2. Begin to rotate your torso forward over your hips with your chest lifted. 3. Fold forward keeping your chest lifted until you are as far forward as you can go. 4. Release your head, neck and shoulders. 5. Hands can be on the ground or on two blocks. 6. Hold for five deep breaths. 7. Place hands on hips and return to a standing position to release. 90 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

3. BOUND ANGLE POSE Open and relieve tired hips


1. Sit with your legs extended in front of you.

1. Stand in mountain pose with your feet together, arms and hands extended by your side and your weight distributed evenly on both feet.

The quintessential balancing pose.

and thighs with this gentle pose.

2. Bend your knees and bring your feet towards your pelvis. 3. Drop your knees out to the sides and press the soles of your feet together. Place a towel under your knees for support if the stretch is too intense. 4. Lift your chest and with the first and second finger and thumb, grasp the big toe of each foot. 5. Breath and hold for a minute or until you feel ready to release. 6. Use your hands to assist your knees as you lift them and release this pose.


Practice this pose to open the chest and shoulder area after a long day of paddling. 1. Lie on your back.

2. Slowly begin to shift your weight to the right foot while lifting the heel of your left foot. 3. Place your left foot on your right shin or upper thigh while maintaining balance.You can use your hand to place your foot if needed. (Note: do not place your foot on or near the knee.) 4. Extend your left knee to the side so that your hip and thigh is open. 5. Bring your hands to a prayer position in front of your chest. 6. Hold for as many breaths as you can. 7. Return to mountain pose to release and change sides.

2. Bend both knees and place your feet on the ground hip-width apart. 3. Roll your shoulders back and underneath you and press your palms into the earth. 4. Press your feet into the ground and on an inhalation, lift the hips as high as you can while rolling your spine up and off of the floor. 5. Press down with your hands to open and lift your chest.You may clasp your hands beneath you to deepen the pose. 6. Return your hips to the ground to release.


6. HALF LORD OF 7. EAGLE POSE This twist relieves This pose helps you regain balance THE FISHES and focus. lower back discomfort and gives a gentle stretch to the outer hips. 1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. 2. Slide your left foot under your right leg to the outside of your right hip. 3. Release the outside of the left leg on the floor and step the right foot over the left leg so it stands on the floor outside of your left hip (your right knee will point upwards). 4. On an exhalation twist toward your right leg.You can stop here if it is far enough and just hug the right knee. 5. To deepen the twist, press the right hand against the floor behind your right buttock and place your left upper arm on the outside of your right thigh. 6.You can turn your head in either direction for a unique stretch. 7. Deepen the stretch with each breath. 8. Release and repeat on the other side.

1. Begin in mountain pose. 2. Bend both knees and then lift the left foot and while balancing on the right, cross your left thigh over the right. To complete the leg portion of the pose, hook the top part of the left foot behind the lower right calf. 3. Simultaneous to the leg movement, extend your arms in front of you parallel to the floor. Cross your arms so that the right arm is above the left then bend at the elbows. 4. Nestle the right elbow into the crook of the left and bring the forearms perpendicular to the floor. 5. Pass the thumb of the right hand in front of the little finger of the left hand and connect your palms if possible. 6. Breath and hold for three to five breaths. 7. Return to mountain pose to release and change sides. 92 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA


State of our WATERWAYS



Peninsula Paddle 2019 Traversing Cape Town’s waterways The idea of paddling from Muizenberg to Milnerton began with four adventurous people who wondered whether it would be possible to paddle from the Indian to Atlantic coastline along Cape Town’s waterways. The intention was also about challenging the City of Cape Town and its citizens to become more aware of the poor condition of these waterways. In 2010, at the time of the first paddle, the condition in some of the waterways was dire. The early pioneers spent a lot of the time


portaging along the banks rather than in the water. It took little imagination to coin the phrase that has been used in all subsequent paddles that ‘the health of the city is seen in its waterways’. At the time large sections of the paddle route were blocked with litter, solid waste and water hyacinth. Since then the waterways began to improve especially with the support of the City’s Expanded Public Works Programme that employed over 200 people to clean up the waterways. This programme has made a difference but its not sustainable. Progress Each year the Paddle attracts a large, diverse group of brave paddlers from different parts of the city. By 2018 over 300 young and old paddlers had undertaken the journey which included youth from neighbourhoods such as Ottery,

