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Issue 6 2019 DEC/JAN

top drak 10 tips

CChallenge ape Point

Chasing Downwinds

Battle of the Bay

Gift Guide • Kit

• Gear

• Stocking Fillers


reasons to keep paddling


50 Miler 2 Day Klip


West Coast Çhallenge Drak Challenge Dusi Canoe Marathon


High Altitude Surfski Umko 2



SA Champs Orange Descent Brak Challenge Freedom Paddle


ERK Marathons Arnold Classic Africa


Scottburgh to Brighton


Knysna Canoe Polo Berg River Marathon Olifants Marathon


Push and Pull Liebenbergsvlei Marathon



Pete Marlin


Likkewaan JCC 2 Day Vaal


Cape Point Challenge

Breede Marathon Fish River Canoe Marathon THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA


Co n t e n t s



15 do it standing up 25 csa bylaws PFD’s 44 olympic hopefuls 50 2020 prep Canoe Polo 66 chasing

CHAMPS 16 TEN TIPS FOR A TOP DRAK 27 STEELCASE DRAGON RUN downwinds 30 BATTLE OF THE BAY 70 gift guide 34 WEST COAST EXPRESS 84 save our rivers 38 DUSI Quo Vadis 88 canoe polo 101 48 celebration of paddling 54 cape point challenge

58 pack it up 78 catch a wave 80 the journey and teh goal 82 Rehabilitating an injury


8 FROM THE ED 20 CSA Chatter 90 Calendars 97 RADAR & EVINRUDE

on the cover


ATHELETE Tarryn King EVENT Battle of the Bay 2019

CONTRIBUTORS 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!

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.

Dave Macleod After getting into paddling at high school, Dave embarked on a career in journalism, working at Capital Radio, East Coast Radio and the SABC before starting Gameplan Media in 1997. An avid reader and writer, he works closely with many paddling events around the country

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.


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.

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.

ROB MOUSLEY Rob Mousley won the Cape Town Surfski Series “Most Enthusiastic Paddler of the Year” award in 2005, and nothing’s changed since then. When the southeaster blows, he’s usually to be found on the world renowned Miller’s Run, which is conveniently located near his home in Cape Town. Having been involved in a number of rescues over the years, he’s become a keen advocate for safety in surfski paddling.

louise eksteen

janet simpkins

clive whitton

colin simpkins

peter roussouw


Xpressions on the Beach SA Canoe Polo Rob Mousley Graham Daniel Photos By Carolyn J Cooper Cape Town Sports Photography

Celliers Kruger Ken Findlay Photographics Jean Tresfon Bruce Seymour Knysna Canoe Polo Save our Rivers

KEVIN BRUNETTE Kevin is an established surfski paddler, having completed three Cape Point Challenges. He is motivated by technique and boat speed, and can often be seen on the water perfecting his stroke or at the gym working on his fitness. He has authored and published a number of books of surfski. They are available in epub, pdf or kindle formats. Google ‘surfski book’ for the links.

Send your letters to

FIND us on the WEB

FB @thepaddlemag IG @thepaddlemag PUBLISHER Terrence Pomeroy-Ward AD SALES DESIGNER Tracy Ward ADMIN


Let me start by wishing all our readers, advertisers and morbidly curious onlookers a very merry Christmas. It is hard to believe that we are charging in to the last couple of days of this year already. Thank you for an awesome year and we really hope that your much deserved break is filled with lots of love, laughter and some presents to boot. While most are winding down there is still one more big race on the calendar – the Cape Point Challenge. For those doing it this year we are hoping that you get slightly less wind than last year! Good luck and know that at the end you have earned your right to sit at the Christmas table. It has been a phenomenal year and if you just take a few minutes to go through it you will be amazed at what our paddlers and top athletes have got up to. There are simply too many achievements to mention in one letter but allow me to remind you of some of the incredible accomplishments. Chrisjan Coetzee

got this year off to a flying start by wining bronze in Poznan, our fist male sprint medal since 2007. That set the tone for a brilliant year for the sprinters as a whole. They posted some world class times and simply cleaned up at the Africa Games which earned them berths at the Tokyo Olympics. The fact that they cannot take up the berths has nothing to do with their outstanding performance. It has also been an outstanding year on a personal level for a number of our athletes, Nosipho Mthembu, Nicky Birkett, Amy Peckett, Alex Masina and Uli Hart are just five of a long list. Their accomplishments across the paddling disciplines are really exciting to see. Here are athletes that have competed and finished in the top 5 across more than three disciplines this year. They are all young and the future of South African paddling is looking awesome. We all jumped up and down when Sean Rice regained his ICF Ocean Racing World Championships title

IMAGE Photo’s by Carolyn J Cooper 8


being chased down by his brother Kenny, Hayley Nixon dominating the World Surf Ski League women’s division and Hank McGregor winning the Molokai are again are just three of our athletes amazing results this year. Happy Birthday to Taryn King our cover athlete as we celebrate her outstanding year both nationally; cleaning up in the Downwind and wave champs and internationally, In October Tarryn competed in the ICF World SUP Championships in China, where she finished in 3rd place. It was been a great year and we applaud all the club committees, race organisers and sponsors for supporting our sport on the ground and all the people that put their hands up on a provincial and national level to do the admin Thank you, without you this very successful year would not have been possible. Ed.

race related

world marathon


IMAGES Photo’s by Carolyn J Cooper


Enjoy fast local shipping when you order through the NEW Vaikobi South Africa website!


The wonderful thing about our sport, is just that – it is a sport. With that comes different courses, different tactics, experience, age and a whole lot more. So although we may not have come away with the same medal haul as the last two years our paddlers still acquitted themselves very well and should look forward to another exciting year of racing in 2020. The 2019 regatta saw the introduction of the sprint version of the marathon. This is a flat out 3.6km sprint with one portage. From a spectator point of view it was super exciting. Seeing the world’s best go flat out not once but twice because of the knock out round was sitting at the edge of your seat type of stuff. Added to that our very own athletes Bridgitte Hartley and Bryan Le Roux were right up there in the mix in their respective knock out rounds. In the women’s final Bridgitte put all her sprint training to good work and charged home to a super 5th place. We do question the merit of running sprints the day before the actually marathons take place but who are we to judge – we are just the spectators screaming our lungs out! There are a couple of standout performances that really deserve a mention. First up must be the gutsy performances of the junior women; Amy Peckett, Nosipho Mthembu, Georgina Howard and Melanie Croeser. Punching well over their weight in terms of age (Mel is only 15) and experience; most of the other women are marathon

specialists. Against all odds, they put their hands up and got themselves there and battled it out on the international stage. While on the topic of gutsy performances we think that the runner up ‘man of the match’ should go to Nicholas Notten for his sheer determination to get there at the last minute. He threw everything he had plus some others joined in the struggle in his bid to get there in time. His ability to admit defeat graciously after all the attempts came to nothing earns him kudos from us. That left a big gap for Clint Cook our ‘man of the match’ to step in to and he jumped in to it with both feet. We were delighted that he took his place in the K1 and rose to the challenge the next day teaming up with Bryon Le Roux for the K2. Cook/ Le Roux shot out of the starting blocks and looked set to take it to the big guns as they headed for the turn buoy. It was very encouraging to watch an untested team taking on the world with such fervour. Unfortunately they were forced to retire due to boat failure but it does not detract from the effort that they put in at all. In terms of on the water performances mention must be made of five paddlers: Uli Hart, Jenna Ward and Andy Birkett who may feel a little cheated at this point that their results don’t really reflect their effort. They lead from the front taking on the challenges from the other countries, they did not shrink back when it was their turn to pull and they were astute enough in the midst of the frenzied activity in the front bunch to manage their own challenges. Admiration should also be given to Christie Mackenzie and Bridgitte Hartley

for their outstanding performance in the senior women’s K2 race. They were there when the leading bunch was 11 strong and they were there when it was whittled down to five boats. When they got dropped of the leading bunch they set the pace for the chasers. This meant they were not caught up in the challenges and counter challenges that were happening right in front of them and instead paddled the race at their pace. They came in in a very respectable 4th. Our biggest applause is saved for the very gutsy performance of David Evans and Hamish Mackenzie who managed to grab the only silver for SeniorTeam SA with a brilliant performance. If you can, line up the YouTube clips of their portages and show your squad with the message – this is how you do a portage. What makes this even more remarkable is that this is the third year in a row that they are on the podium; 2017 – 2nd, 2018 – 3rd and 2019 – 2nd. I am reminded of a mythological conversation between Hank and Bridgitte on her return from winning Bronze at the Olympics. Legend has it that when he was finished congratulating her he asked her “What are you going to do differently next year? Because your opposition have learnt from you and will come back stronger next year.” I believe that that is where we are in marathons. We have had to adapt to a European lightning fast start and the north has learnt about our tenacity and in the process we have long lost our ‘wildcard’ status. Maybe Ivan Lawler’s observations that most of the paddlers doing well this year are coming off the sprint circuit may have implications for us in the future. THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 13



Doing it standing


Life is so fast and furious, that is really something special when you are able to do a sport together with your partner. And what better an example than our pilot Peter Hanes and Caro Fulton. Caro joined us as a Wahini (our ladies social paddling group) and Pete realised that this was possibly something that he could get into as well. We took them through the hard yards of learning to stand up paddle in the surf at Muizenberg, which is always a lot more difficult

than gaining confidence first on flat water. In no time at all they were catching waves and one could see their smiles from miles away. They have not stopped there, but are now charging on the Millers downwinds and even gave the long 20km Lagoon Beach to Melkbos and go, in very challenging cross-shore condtions. So amazing to see two stoked sup-rats enjoying themselves in any and every condition on a daily basis.

gary van rooyen

race related

10 tips for a top Drak



The 2020 N3TC Drak Challenge in partnership with FNB has been moved two weeks later in the season.


Come Prepared!

This river changes in the wink of an eye, and a thunderstorm can change a scratchy river into a heaving flood in a matter of hours. So always pack helmets, extra buoyancy, water tight splash covers, duct tape and repair kit. Even if it looks sunny, pack a warm Hellie and make sure you have warm and cool weather clothes to change into.


Survive the Valley of a 1000 Rapids

The batches are kept small but even then there is always congestion on the narrow river, especially at a medium and above level. Take a deep breath, leave room between yourself and the guy in front of you. Read your lines ten, twenty and fifty metres ahead, and learn from the paddlers in front of you. This is not overtaking territory. Instead throttle back till you have made it through Black Murray. Then you have 15 kilometres of much wider flatter river to attack.

It might just be a crucial move, because for the last two years the race has been paddled on a boney Mzimkhulu from the Hatcheries low level start, only to have the rains come a few days after the race. And the photos on social media of the heaving brown river just rub salt


Stay in the Flow

When the river stands up a bit there is always a temptation to cut corners and avoid the waves. And all too often this leads to bumps, spinouts and swims. Try to stay in the core current, even on the outside of the corners of rapids the might look intimidating because they rush against rocks or a cliff face.


Back your Plan B

The biggest obstacle on the race isn’t rocks or weirs, it is other paddlers around you. When the muppet in front of you makes a mistake that affects your line, make a bold and decisive move to Plan B. No matter how iffey, back your plan, give it full throttle and commit. Hesitation invariably comes at a high price.

into the wounds… But that’s the beauty of the Drak. It is wholly rainfall dependant, and if the rains stay away in the days before the race it will be rocky. So here are ten top tips for a great Drak.


Smell the Roses

Soak up where you are. Drink the water front the river. Banter with the jealous mountain bikers on the single track. There are a few goose bump moments one each stage that should bank. Like the surreal run down Rock Slalom rapid where you look straight up Bamboo Mountain. It doesn’t get any better than that.


paddle with soft hands

Low or full this is a steep rocky river and you WILL clatter your paddle blades onto rocks just below the surface. By keeping you grip light and the contact to the inside of your fingers instead of a vice-like grip, the consequences of a clatter onto a rock will be far less severe and also lessen the risk of an injury from the referred jolt up your arm.

The most fun you can have canoeing! 18 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA


functional pumps are gold

Whether you are shipping water through your splashy if it is big, or you have a spider-crack that is opening in the your hull from rock bashing, you want to see jets of water from your pump outlets working seamlessly with your leg extension and rotation, rather than listening to water sloshing around your boat.



day two is long

Drak Day Two feels longer than Fish Day One. Fact. There are very few places to meet your seconds and if it is hot and low, the grind down to the finish at Early Mist Farm can really take it out of you. You often see mushroom clouds over that section. Make sure you have plenty of juice and a gel or three. Pace yourself, even if you are racing for the last Centurion prize. Or if you had a big night out at the concert the night before.


let them eat cake

The most important award at prize giving isn’t the overall winner’s trophy, it is the Alick Rennie Fellowship Award. This recognises men and women who selflessly risk (or even give up) their races to help a fellow paddler in need. Nominate them when you see, or even hear about it. There is no cash to be won, but what it does do is keep alive this awesome unselfish community ethic that makes this sport special.

Rennie recognition

The most important award at prize giving isn’t the overall winner’s trophy, it is the Alick Rennie Fellowship Award. This recognises men and women who selflessly risk (or even give up) their races to help a fellow paddler in need. Nominate them when you see, or even hear about it. There is no cash to be won, but what it does do is keep alive this awesome unselfish community ethic that makes this sport special.

Dave Macleod



CSA CHATTER What is the impact for CSA from the latest Sascoc meeting?

In my opinion, the most important aspect of the two days of meetings was that the federations have finally come to the realisation that, as a collective, they have all of the power. This has led to a number of “outcomes” that will have a significant impact on sport in the country, across all disciplines, for years to come. The CSA analogy is applicable. When individuals make reference to CSA, I always tell them that CSA does not exist. Each individual


is CSA. Through the club/union structures, all major decisions and policy, are ultimately decided on by paddlers themselves (guided by the constitution and the bylaws). Paddlers cannot view the situation in an “us vs them” light.

The federations in SA have, for too long, allowed themselves to be dictated to by SASCOC. This could well be a hangover from the Tubby Reddy days when the SASCOC CEO and board made decisions regarding funding, and federations that made the wrong noises were “dealt with”.

One of the major “outcomes” of the AGM was a resolution that was passed (unanimously), that SASCOC would allow all federations to apply to have the, SASCOC imposed, Olympic qualifying criteria amended so that no quota, that had been granted by the relevant international federation, would need to be handed back. In effect, this meant that athletes would be allowed to qualify through the continental route. Unfortunately, two federations have already been forced to hand their quotas back. Even more unfortunately is the fact that we are

one of them. The other one being rugby (the women’s seven’s team). It is highly unlikely that this process can be reversed. Looking forward to the next Olympic cycle, however, we envisage a significant resurgence in interest in the two Olympic disciplines, especially sprints. Our paddlers have a realistic goal to aim for. Hopefully, exposure to the greatest sporting arena in the world will inspire a broader base of athletes to increase their efforts. A second outcome was that the

SASCOC president, Gideon Sam, was forced to stand down, due to age (constitutionally, he has to resign at the end of the year in which he turned 70). A certain lobby group attempted to extend his term. They were, fortunately, outvoted. Barry Hendricks has been voted in as the first vice president, and he will be the acting president until next year’s elections. This brings us to the third significant outcome of the meeting which is an early election of the SASCOC board next year. As some of you might be aware, a previous minister of sport set

up a ministerial committee of enquiry into SASCOC. Certain “recommendations” were tabled. One of these was that a “speedy” solution be found to address leadership and administrative issues. In his address to the SASCOC council during the AGM, the new minister of sport, Nathi Mthethwa, was exceptionally unsubtle in his assertion that SASCOC needed to “get its house in order” very quickly if it were going to receive any government support, and that it could not carry on with “business as usual”.


Elections for a new SASCOC board are usually done just after the Olympics. It looks as though these may well be brought forward to March instead. With any luck, we will have a new broom, sweeping like mad, long before the games next year. Do you already have a strategy in mind for our paddlers for 2024? Strategy will be determined by the discipline committees and will be strongly influenced by the degree of financial assistance we receive. Unfortunately, we face an almost bizarre funding model in which all of our department of sport funding (a mere R490 000) is earmarked for transformation, with our high performance funding coming from lotto (nothing for the past 18 months and no idea what we may receive next year). Even when we


do receive lotto funding, it is project based, and we cannot spend it on programs, which is the only way we can improve our standard.

Are the PFD’s the only requirement we still needed to fulfil to comply with SAMSA?

In terms of building the sport – where is the CSA focus in terms of school paddling?

There is a list of criteria that we need to provide SAMSA with on a regular basis. Some on an annual basis and others each time we apply for a new dispensation (every 3 years).

As any parent will tell you, the success of nearly all schools programs is determined by an individual/s who is/are prepared to drive it, preferably an enthusiastic school master/mistress. As a federation, all we can realistically do is to provide a structure in which a school system can thrive. I believe we have done this. It is now up to each school, or group of parents, to identify a likely candidate and to convince them to make themselves available and to provide them with support.

Most are admin related, such as a copy of our calendar reflecting all of our races, a list of our safety officers, our updated safety bylaws, etc. The PFD issue was the only one that was out of the ordinary and that was “pending”. Ironically, the ISO rating that we negotiated with them is pretty much the international norm for races around the world.

colin simpkins

ON A PERSONAL NOTE What events are on your personal to do list for 2020? My children determine what is on my personal “to do list”.There are a few relatively “non negotiables” though, like the Umko (this year is my 33rd), and the Fish (32nd). A few “nice to have’s” would be; • The Investec Mauritius Ocean Challenge (the best week of paddling ever) • The World Ocean Racing Champs in Portugal • The World Marathon Champs in Norway. • The Lowveld Croc.

What were your highlights from 2019? Winning the “parent and child” category at the Fish with my son. Getting Dotcloud up and running.

Are you pro or con moving the Dusi Route? And why? I am very pro moving part of the Dusi route. Whilst I fully appreciate the history of the event and the significance of the PMB/DBN link, I am very cognisant of the fact that one of the predominant issues, that has resulted in a drop in numbers, is that of water quality. The stretch of river that is worst effected is from the start, at Camps Drift, to around half way through the first day. There are attractive alternatives. We need to appreciate that the Dusi is a brand. A part change in venue will not change that.The Dakar is as popular as ever, even though it is held nowhere near Dakar. My personal opinion on this matter needs to be interpreted within the context of my passionate dislike for running with a boat. THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 23

PF featured

CSA Bylaws Regarding PFD PFDs must meet ALL of the bylaws in order for them to be used at CSA sanctioned events

• The PFD must conform to EN ISO 12402-5 ({Level 50}) • It must be able to float a weight of 6.15kgs. • It must carry the appropriate labelling.

• It must be in sound condition. • It must not be loose fitting

• Shape and design of the jacket must allow freedom to twist and lean the torso.

Minimum ISO Approved Standard

The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS)

• As at the 26th January 2020 the minimum standard for all PFDs worn at CSA Sanctioned events is the ISO 12402-5 ({Level 50}) standard.

• They control the regulation of fair trade in South Africa for the the use of items like PFDs

• There is a SANS equivalent, SANS 12402-5, that is recognised as equal to the ISO standard by SAMSA

• There has been mention in the past that the PFDs need to be NRCS registered too.

• Any locally manufactured PFDs that bear this SANS 12402-5 code on their label will also be allowed at the above mentioned events.

• You might notice that some locally manufactured PFDs will display this number while those that are manufactured internationally don’t.

• It is a requirement that companies manufacturing and retailing products that fall within the specified areas stated above are registered with the NRCS and conform to Fair Trade Regulations • It is currently NOT a CSA requirement that PFDs display a NRCS registration code in order to use at CSA Sanctioned events


FD Code Explained

CSA’s Application of these regulations

The code is broken up into three key sections. All three sections must be displayed on the PFD label.

• CSA and the respective event organisers have the responsibility to ensure that these regulations are upheld at all CSA sanctioned events.

1. Prefix - Testing Standard a) ISO - International Organization for Standardization b) SANS - South African National Standard

• The only way that this can be done is to ensure that all PFDs used have the correct standard displayed on the label of each PFD used irrespective of brand. • Below are examples of what the label should look like and the key aspects to note: • Mocke PFD Label - Note NRCS Number displayed:

2. Main Number - Category of itema: What is the items intended use

3. Suffix - Grading within that specific category a) The lower the number the higher the grading within the category. b) If someone uses a PFD rated 12402-4 they will still be permitted. If the rating is 12402-6 they will not be permitted to use it.

• PEAK UK PFD Label: Note no NRCS Number


• CSA promotes fair trade within the South African Paddling community, however, CSA does not endorse any single brand. • CSA is NOT the authorising body of the regulations. • CSA can not and will not police the legalities of what makes a PFD conform to the ISO/SANS specifications. • Should anyone have concerns about the legalities of the standard or sale of a PFD, they need to report this to the applicable authority directly and not through CSA. • We recommend you contact your local suppliers to find out what approved PFDs are available. • Please don’t leave this to the last minute as stocks will surely be in demand over the next couple of months.

There are some unique aspects, over and above the above,to consider when choosing a PFD to use for Surfski events.

• It must be bright in colour (preferably luminous). • It must have the name of the paddler reflected on it. • It must have a pocket on the chest so that the tracking devise can be accommodated. • It must have a second pocket where a cell phone can be accommodated. • It must have a small pocket where a whistle can be accommodated. Clive Whitton THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 25

race related

Steelecase Dragon Run

IMAGES Bruce Seymour

Amidst the chaos of protest action in downtown HK Bruce Seymour and team put on a world class Steelecase Dragon Run 2019 brought to you by China Silver Asset Management for race number four in the World Surf Ski League.