Steenberg and Lotus River. This year the paddle was joined a fabulous group of leaders and youth from the Khayelitsha Canoe Club. Since 2013 this club have done a remarkable job in removing waste from a dump site alongside the Khayelitsha wetlands and are now able to paddle a stretch of water almost 1.5kms in length adjacent to an informal settlement. The canoe club has a similar vision to the Peninsula Paddle – a shared vision to create liveable urban waterways in Cape Town. This vision is now included in the City of Cape Town’s first Water Strategy that aims to make Cape Town a water sensitive city by 2040. Testing the waters This year the paddle was held on Sunday 8 September. It began with an early morning paddle up the length of Zandvlei. Over 60 paddlers took to the water. Water samples

were taken at various points along the river as has been done for most years. Tests were conducted for bacteria, nutrients and some physical properties of the water. As expected, e.coli bacteria, measured by colony forming units (cfu) per millilitre, were excessively high. The Black River near Sybrand Park and further downstream the cfu count was over 1 Million. However, the greatest surprise was when the paddlers were met with a 200 metre blanket of floating plastic and water hyacinth that stretch across the river and blocked the journey. It was reminiscent of what confronted the first paddlers 10 years earlier. Water quality test measured Ammonia-Nitrogen and Phosphate levels that were so high that they provided a rich source of liquid fertilizer causing aquatic weed to grow furiously. The media was quick to highlight

the issue the next day and reported on the ‘Sea of Plastic’ on the Black River. ( To the City’s credit, they too sprang into action. Later that week loads of contractors appeared from nowhere to clean up the Black River. A crane arrived to remove weeds, plastics and solid waste that had got trapped in the river. Of course, this is a positive result that comes from the advocacy work of the Peninsula Paddle but clearing up rivers in this way is not sustainable. Long term solutions are urgently required to deal with the root causes that include a better understanding of underlying human behaviour and underserviced neighbourhoods. Getting brave people to kayak these waterways is one way of bringing awareness about the problem, but it is not nearly enough. The hope is that one day we should all be able to paddle safely from one side of

the ocean to the other without facing undue health risks. The Peninsula Paddle is sponsored by ABAX Investments in key partnership with UCT’s Future Water Institute and the Friends of Liesbeek and supported by other community-based organisations such as the Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET), Khayelitsha Canoe Club, Zandvlei Trust, and Wildlife and Environment Society (WESSA). For information about the coming event: KEVIN WINTER Future Water Institute

NEXT ISSUE We hear from Save our Rivers ZA


Let’s Paddle

Events , events & more events






John Woods Challenge Border Summer Series Border Summer Series


Pete Marlin Ski Race


Border Summer Series Border Summer Series Border Summer Series




ECCU S1 & S2 champs, East London

Carey Olsen Sharl Point Surfski Sporty Anderson Surfski

St Francis Beach, 18km

St Francis Beach, 8am, 15km

Clinton Hempel 076 412 6091

SA Canoe Polo Championships





Paddling Race Likkewaan 2 Day Race

Parys, 2 or 5km, 9.30am Parys

DABS 4 Hour Enduro

Dabulamanzi Canoe Club

Rietvlei Ramble Paddling Race Lowveld Croc

Parys, 2 or 5km, 9.30am

SAT 16 SUN 17

FNB Eurosteel Wemmer Pan Sports4Life


VLC Maulti Liebenbergsvlei



FLCC Dusi Klip

Heidelberg Bridge to Caravan 082 857 857 Park

Marathon Pro Tour DABS Dambusters Schools League Race 1 JCC 2 Day Klip

JCC Dabulamanzi Canoe Club JCC Klip River

LCC Elands Memorial 3338

Elands River








Schools League Sprints Race 2 VLC VLC Nite Race Victoria Lake, Germiston High Altitude Ski Race Dabulamanzi Canoe Club K1 and K2 Marathon