The forecast settled early with predicted conditions looking prime for race day. Race day dawned with the exact prediction of 12 to 15 knots NE, forecasts were spot on. The women’s race kicked off with the usual lightning fast start from Teneale Hatton taking Hayley Nixon, Danielle McKenzie and Rachel Clarke with her dropping the rest of the field pretty quickly. Danielle seemed

to be taken off guard by the pace of the start and took 200 odd meters to turn it on, going to the front with Hayley Nixon hot on her heels just ahead of Teneale by the first right turn around the Junk out towards the Nine Pin. The women held their positions through some great runs all the way to the end seeing Danielle stretching her lead to over a minute by the

finish line. The men’s race start had the usual creeping and pushing, race director did a great job of getting the lads on the go as evenly as possible. It was a backward and forward battle all the way to the nine pin between all the big dogs in the stacked field. Sam Djordan commented “You can’t win the race on the way to the ninepin, but you can definitely lose it.”

The men’s race was a battle amongst the usual World Surfski Series League candidates, Sean Rice, Kenny Rice, Cory Hill, Mackenzie Haynard, Ian Black and Nicholas Notten joined by another surf lifesaving super star Shannon Eckstein and Aussie sprint sensation Jackon Collins. The “Chill” got into his rhythm once on the downwind leg and got his nose ahead. Collins commented that

Cory’s (Hill) surfing skill were that good that no matter how hard he paddled he just couldn’t catch him. Prize giving was a festive affair with great food, free beer and a stunning cultural display at the Hong Kong Sea School while the victors got their hands on some of the most impressive silverware on the circuit The Dragon run was the fourth race

in the 2019 World Surf Ski League which turned out to be a decisive point in the rankings in which the top 4 of the men’s CSAM Leader board separated by 40 points with Kenny Rice and Cory Hill as joint leaders, Sean Rice only 10 points behind and Austin Kiefer a mere 30 points behind in 3rd. The WSSL ladies leader board looks more cut and dried with Hayley Nixon 160 points clear of Teneale

Hatton. The kicker is that Hayley has an extra race under her belt having put 2 maximum scores under her belt in Ireland and South Africa. The Australian leg of the World League is going to be HOT.

The 2019 WSSL champion will be crowned at the 20 Beaches in Sydney paying equal male and female prize money down to 7th place.

Just as a recap of the WSSL. The WSSL is a 6 race league with a racers top 4 scores to count. Should there be a tie at the end of race 6 in Sydney the WSSL champion will be decided on a count back of placing’s.

russell sadler

RESULTS Women’s Top 10

Men’s Top 10

1. Danielle Mckenzie

7. Iwona Gancarz

1. Cory Hill

7. Joshua Fenn

2. Hayley Nixon

8. Melanie Kepper

2. Jackson Simmons

8. Sean Rice

3. Teneale Hatton

9. Claudia Ann Tarr

3. Mackenzie Haynard

9. Noah Havard

4. Rachel Clarke

10. Kiyomi Makino

4. Kenny Rice

10. Oscar Jones

5. Jenna Ward

Full results on webscorer

5. Nicholas Notten

Full results on webscorer

6. Nicole Birkett

6. Austin Kieffer

race related

Battle of the 30 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA



On Saturday the 9th November 2019, swimmers, Stand up Paddle boarders, Prone paddlers and Surfski’s flocked to Fish Hoek Beach for the Battle of the Bay. The event was a 1 mile sprint followed by an 11km Millers Downwind.

After prize giving we set off for the Milers run. This part of the event was for the SUP’s, SKI’s and Prone paddlers. No swimmers were brave or crazy enough to attempt swimming across False Bay. We don’t blame them!

We were quite weary about conditions as the Cape’s South Easter had been howling for days on end. To our surprise we were greeted with perfect conditions on the morning with a small two hour window where the wind disappeared which made conditions perfect for the mile swim, SUP, Ski and Prone and then by the afternoon we had 30knots in the Bay for the infamous Millers Downwind.

This downwind was absolutely perfect, we left the Millers slipway, put our noses on Fish Hoek and the wind blew us right into Fish Hoek Bay. It was a great run! In the SUP division the women were out in full force. We had some first timers and some that were regulars to the Millers run. Monika, Chelsea, Elmarie, Evette, Faz, Missy, Caro, Caroline and our awesome junior girls, Jess, Chiara and Keena all set off in the first start followed by Khara and Tarryn on the second start. All the competitors had an awesome run and came in at Fish Hoek smiling from ear to ear and full of adrenalin!

The surf ski’s set off first for the sprint, followed by the Prone paddlers, then the SUPs and last but not least the 60 odd swimmers hit the water. The swimmers were great sports, some dressing up, some taking it very seriously and some just having the time of their lives from young to old. It was great to see how many swimmers got involved, Thank you!

In the Men’s division we had the old sea dog and waterman legend Gary Van Rooyen gunning his way to first place and first on the beach with young Junior Cameron Tripney hot on his tail followed by Big Bay local Adrian Van Varik. Sinda Thakatana took the Open Men’s division, Cam Tripney won the juniors with local Migael Terblanche coming in second. tarryn king



pression wave classic

On Sunday the 10th November 2019 the athletes packed away their race boards and swopped them out for their surf SUPS. This was the last national wave event of the year. We were greeted by low tide 3ft very messy waves on Sunday morning, but as the day progressed the wind died, the tide came in and the waves were very contestable. Challenging conditions opened up the contest to be anyone’s game, this made the contest super exciting. The open men started the day with Mathew Maxwell winning the first heat. His training programme for ISA World Champs in El Salvador has paid off for the young man. Matt went on to winning the event, followed by Thomas King and East London local Jethro Johnson. The open women saw the likes of Chelsea Van Rooyen, Khara Doyle, Megan Smith, Evette Terblanche, Mishka Steyn, Penny Stemmet and Tarryn King. Extremely close scores and first place being juggled around the entire final. In the end Tarryn King took the win with Khara Doyle second, Chelsea Van Rooyen third, Penny Stemmet fourth & Mishka Steyn fifth. The Diva’s, Legends, Juniors, social women and social men had some very tricky conditions but everyone managed to catch waves, have fun and come out of the water smiling which in these divisions is often what these athletes enter for, at the end of the day if you’re not having fun what is the point?

The Diva’s division had local author and surfer Missy Volker taking the win. The junior boys were tightly contested but once again Melkbos local Cam Tripney took the win followed by Miggie Terblanche and Jack Cumming, Well done to Jack on his first SUP competition! The junior girls are always fun to watch, Durban local Jess Rankin took the win with Hout Bay from Keena Thomson in second and Chiara Vorster in third. The legends division was won by none other than Gary Van Rooyen. The social division is a division for the guy and girls who are new to the sport to have a chance to get a feel go what it’s like to compete, have fun and be part of the SUP family. These ladies and gentlemen were absolute champions, every single one of them were put out of their comfort zones and managed the conditions like absolute legends! In the end it was Fish Hoek local and power house Wahine Jo Louw who took the Social ladies win followed by fellow Wahines Natalie Thomson, Caro Fulton, Sandy Ackland and Ingrid Peters. Once again in the social men’s division Sinda Thakatana took the win followed by Jarryd Doyle in second, Pilot Peter Haynes in third and Francois Terblanche in Fourth. Thank you to all the participants for all the support throughout the year! We look forward to a fun event filled year in 2020! tarryn king THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 33

race related

west coast



The start whistle for the women’s race coincided with the arrival of a set, a breaking wave smashing into the surfskis, sending their noses

rocketing skyward before they plunged down the other side‌ One, two, four skis flying backwards without their paddlers as the surf

played havoc with the field... It was the start of the inaugural West Coast Express surfski race


in Cape Town, the third leg of the World Surfski League - and the paddlers were competing both for WSSL series points and a US$20,000 prize pool.

New Course In what turned out to be a great call, race director Russell Sadler set a course from Melkbos to Milnerton – the opposite direction to that most familiar to the Cape Town paddlers. “We were hoping for the famous Cape southeaster to give us a downwind,” he said. “But we had to work with the forecast westerly and hope for a few bumps.” In the event, the wind was almost negligible, but for most of the course there were small waves to give a lift to the paddlers’ efforts. And with the glorious clear skies and the magnificent backdrop of Table Mountain, there were few complaints.

Pleasantly Surprised “After yesterday’s weather,” said Hayley Nixon, “we didn’t know what to expect!” (The previous day, Cape Town had been lashed by galeforce winds, over 70mm of rain and massive ocean swells.) “I was pleasantly surprised,” continued Nixon. “While it’s never ideal to have a flat race, we knew there would be some bumps – and we’ve done the training for the flat.

“I’ve raced (Australian) Wendy Reyntjes before and I know how good she is in surf,” Nixon said, “and I didn’t want to let her get too far ahead.” Nixon rounded the turn buoy in the front bunch but took a line slightly further out to sea. “I wanted to be on a slightly wider line, so that I’d have the option of bowing back into the finish,” she said.

Unfamiliar On a brand new, completely unfamiliar course, Nixon said she found it quite intimidating. “I had the coordinates of the finish on my GPS and I knew that I’d be able to see the lighthouse at Milnerton “But you don’t want to make a fool of yourself and go the wrong way,” she laughed. “It worked well,” she said. “I followed the coordinates and I could see the lighthouse from a long way out.” For most of the race, three women dominated: Reyntjes on the inside, Nixon and Nicole Leigh Birkett on a line further out to sea. As the paddlers passed Blouberg, the half-way point was marked by a set of jagged rocks, and Nixon accelerated, opening up a gap. “I worked the small reflected bumps,” she said. “I thought of it as a 20km time trial and went for it.” Michelle Burn also chose that point to put the hammer down, and forced her way past Birkett to take second place.

“And I was so impressed with the women’s line-up,” she added. “We had a group photo before the start, and it was great to see the depth of women paddlers.”

“It couldn’t have gone better,” Nixon said afterwards. “The surf was there, but it wasn’t massive.There was plenty of wildlife, the beautiful backdrop. It wasn’t even cold!

At the start Nixon’s goal was simply to get through the surf zone cleanly.

“If you weren’t here, bad luck, you missed a goodie!”


While the surf wasn’t brutal, both start and finish saw their share of swimmers.

Men’s Race The men’s race was “pretty uneventful,” said Kenny Rice. At the turn can, a group of four lead the way comprising Sean Rice, Kenny, Nicholas Notten and Jasper Mocke. “After about eight km Jasper dropped off,” said Kenny Rice. “And with about 5km to go, Sean put in an interval and created a gap.” Kenny Rice responded, catching up to his brother, but in the process blew off Notten and the brothers continued, nose to tail to the finish. “It was fun race,” said Rice. “It wasn’t a raging downwind, but those glassy bumps definitely helped, as you can see from the average speeds.” Sean Rice, who flew in from his home in the UK specially to compete, said, “I’m very happy to have had the win at this brand-new race. “Absolutely iconic place and so special to be able to do a race of this level in front of family and friends,” he added. It’s far from the first time that the Rice brothers have shared the podium in a race. “We went 1, 2 at the World Champs this year, at EuroChallenge in 2015 and 2018 and at the Breizh race in France in 2017,” said Kenny. “The Breizh race was the only one where I was 1 and he was 2,” he laughed. “It was so awesome being on home turf with the family and friends to support us,” he added. rob mousley


Dusi Quo Vadis? race related



August the 13th 2019. The Dusi was on everyone’s lips. Not because of its rapids or fearsome portages, but because tons of caustic soda and waste oil from the Willowton Oil plant poured down the already hideously ecolipolluted Baynespruit and into the Dusi. Beneath the grimy foam, the river killoff was dramatic and within days all the fish, mammal and micro-organism life was dead. The Department of Health issued a directive to avoid all human contact with the river….

So where are we now? Spearheaded by DUCT and GroundTruth, experts led the recovery plan (funded quite largely by Willowton). The foam and scum was caught in booms and the alarming pH balance swing in the water has returned to normal. It will however take a long time before the ecological balance is fully restored and all forms of river life return to the way they were. “Never waste a good disaster,” quipped Helen Brownlee of DUCT. The media spotlight has brought huge pressure to bear on industries and the municipalities responsible for the pollution. Darvill Sewer Works is grossly undersized for a city the size of Maritzburg. Add in load shedding and poor maintenance and ecoli pollution into the river is a given. The Water Quality page on the Dusi website is now getting huge traffic as the weekly DUCT tests figures are published evert Wednesday. Paddlers

want to make informed decisions. The Dusi entries opened in November and there was a deluge of entries for the 2020 K2 format race. The allure of the country’s oldest and most famous race remains undiminished it seems. The Dusi season proper started with the Umpetha Challenge, a long lap around Camps Drift then downriver to the Campbell’s Farm braai take out followed by a light jog up the hill to Bishopstowe Hall. 110 paddlers raced the race, and in a post-race survey, only 2 of 47 respondents reported getting Dusi Guts. Rewind the clock to last year’s Dusi when the race was hit by the “perfect storm”. Six dry weeks and then a big storm on the Tuesday of race week, coupled with load shedding crippling the pumps at Darvill. The post Dusi race survey showed 66% of paddlers got sick. In an effort to get away from the spikes in summer rainfall the race has now moved several weeks later in the summer to the end of February, hopefully shifting reliance on clean water from Henley dam for the race.

Quo Vadis? There is no doubt that water quality poses the biggest threat to this iconic South African sporting event. It was interesting to note the banter on Facebook following a Throwback Thursday post of the 1972 Dusi brochure, where old-timers mused that “the water was always siff back then as well”. Thanks to social media it is a lot easier to share information about unacceptable practices by incompetent municipalities – just watch tireless warriors like Save Our Rivers.

Don’t think for a second that you are out of the ecoli woods once you take out for the Campbell’s Farm portage. The worst polluted section of the Dusi is the final five kilometres of Blue Lagoon. Training and races at KCC at Blue Lagoon have been cancelled because the municipality was pumping raw sewage into a storm water drain that ran straight into the Mgeni at the Connaught Bridge, and paddlers were getting badly sick. Even ski paddlers out at sea. 2020 will be the 69th edition of the Dusi, and it is clear that it remains a high priority for paddlers around the country. The entries and enquiries are coming from all corners of the country and an increasing number from overseas. The Dusi is very much alive and well, and. It is however a precious property that needs to be very carefully managed.

Learn from the Jedi “Dusi Duke” Martin Dreyer knows this all too well. He chose last year’s race to take his wife Jeannie down her first Dusi, and after a decade as one of the best racers in recent Dusi history and then a decade seconding and supporting his Change A Life brigade, he knows more than most. He will tell you that the water quality is shocking on the way out of Maritzburg, but a few simple counter-measures means that he doesn’t get the “Guts.” Like pre-hydrating well and not taking ANY juice bottles at the start of day one. No bottles in the boat with pipes dragging in the water (that is asking for it…). No chest 42 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

mounted bottles. Nothing. He fully supports the compulsory portage around Taxi rapid. As this drop over the sandstone gets bigger year-on-year, the paddler (especially the front paddler in a K2) goes deep under water. And Taxi Rapid is right between Darvill and Sobantu. Go figure. Portage Taxi, paddle to Campbell’s and then, only then, do you load up with water bottles from your seconds for the day. On your chest. Nothing in the boat that heightens the risk of contamination on your drinking pipe.

Options going forward “Dusi Guts” will always be the elephant in the room at the Dusi. It has been since the earliest days of the race, and with failing infrastructure in our cities, it won’t get any better. It just means that the race, which uses these rivers for just a few days a year, needs to be approached sensibly to keep the prestige of this great event alive. Find me a paddler who doesn’t want to add “Done a Dusi” to their paddling CV. Passionate paddlers have advanced other plans to run a parallel race that aims to keep the Dusi ethos alive, but take it to the reliably clean water on the upper Mgeni. Imagine a three day race starting at Albert Falls, overnighting at Cumberland Nature Reserve and Nagle Dam and finishing at Inanda dam on guaranteed clean water. “If the Dakar can move to South America, you can move the Dusi,” they point out. It will also introduce that air of

mystery and intrigue that was a hallmark of the early Dusis, where paddlers pored over maps working where it was faster and safer the portage, plotting secret paths through the bush. Cumberland to Nagle is thrilling A grade water, and the section from Nagle to the confluence with the Msundusi is a total unknown. Thulani Mbanjwa and his Lembethe club mates put down a cash wager whenever Nagle dam spills and they paddle to confluence from below the dam wall. “It is proper!” he will tell you. 2021 will be the 70th anniversary of the Dusi, and it will be a justifiably big deal. It will lure old-timers back and eager novices keen to “Do the Dusi”.Yes, the rivers are ailing, but this is the one time of the year when paddlers can put the spotlight on the health of our rivers, and continue the crusading work that inspired Dr Ian Player for all those decades.

Talk to the Dusi Got strong feelings about the Dusi? Shane le Breton heads up the new Dusi committee, and they have a totally open-door policy. Ask him anything, or chip in your five cents worth by emailing him:

Dave Macleod


Setting our Sights Olympic Hopefuls

Back L – R = Sisanda Mthabela, Jade Wilson, Tinyiko Mahwayi, Helen Jansen van Vuuren, Kamilah Hank, Matthew Privett, Matthew Maccelari, Finlay Leask, Kwanda Mzolo Front L-R = Jordy Malherbe, Sam Butcher, Alexa Godden, Caitlin Elliot, Lizzy Conradie, Thembelihle Jokozela. 44 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA


Whilst there is still a glimmer of hope in the final round of Duisberg qualifications for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, we showcase ‘Olympic Hopes’ of a different kind. This year the CSA Sprint Committee decided to send a young team to the annual European regatta to gain invaluable experience and expose our young talent to the wider sprinting community. The idea being to expose our young sprinters to the world of international racing BEFORE they get to a World Cup or World Championships event. The unique age categories also provide for a more accurate comparison when lining up at the start line.This regatta is divided up into U15, U16 and U17 groupings. Not as daunting for the youngest on tour as they race within their own age group and won’t

have to contend with the U18 powerhouses just yet! This year’s event was held in Slovakia from 13-15 September and attracted a total of 36 countries with over 800 competitors. Team SA comprised a total of 15 young sprinters drawn from four of the five Unions.Their mandate was simple: Travel well – for some this was their first time out of the country.

Canoeing South Africa is eternally grateful to the many parents, chaperones, and acting Team Manager James Godden, who accompanied the team and kept the large group in check.

Learn more – interact with as many paddlers from as many countries as you can.

Olympic Hopes 2020 will be held in Szeged, Hungary. Plans are already underway and trials will be held at the upcoming SA Schools Sprint Championships in April.

Come back motivated – put into practice what can be improved on, and share your knowledge and passion with fellow club mates.

Who will our next Olympic Hopeful be??

Paddle hard – line up and give of your best in each event.

Eastern Cape’s Jordy Malherbe achieved probably our best result on paper with a 4th

CSA National Development Coordinator 46 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

in the 500m A final, however upon the team reflecting on a number of PB’s coupled with the enthusiasm to work harder, and a desire to attempt the tour again, this truly was the best outcome and ultimate success of the tour.

Jordy Malherbe – 4th in the 500m A-final

Finlay Leask, Alexa Godden, Matthew Maccelar

L-R = Tinyiko Mahwayi, Thembelihle Jokozela, Nkosi Mzolo (Chaperone)

One of girls K4 teams – L-R = Caitlin Elliot, Sisanda Mthabela, Alexa Godden, Jade Wilson.

K4 boys team – back to front = Finlay Leask, Matthew Privett, Kwanda Mzolo, Matthew Maccelari THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 47

race related

Celebration of paddling and of our World Champions and medallists The idea was wonderful and that was to host a canoe marathon event that was to be a day of celebration and of fun and promotion for canoeing in Gauteng.

The plan was brilliant; at 8am the racing would kick off with the 21 km event and then all the other distances would go off at 5 min intervals; being the 16km, 12km, 6km and 4km for the real beginners. This would mean that everyone was


on the water at the same time. They could therefore looking forward to exciting racing as people raced each other and try and keep up with other paddlers doing different distances. There was even a “Schools league” events to give our junior paddlers exposure to great racing. But that was before the wind arrived and boy did it arrive! As race organiser Peter Rossouw puts it “I have hosted Canoe Marathon events at JCC,Wemmer Pan, now for

the last 12 years and never before had top paddlers pull out after checking out the conditions.” He then went on to point out “The wind and wind gusts were at such a strength that I could not properly set up the portage area with Chevron tape, as the tape kept getting ripped apart by the force of the wind.” Unfortunately the portage area was the worst affected by the NW wind. But in true never say die attitude, the paddlers convened in the JCC clubhouse and after some

discussion only the brave and tough decided to press on with the festivities. Fortunately sense prevailed and they conceded to reducing the longest race to 16km and the K1’s were given the option of running over the portage or paddling through the portage and limiting the chances of never being seen again. After doing the maths Peter gambled that the K2 (with a combined weight of over 100kg) would / should survive the wind and so they were required to still do the portage.


The event started at 8am with 20 boats on the starting line.

2. Bert Matruj and Piwe Makhuba – 1hr11’23”.

Peter Rossouw

6 km: K2 race, with K1’s entered. 1.Kamillah Hank – 35’10”. 2.Colin Ledwaba and Mukhtaar Caster – 36’08”. 3.Rico Prinsloo and Crishan Van Wyk – 38’45”. 12 Km: k2 race with K1’s entered. 1. Thabo Selela – 1hr11’14”.

3. Sarah Evans – 1hr17’37”. 4. Sean Evans and Caity Evans – 1hr17’48”. So great to see the wonderful Evans family out racing together in these uniquely difficult

circumstances. 5. Nkosinathi Ntombela – 1hr18’47”. 16 km : K2 race with K1’s entered. 1. Khatiso Hlahatsi and Peter Chissano – 1hr25’32”. These guys paddled an amazing race under the very difficult racing conditions. 2. Helen Jansen Van Vuuren and Richard Cele – 1hr28 ‘05 “. These 2 also put such a racing effort in, it was inspiring to see. 3. Jaco Lategan – 1hr40’45“. Jaco handled the very difficult side swell and bounce so well and was the only K1 to do all the portages. An awesome effort Jaco. 4. DNF the 16km, but completed 12km: Anton Nel and Nic Bradley – 1hr07’7”.