K W A - Z U L U N ATA L DATE OCTOBER FRI 11 SAT 12 SAT 12 or SUN 13 SAT 12 SUN 13 SUN 13 FRI 18 SAT 19

RACE Wall and Back Ski Series 1 Capitol Catereers Interschools Enduro Da’Real Downwind Series 4

Table Mountain Descent

SAT 19 SUN 20

Dam to Dam 2 Man Relay K1

WED 23 SUN 27 FRI 25 SAT 26

Da’Real Richards Bay -Pirates Downwind Ski Challenge Wall and Back Ski Series 3 Capitol Catereers Interschools 1 Dusi Dash Umpetha Challenge


Camps Drift, 10 laps Pirates -WEstbrook or Toti 30km


SA Canoe Polo Trials

Wall and Back Ski Series 2 Mouth to Mouth Downwind Ski Race Dam to Dam 2 Man Relay K2

SUN 27


Supa Quick Fezela Challnge Guppy Race Wall and Back Ski Series 4 Capitol Catereers Interschools K1 Bushmans Popes Walk Alan Gardiner Memorial


NCC Nite Race


No 8 to Josephines Bridge

Table Mountain to Nagle Dam, 20km

Richards Bay to Mtunzini, 35km Albert Falls to Cumberland, BOR 25km Cumberland to Nagle Dam, 30km Mtunzini - Pirates-Scottburgh, FS/PIR 180km Camps Drift to Low Level Bridge, 10km Including guppy/beginner race, Camps Drift to Bishopstowe Hall, 18km Bon Accord Park, Alvert Falls DAm, 25km Wagendrift Dam to Lambert Parl, 10km Dusi Bridge to Mfula Store Ibis Point to Mbeje’s Store, 22km STE STE

Wall and Back Ski Series 5 Wall and Back Ski Series 6


Natal Canoe Club, Camps Drift, 15km Umkomaas, 15km



SUN 15

KZN MD Champs

MON 16 Mon 30

Winkle - Toti- Winkle Lords and Legends Ski Race Fast Drak


Impilo Bushmans Race Lion’s River Race


Crusaders Nite Race

FRI 10 MON 13 SAT 11 SUN 12 SAT 18

Commemorative Dusi Canvas Journey 50 Miler Day Mfula to Inanda Resort N3TC Drak Challenge

SAT 25

Ascot Bush Lodge Challenge

SUN 26

Campbells to Dusi Bridge


SAT 21 SUN 22

SAT 29 SUN 30

Capitol Caterers Schools Sprints Inanda Dam to Durban Capitol Caterers Bushman’s Race Capitol Caterers School K1 River Champs Nyala Pans to St Elmos FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon


CONTACT Scottsons Bridge to 2nd Coleford Bridge, 25km Winklespruit Life Saving Club, Toti Watersports Club 15km Underberg, 65km Crusaders Canoe Club

Mooi River, 18km Lions River to Midmar Dam, 15km KCC Clubhouse, Blue Lagoon, 16km Alex Park, PMB to Blue Lagoon, 120km Mission to Mfula Store, 40km 25km Castleburn Bridge to Hopewell Farm, 65km Camps Drift to Low Level, 10km 25km Midmar Canoe CLub Crusaders Canoe Club Fezela Canoe Club 083 225 5331

The Wykeham Collegiate

Nagle Dam, 200m Water release dependent, 35km Wagendruft to Lambert Park, Escourt, 12km 16km Umkomaas, 25km

Camps Drift to Blue Lagoon, 120km

Capitol Caterers Schools Race Mooi River, 12km Hella Hella to Josephines Umkomaas River, 32km Bridge Umkomaas Marathon DAY 1: Josephines Bridge to Riverside stores, 35km DAY 2: Hella Hella to Josephines Bridge, 32km Tugela Marathon DAY 1: Middlesdrift to The Big Fig, 45km DAY 2: Big Fig to another Big Fig, 30km KZN Sprint Championships Shongweni Dam