While the river season has been ramping up in KZN and the surfski season barreling towards Cape Point Challenge, the national polo squad have been quietly working away, preparing for the World Championships in Rome 2020. The coaches and selectors have adopted a mix of online testing and training camps to decide the teams for the Worlds. All the squads are hugely competitive so running testing early on in the season allows the selectors to get an idea as to who is truly putting their hand up! The first training camp will be for the seniors at Dabulamanzi from

the 7th to the 8th of December. The program for the camp is pretty standard for weekend camps. The players will be on the water for most of the day playing games and testing different scenarios. The next day, the u21 camp starts in Knysna, with the u21 mens and ladies teams spending 6 days training in what promises to be good conditions in Knysna! With the week-long camps, the daily training load is lighter, with more focus on skills training. The next selection camp will be the week after the national champs in Gauteng. After that the u21 teams

IMAGE Kynsna Canoe Polo Training Session 52 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

will be chosen. The men’s team will be chosen a bit closer to the Worlds. On the development side of the sport, a lot of canoe polo programs have been popping up around the country. The sport is very attractive for developing canoeing and the skills learnt can be used across every discipline! If you are interested in starting the sport or want to see what it is all about, contact your canoeing union and they will be able to direct you to the closest training center. DON WEWEGE

CANOE POLO Calendar 2020 March KZN Series T1 SA Champs U21 Camp 2 - JHB

April KZN Series T2 Senior Camp- KZN

May KZN Series T3 Arnold Classic Africa

June KZN Series T4 Durban International U21 Campe 3 - KZN Senior Camp - KZN

July KZN Series T5

August KZN Series T6 Senior Camp - KZN KZN Inter-Schools

September World Champs - Rome, Italy


race related

CAPe Point

Challenge For most people, the end of the year heralds Christmas cake and presents. But before that, hundreds of paddlers gather on this odd patch of beach where the crayfish factory has long been abandoned for their annual migration around the ‘southern’ tip of Africa. For most races the conditions you start with are pretty much the conditions you will finish with.Yes the wind could get stronger or drop but otherwise it is more or less a given. Not this race; in this race the contrast can be vast. In 2014 the swells on the Atlantic side were huge, you know that feeling when the swells come in and you start paddling up a little mountain and every time you sink in to the trough your mates that were near you moments ago simply disappear. Yet the moment we rounded the corner we were treated to little two foot swells on the way home. And then there is the wind – it is not called the Cape of Storms for 54 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

nothing. Three weeks ago there was no wind at 11am and by 1pm we treated to a wonderful 30knt downwind race. The paddlers in 2018 were greeted by 45knt winds and yet in other years they have paddled in glassy conditions.

But what makes this race so worth it? For one the route itself – no other race has you starting in one ocean and finishing in another. The scenery is spectacular; you get to paddle past huge majestic cliffs that drop off in to ocean, you get a glimpse of the lighthouse from the sea and you get to paddle with dolphins, seals, penguins and if you are very lucky see a sun fish on your way home. If you are not so lucky you may see a rugby ball shape pass under you boat in which case just keep paddling. It is also the last major race of the year so it is a fitting way to tell yourself you earned that extra helping of turkey and stuffing. Most of all this is the race that everyone is anxious about so when you line up on the beach try and remember that everyone is nervous even if they are looking calm and collected.


IMAGE Ken Findlay Photographics

Distances If you are unfamiliar with this stretch of coastline, it really does not help to give you distances on the Atlantic side because with the early morning mist and low angle of the sun unless you know what to look for none of the shore based landmarks are visible. For example Olifantsbos is a white cottage set in the dunes – big help? The most important distance is 52km. That is what all your training 56 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

and nutrition should be based on, very little else matters. Of minor importance is that the Atlantic leg is longer (27km) than the False bay leg (25km) so once you have rounded the corner you are just over half way but you still have to paddle more than a half marathon don’t break out the bubbly just yet. The only point on the Atlantic side that is worth a mention is Cape McClear because you will be able to see it clearly. It is deceptive because you can see the rocky outcrop and by

some fluke of nature you can also see the top Cape Point lighthouse and you get the impression that you are close – you are not. When your GPS says 26km you are close to the point until then you still have work to do.

The race Given the mad distance and potentially even madder weather how does one prepare? Get fit – nothing prepares you for the distance like doing the distance.

You are going to be paddling for at least 4.5 hours so try and work in to your training 3 paddles of at least 4.5 hours. Do it in different conditions; hoping that the CPC will be paddled in glassy conditions is wishful to say in the least. Choose a stable boat. In 2012 I watched a guy call it quits at the navy boat (mid way check-in) because he fell in while having a drinks break and could not get back in to his ski. Also nutrition is key in this race so pick a ski that you feel comfortable having lunch on so that you can stop and sort out your juice or have a banana.

On that note, a friend introduced me to eating on the hour every hour last year and that is the best advice I have had in a long time. I used to think that only if the race was longer than about 2.5 hours would I take something just in case. Now I pack a bar for after the first hour. I pack my bars in to a bank bag to make sure I can get to them quickly and easily. Don’t change a thing. That video that you have just watched encouraging you to change the feather of your paddle can wait

until after the race.Years ago the Pope recommended we race on 50/50 grape juice and water. Worst mistake ever! A new ski/ paddle/ PFD is not going to make you any faster than you are now. Plus a lot of the ski manufactures have made significant changes to their skis within the last three years so the new bucket could be wider or narrower than the one you are used to. I have three paddles from the same manufacturer all 210 – 220 and all three are set on different lengths. Just because it has the same label as your old one does not make it identical.

po i n ts to co n s i der Get a weed deflector – if your padding shop doesn’t stock them make sure that it is a priority when you get to Cape Town. Getting kelp caught on your rudder will be energy sapping and then the only option is to jump off your ski take it off and climb back in.

At the start, take a few minutes to get through the surf cleanly. The water is icy and

Pack your kit the night before. Your juice will

Once the nerves have settled find someone to paddle with, this is helpful in pacing and the company

not go off in the fridge or lose it strength. Even go so far as putting it in your PFD.

Make sure that your cell phone and GPS are charged the afternoon before the race. Don’t leave it on charge overnight you may forget it on the way out the door.

Layer on the sun cream – it feels odd sitting in your bathroom applying sun cream long before the sun is thinking of coming up but it is worth it.

Take a wade of toilet roll with you to the beach – you may need to dry your ski in order to get

the sun will only really come up about an hour later so there is no point in being freezing plus it looks really uncool to swim at the start.

Try and avoid the kelp, unless you are a racing snake with a tiny rudder the odds of you saving time by going through are stacked against you.

Cheer on the racing snakes as they come past you. Make sure that you savour the moments, you have done the training, you have qualified and you made it to the start so enjoy the race and remember that a month from now no one will care where you came. All they will ever as is ‘how was it?’

race stickers to stick, last minute duct tape additions or failing that you may need to use it for its original purpose. THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 57



Pack it up multiday kayak trips



With the summer holiday approaching, many paddlers are thinking about doing multiday paddling trips. In an article that I wrote for the February 2019 issue of this magazine, I focused on the why, what, where, when and how of doing multiday trips. One aspect of this type of adventure that I only briefly touched on was how to


pack your kayak; I have had some requests to expand on this in more detail. In this article, I offer detailed advice on packing different types of crafts based on personal experience. If you are preparing for your first multiday trip and you do not have an experienced hand along, it may be worth starting with one night out, just to get into the groove. The interesting thing about multiday trips is that, in general, packing for a two day/one night trip is pretty much the same as for a longer trip of five or six days; you just take more food on the longer trips.

KEEPING THINGS DRY The first step, before you pack anything inside or on top of your boat, is to make sure that everything that needs to stay dry, can indeed stay dry. Few things can ruin a trip like having your food, clothing or sleeping gear wet, especially if the weather turns foul. I recommend using dry bags and while there are some alternatives, like barrels, dry bags really do work. A large variety of dry bags are available on the market: different styles, different materials, and different sealing methods. Personally, I like roll-up PVC-coated nylon dry

bags with thermo-welded seams because of their durability and ease of use. For loading gear on top of rafts or in the tank well of sit-on-tops, I prefer bulkier, heavy-duty dry bags like those made by ARK, especially the 30L and 40L models. The 60L model also works great for serious expeditions with rafts, where you want as few separate bags as possible to be tied on. For gear going through hatches on sit-on-tops or touring kayaks, or inside the hull of white-water kayaks, the general rule is to use many but smaller dry bags. I prefer

the slim line CEKR dry bags. They were designed specifically to slide easily through 8� hatches (the standard size on most recreational kayaks), and also into the back of white-water kayaks, where space is limited.

WHAT TO PACK WHERE The most important aspects to keep in mind when deciding what to pack where are the trim and swing weight of the craft. The trim of the kayak needs to be balanced, with the bow generally a tiny bit further out of the water

than the stern. This is determined by the distribution of weight on the boat. If you put everything in the front of the boat, the bow will lie too deep in the water compared to the stern, and the straight-line as well as turning performance of the boat will be compromised. The inverse is true if too much weight is loaded in the back. The swing weight is also determined by weight distribution, but in a different way. If the trim is perfectly balanced, but all the heavy items are towards the ends of the boat, it will be very sluggish in response to steering prompts. The idea is to keep the heaviest items as


close to the centre of the boat as possible to keep the swing weight to a minimum. This is especially important on rivers and on the open ocean, where quick direction changes are sometimes needed. Another important factor is height. While many kayaks have the option of loading things on top of the deck, always keep the height to a minimum. Loads packed high will negatively affect boat stability. Performance and manoeuvrability of a boat with a high load is also severely affected by wind. On open water, a high load acts like a sail and every bit of wind will push your boat around, making paddling and steering very hard work. Finally, it is also important to make sure that the one side of the boat is not heavier than the other side. You will expend a lot of energy to control the boat if it is not balanced side to side. It is very easy to test the balance by putting the boat on the water without any person in/ on it. If it leans to one side, move some of the heavier items around to achieve side-to-side balance.

PACKING TIPS FOR DIFFERENT CRAFT Apart from the craft mentioned below, multiday trips can also be done with a variety of other boats, like open canoes, surfskis, marathon kayaks, fishing kayaks, etc. The craft mentioned here are the most commonly used kayaks for multiday trips in South Africa.

Sit-on-top recreational kayaks Fast sit-on-top rec kayaks are perfect for South African conditions, and nowadays I use these almost exclusively for multiday river trips, unless there is serious white-water 62 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

involved. Most sit-on-tops have a large tank well (a recess in the deck) behind the seat, which is perfect for stowing big items. I put all my sleeping gear in one big dry bag (typically a 30L or 40L bag, depending on the season), which includes a tent, self-inflating mattress, sleeping bag and even a self-inflating pillow. The heaviest items go directly behind my seat through a hatch, to keep the swing weight low. This includes my stove, gas bottle, cooking utensils, food and snacks. My clothing and other light items go through the bow hatch. Many sit-on-tops also have a separate, sealed-off hatch compartment close to the seat that can be used for small but important items like phone, keys, camera, as well as snacks.

White-water kayaks

of the seat that allows access to this storage space. Because of the highly rockered hull profile of white-water kayaks, even a little bit of weight in the stern affects the trim of the kayak. It is common practise for kayakers to move their seats forward a notch or two on multiday trips to compensate for the weight in the back. If you do not have long legs, put a dry bag with some gear in front of your footrest to help with the trim of the kayak.

Rafts Two-man rafts, or ‘crocs’ as they are commonly known, are very popular craft in South Africa for trips that include some rapids. They are slow on flat-water and a pain in the wind, but they are super stable and can carry a lot of weight. Personally, I prefer larger rafts. Although more expensive, they are extremely versatile, especially when fitted with an oar rig.

For multiday trips with whitewater kayaks, you have to make do with a lot less stuff. Firstly, packing space is very limited. Secondly, the weight of gear is a big issue, as the performance of the kayak in rapids is affected if it is very heavy. When doing white-water expeditions, there is also the possibility of long and difficult portages, which becomes even more tiring with a heavily loaded kayak.

The same general rules apply in terms of trim lengthwise and width wise, as well as keeping weight towards the middle wherever possible. The big difference between rafts and other craft on this list is that it is harder to tie things onto the raft, and, when a raft flips in a rapid, it can sometimes stay upside down for quite a while, giving any loose objects a proper beating.

As a result, gear taken on whitewater trips tends to be spartan and functional. Instead of a tent, I take a bivvy bag. There is simply no space for luxuries, which are easily fitted into or onto any of the other craft. Also, most white-water kayaks do not have a hatch. Dry bags must be squeezed into the stern of the kayak through a narrow gap over the back

For this reason, I prefer to use much bigger dry bags on rafts. Items can still be put into smaller bags (preferably cloth, not plastic consider the environment) that go into the large dry bag. Make sure the dry bags have a couple of strong D-rings for tying them on. On my big raft, I strap a strong net over the dry bags stashed in a compartment between thwarts, to keep them


contained should the raft flip.


Another waterproof option is dry barrels. 25L and 50L barrels are most popular. Because a big raft can carry so much weight, we tend to take more heavy food along too on longer trips. On these trips, I normally put food into a 50L dry

Touring kayaks


Sit-in touring kayaks are not very popular in South Africa (yet!), but they do have the advantage over sit-on-tops in some conditions. On winter trips, your body is more protected from the elements.

Touring kayaks are also ideal for ocean tours if you can do an Eskimo roll, as you can roll up if you capsize. The method of packing a touring kayak is similar to that of sit-ontops. The main exception is that there is no big tank well into which you can put a large dry bag with all

your sleeping gear. The hatch sizes and inside deck heights of touring kayaks tend to limit dry bag sizes to about 20L each.

the stern hatch, but, due to space constraints, some sleeping gear is sometimes put through the bow hatch too.

Most good touring kayaks have fairly large oval hatches on the bow and stern deck. It is quite common to put all the sleeping gear through

If you are a paddler and you have not yet embarked on an overnight trip, you are seriously missing out. Get the right gear for your craft,

or even better, get the right craft for the type of trips you most want to do, and head out. Start with weekend trips, just one night out, to gain confidence. Or hook up with a commercial operator that specialises in these type of tours. CELLIERS KRUGER



IMAGES Cape Town Sports Photography 66 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

Chasing Downwinds “Put your nose in the hole,” comes the highvolume instruction clearly audible over the howl of the stormy wind. “What hole?” I keep asking myself, while trying my utmost best not to fall out of my surfski into the waters of False Bay that were being whipped into a frenzy of terrifying white-top swells. And the answer that got blown to me came by way of eight days of paddling in the ocean of my dreams and, sometimes, also my nightmares. My introduction to paddling was largely paddling on flat water and a couple of rivers. I would say my Dusi Canoe Marathon and four Fish River canoe marathons, three times in a double and once in a single were some of my highlights up until now. My Fish adventure last year included paddling through the mighty Keith’s Flyover rapid without falling out. But my own first venture into surfskiing failed immediately and brutally. All my years of inland paddling apparently helped me nothing when it came to the sea. The waves at Buffs near Knysna swallowed me whole in my Fenn Bluefin and spat me out as a nervous wreck.

I was then steered in the direction of the Mocke Surfski School of Fish Hoek, Western Cape (https:// Run by multiple surfski world champion and undisputed master paddler Dawid Mocke, the school aims to help paddling beginners to learn the various tricky stages of ocean paddling. I absolutely loved the Mocke School courses and eventually graduated as an ocean paddler, ready for my first downwind. Then a friend, David Browne told me about the Mocke Downwind Camps, a week or so of morning and afternoon surfski downwind paddling. Plus master coaching – I am in, time to make plans. My first real surfski adventure started on Saturday, 26 October with a gentle paddle around False Bay. On Sunday the weather turned nasty. A hectic wind in the wrong direction, heavy rain and a wild choppy sea. Great, I thought. No paddling today. But Dawid has other ideas so we all met up on the beach at 07:30 for a Reverse Miller’s Run, this time downwind from Fish Hoek to Miller’s Point. Of the 11 or so campers I was the only Saffer, testament to the worth the surfski world holds the Mocke brothers.Yes, there are two of them. Jasper Mocke, himself a world champion surfski paddler and three-time canoe world marathon K2 champion, runs his own iconic paddling adventure business called THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 67

Paddle Africa but during camps he helps Dawid with coaching and as it turns out, to keep paddlers safe. And then off we go. At first the ask looked tough to manageable, but ocean conditions can turn in an instant and while we’re spread out, the campers all concentrating on their own progress, all of a sudden a hectic whiteout squall slams into False Bay with a vengeance. With zero visibility, a howling wind and massive swells, thunder and lighting, heavy rain and light hail perhaps I can be forgiven for the biggest skrik of my life. I’ve been plenty scared before, but never quite like that.


And then Jasper appears as if from nowhere, calming me down and pointing me in the right direction. When conditions deteriorated further, he tethered my ski to his, making sure I followed his directions accurately to get us to sight of land. After what felt like a lifetime, the squall lifted, we saw Simonstad clearly and Jasper pointed where to paddle to reach Miller’s Point and as they say in the classics, all’s well that ends well. How I managed to not fall out and swim during this baptism of water doing my first Reverse Miller’s Run I will never know, but with my

initiation now complete and my shivering, freezing body warm and snug again while driving back to Fish Hoek, I wanted more. And there was plenty more to come. During one of our paddling days Dawid pulls me aside and says for my level of skill the wind and swells are just too hectic that particular day. He offers to take me with him in a double ski. I’m immediately game and the end result is we complete the best paddle of my life, a Miller’s Run in 47 minutes, something that would have taken me at least 68 minutes on my own,

if I didn’t fall in and swim. Afterwards my Garmin tells the tale of the tape. Our top speed was 29km/h and for 3km in a row our average speed reached over 17km/h. At one point Dawid shouts: “Look back to see the height of the swells” and, not for the first time in that stretch of ocean my heart jumps with fear at the sheer scale of the swells, seemingly three stories high, a wall of angry water bearing down on us. “Ha, ha,” laughs Dawid through the wind. That’s why you never look back while paddling downwind. The next morning comes and it’s

another Reverse Miller’s Run nice and early. With a magnificent wind behind our backs we set out for Miller’s Point and, everything clicks. I find the answer to where the hole is and I put my nose in it again and again. I’m surfing swell after swell and my heart sings with delight. A mightily pleased Dawid paddles next to me and I think he’s even happier than me. His weeklong shouts of instruction change into howls of “Go Louis!”. I’m so excited I sommer fall in and take a swim of sheer exuberance, but no worries, because I’m finding the hole, I’m following the swells, little swells lead to bigger ones and I’m taking my

speed built up with one swell to the next, to the next, to the next. I find my freedom in the chase and I’m properly hooked. I finish at Miller’s Point tired and ecstatic. I did it. And I want to do it again. What a week!

Louis Eksteen






Vaikobi VXP Race PFD

The VXP has been designed in partnership with the Vaikobi Race Team to produce a sleek, lightweight and super comfortable designed vest, packed with important features to make your time on the water even more comfortable and ultimately safer. Key Features includE: •

Manufactured to ISO 12402-5 (Level 50) , which is the most Internationally recognised standard for this level of PFD

Hi Vis Colour for maximum visibility on the water

Vaikobi Standard Form Fitting foam for ultimate comfort

Large Front Pocket (including internal straps) with capacity to hold large items including water bottles, Cell Phones etc.

Velcro Front and Back pocket closures for extra security

Large Hydration pocket on back which can hold a bladder up to 2L

Mocke Lifejacket The Mocke Lifejacket was born out of a desire to help paddlers paddle at their best. It is designed to be competitive at the highest level. Our Racer PFD is ISO and SANS Type 5 Approved for all users. It is also approved by the International Canoeing Federation and features performance improvements to bring you a lighter, even cooler PFD! Key Features includE: •

A unique body moulding floatation system – fits and feels like you’re not wearing a PFD

Separate airflow channels keeps you cool, avoids overheating in hot conditions

High visibility for maximum safety

Large front utility pocket

Back pocket and routing loops made for hydration system

Integrated adjustment for a perfect fit 72 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

Lalizas Lifejacket The Performance Buoyancy Aid has an ergonomic design that provides better fitting and storage. It offers a new level of comfort and buoyancy, while it features plastic zip and SOLAS retro reflective tapes. Its reflective silver edging and advanced back neck area complete its design characteristics. It is available in 3 sizes, in blue/white colour combinations. Key Features includE: •

one waist webbing fastener for total safety.

plastic zip

SOLAS retro reflective tapes

Approved to the latest European standards for 50N buoyancy aids, ISO 12402-5.

All of its raw materials are certified per ISO 12402-7 and ISO 12402 -8, for higher strength, quality and durability.


Mocke Lifeline Calf Leash A leash is one of the most essential safety accessories for open water paddling. That is why we developed the MOCKE Life Line Calf Leash with very deliberate features and specifications for open water paddling, downwind as well as leisure paddling. Key Features includE: •

Specifically designed calf strap keeps swivel point and release tab front and centre

Prominent, easy to locate Rip Release Tab

Double swivel design prevents twisting and tangling

2m length, 8mm high stretch polyurethane

Coiled polyurethane for compactness

High density, cross-weaved webbing\

Extra strong construction to ensure ultimate reliability

The FREE SafeTrx app turns your smartphone into a tracking and alerting device, to keep you safe wherever you are. Key Features includE: •

Safety net - Keep Family & SAR Authorities Informed

Alert notifications Automated Overdue Alerts

Track . Race . Analyse - Tools to Review Performance on the Water

Trip Sharing - Share your Sessions on Facebook


Pack it up Mocke Deluxe Paddle Bag

NEW stain resistant colour theme

The MOCKE Deluxe Paddle Bag is the original paddler’s travel bag! We know that only the toughest luggage survives adventurous traveling so we have made the Deluxe Paddle Bag even harder working and wearing!