Crusaders Canoe Club







Surf Ski 1: Three Beaches Zandvlei Duathlon

SUN 20 SAT 26

Surf Ski 2 : CPC Qualifier Surf Ski 3: Langebaan

SAT 26

Milnerton to Melkbos The West Coast Express


Peninsula Canoe Club, Zandvlei

Junior Triple Series 1 Surf Ski 4 Junior Triple Series 2

SUN 10 SAT 16 SUN 17

Surf Ski 5: Oceana Junior Triple Series 3 Surf Ski 6: Milnerton to Melkbos


Surf Ski 7: 2 Harbours Surf Ski 8: Daniel Conradie The Paddle Mag

Tygerberg Peninsula Canoe Club, Zandvlei Oceana Power Boat Club Paarl

Surfski 9 Surfski 10 : Peter Creese Fenn Cape Point Challenge Ski Race

Cape Point Qualifier Fishhoek Scarborough / Witsand to Fishhoek, 5.30am, 52km




OCT 15-16 OCT 17-20 OCT 26 NOV 5

ICF Canoe Marathon Masters Championships ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships West Coast Challenge, Cape Town Hong Kong Dragon Run

23 NOV NOV 23 - 24 DEC 7

Perty Doctor Perth Doctor World Cup 20 Beaches Classic, Sydney Perth, Australia

IMAGE Photos By Carolyn J Cooper 104 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

Shaoxing, China Shaoxing, China

S ns i R u g U n TO ’s Town Pe n ry a Simo u t s iE e l v d Zan

G l a c i ININ t c A TR al and Pra c

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S S FITNE ocial dS n a n Fu olo P e o Can THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 105


View from the back of the boat Quite by accident I have got involved in the mad world of canoe polo. Not in the nice clean – hey cool, lets write about it, kind of way. I have jumped in to the blow the whistle, chase the ball and avoid the flying paddle kind of way. It is hectic! It all started quite harmlessly (otherwise I might have seen it coming). At first, I was approached by a mom who wanted me to teach her son to paddle for his scouts paddling badge. The scout badge requirements require some skills and levels of fitness so at first we simply set about getting fit. But as you can imagine paddling in a straight line on your own is not much fun for a 12 year old so I threw in a ball to make it more exciting. And my world erupted! Now every Thursday afternoon we have an amazing group of kids playing canoe polo on the Zandvlei in Muizenberg, Cape Town. We have kept it simple; the goals are the buoys already in the water, the boats are anything you can beg, borrow (LOTS – thanks Nicola ;) ) and re-appropriate. The paddles are the basic one, lifejackets too. We don’t have helmets yet but they are certainly high up on our shopping list. At first we started with a really cheap rough textured soccer ball but we have upgraded to the real thing now.

two in double. It was fantastic! The kids shout and cheer each other on as they wind their way to the goals only to have the other team steal the ball and away they go again in the other direction. People walking their dogs in the afternoon now often sit on the benches and watch for a couple of minutes before their dogs drag them away. We only have two rules to play by – but I hear that there are others. Ours are 1. Please don’t hit each other with a paddle and 2.You may not paddle with the ball on your boat. Oh and I try and stop the game if a kid falls out their boat in order to give them time to climb back in again. Sometimes I ref and sometimes the kids let me play. It is the most brilliant thing you can do with kids in a small patch of water; the skills they are learning turning and chasing I could not have taught them if I tried. Best of all, they all fall out of their kayaks and so they are all learning how to get back in quickly. Each week I marvel at their confidence on the water and am amazed at the skill sets they are developing. As summer approaches and the water gets warmer if you at a loss of what to do with the kids in your club, take a ball down next time and the kids will sort out the rest!

Last Thursday we had six kids on the water, four in single kayaks and THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 107

IMAGE Graham Daniel