NEW rugged edge binding

Versatile stow-away strap system prevents flapping ends during travel

Blade separator and double thick padding ensure maximum paddle protection

Key Features includE: •

NEW Double-Lined “boot” for extra protection against wear

Now 4cm longer – 1,3m total length

Vaikobi 25L Dry Back Pack Manufactured to ISO 12402-5 (Level 50) , which is the most Internationally recognised standard for this level of PFD. Ready for any ocean adventure, this awesome Back Pack will keep all your belongings dry whist on the high seas! Key Features includE: •

Roll Top Closure at top

Separate Dry Pocket on the front for smaller items

Mesh Side pockets for external storage

100% waterproof

Padded Shoulder straps

Reflective prints 74 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

Thule Motion XT M Stylish and spacious roof-mounted cargo box, optimized for ease of use. Key Features includE: •

Optimized design for best space efficiency, aerodynamics, and vehicle fit

Easy to mount thanks to the extra wide, pre-installed PowerClick quick-mount system. The integrated torque indicator “clicks” when it’s properly mounted, ensuring fast and secure fitting

Easy to open and close in all conditions due to grip-friendly outer handles and supporting lid-lifters

SlideLock system with separate locking and opening functions, automatically locks the lid in place and indicates when the box is closed securely

Full trunk access with minimal risk of contact with the cargo box, thanks to its forward position on the vehicle roof.

Mocke Cellphone Dry Bag At MOCKE we prioritize paddler safety. Our Dry Bag XL was designed with specific features to allow communication no matter the conditions and elements. ALWAYS take a cellphone with you when paddling offshore. Key Features includE: •

100% water proof and certified submersible up to 10m (IPX8 rated*)

Fits and floats iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note and similar size smart phones

Allows full phone functionality when sealed i.e. take or make calls “through” the bag

Crystal clear camera window allows you to capture epic moments on the water

Includes drawstring for attaching the Dry Bag XL to your PFD.

Made from durable Eco-Friendly TPU materials. 100% PVC free!

Sea To Summit Evac Drysac The eVAC Dry Sack is constructed from waterproof, air permeable event fabric on the base which allows the innovative valve free air expelling capacity, whilst retaining compact packing capabilities. Key Features includE: •

Air permeable, waterproof eVent fabric base

Valve-free air expelling design for compact packing

70D fabric for strength

Oval base resists rolling, packs more efficiently

Waterproof non-wicking Hypalon roll top closure

10,000mm waterhead, lightweight durable Nylon THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 75

Cover up Crossing Gear Paddle Top

A unisex performance rash vest, designed and made in Cape Town by ocean paddlers. Key Features includE: •

Made from a superior quality poly-elastane which is light on the skin and born to be in the water.

Tailored fit ensures the ultimate freedom of movement and comfort.

A lengthened back panel together with a grip-tapped waist hem stops the rash vest from riding up, preventing sunburn and chafe.

Maximum UPF50+ sun protection factor.

Island Tribe Gels A unisex performance rash vest, designed and made in Cape Town by ocean paddlers. Key Features includE: •

High UVA and UVB prections

Clear gel designed for maximum protection with 4-hour water resistance

Sun stick is derived from get as an easy-to-carry format for easy application

Non-irritatin and dermatologist tested


Vaikobi Performance Cap Key Features: •

Water Resistant Rip-Stop outer fabric

Secure internal adjuster with no external velcro

Black underside to minimise glare 76 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax

Weed Deflector

Stocking Fillers

Duct Tape

PVM Energy Bars

Surfski Books

GET AN experience downwind camp kayak tour orange river trip THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 77



catch a

IMAGE Xpression on the Beach FB



Always check your equipment before heading out into the surf. Make sure your leash is secure, make sure your paddle doesn’t have any cracks and make sure your fins are in properly.

1 2 3

Paddle through the waves on your knees if you are not yet confident enough to stand up.

When you get to the backline, wait for your ideal wave and start to paddle, make sure the nose of your board is facing straight towards the beach when paddling into the wave. (not parallel to the wave) You must avoid changing hands with your paddle at the last moment, because you lose all of the forward momentum. If necessary, align yourself at about a 60 degree angle, so that you have pulled yourself straight by the time the wave gets to you.

4 5 6

Once the wave hits you from behind be sure to lean forward (a little trick to help you lean forward is to ensure that you keep on paddling) Remember you are accelerating from 5km/hr to 14km/hr, so brace yourself. When you catch the wave you can either slide your back foot to the back of the board in order to get into surf stance or you can jump into surf stance.

Bend your knees, keep paddling and keep looking up!

Remember, the magic is standing with your back foot above the fins! tarryn king

Xpression on the Beach

Individual and group lessons 021-7090596 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 79


the journey & the goal

I love to compete.There is nothing like training your body to perform at peak level, or learning to perfect the skills of a sport to beat other competitors. But at a certain point, you realize racing offers something more profoundly personal. It is an opportunity to evaluate how you approach everything you strive for in life.This, to me, is the true gift of racing. As I head into the last stretch of the 2019 international surfski racing season, I find myself reflecting on why I am racing and what motivated me to take surfski so seriously in the first place. In 2012, at the age of 22, I failed to qualify for the London Olympics in whitewater slalom kayaking. The Olympics had been a dream of mine since I was 12 years old and after a decade-long pursuit, I fell short at the Olympic Trials. Despite my many successes in several years of racing, and the incredible journey I had taken, I saw my paddling career in as a complete failure. What’s more, my goal had become so blended with my identity that not reaching it left me feeling like I was a failure as a person. To fill the hole whitewater kayaking left in my life, I found the sport of surfski through my good friend DJ 80 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

Jacobson. I instantly fell in love with surfski and delighted in the trill of learning a new sport and progressing quickly. However, when it came to racing, I still felt the residual burnout from whitewater. I needed a break so I stopped training and racing altogether, but after a year without either I realized that I still did have a hunger to compete.

Since I had few expectations of myself in racing, every event felt like a success regardless of how I placed. As time went by my expectations for myself slowly intensified and it became hard to cope with poor results. Despite my intension to right the wrongs of my whitewater racing attitude, it was hard not to feel shaken by my perception of failure.

In 2016, I made the life decision to dedicated myself to surfski racing for three years and see how fast and competitive I could become. I set a goal to see if I could win an international race, but this time, unlike my whitewater career, I would appreciate the journey and truly revel in the chance to live the life of a professional athlete.

Every serious athlete has to deal with the mind game if success and failure, and no two athletes go about it the same way. This is where the sport teaches you how to overcome your own demons — or not. For me, the journey hinged on my goal. Like the Olympics, I set a difficult goal to challenge myself, but my mood, motivation, and outlook on my journey were externally governed and rose and fell hard with each race results.

In the beginning it was easy. As I returned to training my fitness improved on almost a weekly basis.

To combat this roller coaster, I turned inward and focused each day on simply improving as much as I could. Each day was a personal challenge and if I gave everything I had to progress towards that goal, my day was a victory. This was a hugely important piece for me, but even this transformational element felt like only part of the solution. When it came to race day, instead of the confidence and pride I felt during training, I became afraid. I worried that poor results might shatter the feeling of “success” my days of work had cultivated in isolation. I felt stuck. I needed a goal to push myself to the limit and get the most out of my training every day, but if this goal was such an important driving force, how could I not be devastated if I fell short? It wasn’t until I came seconds away from winning the Gorge Downwind

Championships this past year that I realized the piece that had been missing. Coming just seven seconds from winning (and thinking at one stage that I was going to win) gave me the clarity to ask myself what would have been my next step if I had won? After achieving my ultimate goal of winning an international race would I have just quit on the spot? Would I have been satisfied and never set myself another goal? Of course not! There would have to be another goal, to win the World Championships, for example, or win three international races in a season. And there it was. My goal would never be some holy grail of achievements, acknowledged by the entire world as the true measure of my success. My goal was simply a tool. A tool I could use to get the most out of myself, push that little bit further when I hurt and get back up after falling short.

My problem had come from confusing the tool of having a goal with the purpose of the entire endeavour, which was to see what I was capable of doing and be happy with myself for trying - “win” or “lose.” And so, as I approach the final races of the 2019 season, I am revisiting the intentions I set in 2016 to motivate my racing. I have done everything in my power over the last four weeks to prepare myself and I am ready to chase the podium and ultimately the win. This time though, my hunger to win is my tool. I will not be afraid of falling short, because if I use the tool correctly and give the race my all, then my finishing position has nothing to do with my success. I will have already achieved what I set out to do when I started this journey. Austin Kieffer




rehabilitating an injury A persistent injury can take time to rehabilitate. Follow the relevant professional advice, which might dictate taking a break or continuing at a lower intensity. A break could provide a convenient time to engage in supplementary activities such as cross training and overall body strengthening,

Getting the timing When specialist treatment is necessary, attend to it as the season winds down. This might also give the opportunity to attend to other physical niggles you have. The time needed for rehabilitation is a function of the damage done before surgery and by the surgeon during the repair work. Progress will depend on the amount of scar tissue laid down, not on how quickly the external stitches take to heal. This is especially relevant where nerve endings have been severed, as occurs in a carpal tunnel release in a wrist.

Doing rehabilitation exercises Guidance on rehabilitation should be sought from a physiotherapist or

biokeniticist. Many exercises can be undertaken in a fitness club using free weights, cabled machines or an elasticised length of tubing. The principle in rehabilitation is to firstly, restore a full range of movement, and secondly, restore strength to the muscle. There is a critical point in the process when the focus on protecting the injury must be switched to making use of the relevant muscles. If not sufficiently strengthened, the surrounding muscle structure can be endangered and the condition becoming more permanent. Set the level of activity to complete it without undue pain and without affecting the supporting muscles. A rehabilitation program should be according to what you can manage, not at full physical effort. Activities can be accompanied by stretching and massaging.

Returning to paddling

is especially relevant if you are right handed and you had an injury on the left, because it takes longer to restore muscle strength on your weaker side. After a layoff, start with cross training such as indoor cycling to introduce a light muscular movement, combined with cardiovascular conditioning.

Paddling with a compromised action Support an injury through an appropriate paddling action. It might be necessary to temporarily adopt an inefficient movement, such as the height of an arm in recovery or how you hold the paddle shaft. Retrain the push and pull muscles to take advantage of the strength that comes from rehabilitation, introducing appropriate technically orientated sessions as you progress. KEVIN BRUNETTE

Keep to shorter and slower distances before introducing any power sessions. Assess your body’s response, backing off to a level at which you can attain equilibrium. When rehabilitating a shoulder or wrist injury, shorten the paddle length or use a smaller blade to reduce the load. If the injury resulted in an imbalance in your muscular structure, put extra effort into rehabilitation. This THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 83


save our rivers



If you had to choose one campaign or cause to get behind we recommend saving our rivers (and oceans). Not just because you’re paddlers and LOVE the water but because you’re human and need the natural resource to live! Through our work in the sport Kim Pople, Graham Daniel and I really felt disheartened at the state of our waterways. We wanted to do something and so the online Facebook campaign Save Our Rivers ZA was borne. And suddenly there we were cleaning mountains of plastic, exposing industrial spills and putting municipalities into the press for failing to keep sewage out of our rivers. We have been fortunate enough to receive financial backing from ADreach Group to run a pilot project at Blue Lagoon, KZN. The idea was to prove not only to our ourselves, but the local municipality and the community at large, that by having a dedicated team on hand to remove solid waste and report on any negative changes along the river, we could make a difference and act! With ADreach Group funding we have been able to employ six local community members AND remove tons of waste from the lower Umgeni, thus preventing it from


entering the sea. This team has been on hand during both of the floods experienced by the province this year and monitored a sewage leak that continued for nearly 3 months, until it was finally fixed. They have recently started monitoring beach stretches as well. We may soon be able to announce a second corporate getting involved and therefore able to add extra teams – watch the social media airwaves for more. Save Our Rivers is about having a place to showcase the successes of MANY organizations around the country working tirelessly in this water space. Save Our Rivers is about having a space to take on government who are failing to deal with the sewage crisis and as many parts of South Africa face critical water shortages this is becoming everyone’s problem FAST. Save Our Rivers is about connecting corporate to community and making a difference. The beauty of this is that everyone can get involved, no matter who or where you are – Every waterway has its own challenges and it’s about finding the right solution – YOU could be the solution. • First off, join the Facebook page – Save Our Rivers ZA – share the good and the bad, it’s how challenges get noticed and gain momentum. • Get involved in a local clean-up – we know it’s not your rubbish BUT it is your planet.

• Donate your time, skill, trade or money where it’s needed most. • Let your voice be heard – find out who your local councilor is and start targeting dysfunctional municipalities. Make sure you include National Ministers too – Departments of Environment and Water & Sanitation both have a lot of work to do. • Break the single-use plastic spiral Ask your local shop and restaurant to change over to environmentally friendly alternatives. Save Our Rivers is part of a movement for change. #sewagecrisis #plasticfree #itseveryonesresponsibility You too can be part of the change! In the words of Benjamin Franklin – “When the well is dry, we will know the worth of water” For more information get in touch via Facebook or contact Janet – or 083 288 0091 janet simpkins


Canoe Polo 101

As you may know our introduction to actually playing canoe polo happened quite by accident. We were training with some parents when the question of what to do with the kids came up? Well we plonked the kids in wonderful little plastic Kwandos and threw in a ball to keep them entertained and the rest is history. The kids absolutely loved it and now the adults are playing as well.

It is the ideal summer sport and can be played after a time trial or on any day during the holidays. The great thing about it is that it can be played on any stretch of water. The ICF rules say the field should be 35m x 23m but that is exhausting for


newbies so a smaller field is a great introduction. We play on sit-on-top plastic kayaks because the then no one has to learn how to eskimo roll before they can play which makes the game a lot less intimidating. Lots of people have some form of plastic kayak lying around, we use singles and doubles on the field.

Our three golden rules 1. Don’t hit each other with a paddle. 2. Hands supersede a paddle, so if someone gets their hand to the ball you cannot use a paddle to steal it back.

3.You may not put the ball in the boat and paddle. Once you have the ball you have to stop paddling but you can throw it forward and paddle on to it again. There are probably loads of other rules but those are the ones that work for us.

Getting set up We use proper water polo balls; the Mikasa completion size four because of the kids but size five is also an option if you are playing with teenagers and adults. We bought them from Sportsmans Warehouse for R280 but actually any ball with a rough/ rubber grip will do fine.

We built our goals from 40mm PVC piping and they cost about R650 for the piping and bends. This works because our goals are only 1m off the water. If you want to build ICF regulation goals they need to be 2m off the water in which case we recommend wood or metal stands at least as the PVC is to flimsy at that height. Our goals float on plastic kayaks but any form of raft structure would be great.You just need to be able to moor it down on both sides so that it doesn’t drift in the breeze. The official goal size is 1.5m across x 1m height and the rectangle is supported 2m off the water. We have kept to the 1.5m x 1m but our

goals are only 1m off the water as it is a lot easier to start with.

whistle (R60) – it is the only thing to reign in unruly players.

We use a whole range of kayaks on the water depending on the person’s ability, weight and what is available. By far the most popular kayak for us is the Tarka – a nimble little kayak made by vagabond that everyone can paddle but we only have one of those so we also play on Mazowe (a double), Marimba and Kasai. Just encourage your players to ask around and see what people have lying at the bottom of their gardens to start with. K1’s are frustrating as each time a paddler falls out you have to stop the game.

We should have helmets but they are out of our budget for now.

Lastly the ref will need a loud

We generally play for 8 – 10 minutes a side and play four chakkas / sides a game to equal out the wind advantage but your call. It is a great game as all you need is four paddlers in four kayaks and you can start playing. On Thursdays we play for our honour and a bottle of OBS (if you don’t know what OBS is not to worry you are too young) but having a club boerewors roll braai afterwards could also be a great idea.


Let’s Paddle

Events , events & more events







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


Brak Challenge Cliperty Challenge Pam Golding King of the Kromme Plettenburg Buco Race Goukamma Race Chalumna Challenge ECCU Marathon Champs





FLCC Dusi Klip

Heidelberg Bridge to Caravan 082 857 857 Park

Marathon Pro Tour DABS Dambusters JCC 2 Day Klip

JCC Dabulamanzi Canoe Club Klip River

LCC Elands Memorial 3338 School Sprints Race 1 LCC Elands Memorial 3338 VLC Nite Race GCU Sprints High Altitude Ski Race

Elands River VLC Victoria Lake, Germiston Dabulamanzi Canoe Club

High Altitude Ski Race SA Canoe Polo Champs K1 and K2 Marathon











Florida and Schools League Race BASF Watuni Klip Novice Race ERK Marathons Árnold Classic Canoe Polo VLC Flat and Schools Race GCU Marathon Champs




NCC Nite Race

SUN 8 SUN 15

No 8 to Josephines Bridge KZN MD Champs

MON 16 Mon 30

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


Lion’s River Race

FRI 10 MON 13 SAT 11 SUN 12 TUE 14 SAT 18 SAT 18 SAT 18 SUN 26

Commemorative Dusi Canvas Journey 50 Miler Day Mfula to Inanda Resort Crusaders Nite Race Capitol Caterers Interschools Shongweni Shuffle Caversham to Midmar Capitol Caterers Interschools Ozzie Gladwin


N3TC Challenge

SAT 8 SUN 9 SAT 15 SUN 16 THU 27 SAT 29

Capitol Caterers Bushman’s Delight Inanda Dam to Durban OR Mooi River Race Dash and Crach Races Campbells to Dusi Bridge Dusi Canoe Marathon


Natal Canoe Club, Camps Drift, 15km Umkomaas, 15km Scottsons Bridge to 2nd Coleford Bridge, 25km Winklespruit Life Saving Club, 15km Underberg, 65km

Lions River to Midmar Dam, 15km Alex Park, PMB to Blue Lagoon, 120km Mission to Mfula Store, 40km 25km Blue Lagoon

Toti Watersports Club Crusaders Canoe Club Midmar Canoe CLub Fezela Canoe Club 083 225 5331

Lions River Upper Umgeni including Guppie and KZN K2 River Champs

Wagendruft to Lambert Park, Escourt, 12km

Camps Drift to Blue Lagoon, 120km


RACE Bushmans 2 in 1 Race Non-Stop Dusi KZN Sprint Champs Nyala Pans to St Elmos Umkomaas Marathon

APRIL WED 1 SA Schools and SA Champs SUN 5 FRI 24 -TUE 28 Wave Ski SA Open and Closed Champs MAY SUN 3 Winter Surfski Series 1



Wagendrift to Lambert Park

DAY 1: Josephines Bridge to Riverside stores, 35km DAY 2: Hella Hella to Josephines Bridge, 32km

Shongweni Dam


FRI 8 - SUN 10 Bridgitte Hartley Marathon Event SUN 10 Winter Surfski Series 2

Camps Drift King of the Bay Big 3-1

SAT 16 SUN 17 SUN 17

KZN Marathon Champs Winter Surfski Series 3


SAT 23

Winter Surfski Series 4





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

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

Surfski Doubles Series 1


West Coast Challenge Junior Sprints 1 Junior Sprints 2 Junior Sprints 3 Surfski Double Series 2 Stanford Festival

Tygerberg Peninsula Canoe Club Paarl Milerton

WCCU Sprint Champs Nekkies to Alfies


Peninsula Canoe Club

Paarl Le Bac Novice Race THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 95

DATE SUN 5 SUN 26 MON 27 MAY SAT 2 SAT 9 WED 13 SAT 16 SUN 17 SAT 23 SUN 24 SAT 30




WCCU There and Back Surfski Challenge WCCU Single Ski Champs Freedom Paddle Marina Da Gama K1 Paarl to Lady Loch Novice K1 Race WCCU 10k Champs WCCU Marathon Champs

Peninsula Canoe Club


Paarl - Skootjie K1 Race Surfski Race Gouda to Bridgetown K1 Race





Wave Ski Border Trials Wave Ski Border Social Surf Orange River Descent

IN T E R N AT I O N A L DATE DEC 7 FEB 1 FEB 2 FEB 23 MAY 8 - 10 MAY 21 - 24 MAY 21 - 24


RACE 20 Beaches Classic, Sydney Great Ocean Paddle, Torquay,VIC Bridge to Beach, Melbourne,VIC Manly Wharf Bridge to Beach, Sydney Harbour, NSW ICF Spring World Cup 1 ICF Sprint World Cup 2 and Olympic Qualifier ICF Marathon World Cup


Radar & Evinrude

IMAGE Fish 2019 Evinrude is a good oke, we all know that, but boy he can get grumpy… As we packed our bags into his battered bakkie for the road trip to Cradock for the Hansa Fish, it was a day or few after the All Blacks had beaten us in the first game of the

Rugby World Cup. Rugby gees was thick in the air, but Evinrude was stewing. As we drove down all he could talk about was the ref. Cala. “Did you see the way they manhandled Pieter-Stef at the line-up. And what does Garces do? Nothing!

Squat!” Maclear. “What is it with all the French refs? Piotre. Garces. All chops! Why do we have to…” Queenstown. By this stage I had put my earphones in and was listening to music on my phone but Evinrude didn’t notice. We have already THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 97

refuelled but he hadn’t let up once for a moment. I was getting worried about him bursting a blood vessel in the passenger seat. “Jeez!! Just seen that we’ve got another bloody frog for Saturdays’ game against Namibia!” Reading off his phone now. “Mathieu Raynal! Not only are these okes blind but they can’t spell either.” As we swung into town it was late afternoon and I was able to get his heart rate to something below a techno house dance beat by feeding him a few beers as we registered. Our trusty K3, which was heading into its sixth Fish, had made the trip down to Cradock on a friendly trailer, and we had to collect her from the school hostel that was dorming the girl’s school that had brought the beastie down.

paddler to hopefully give her a positive first experience of the Fish. No time to settle into the boat or even get in a nerve-settling trip on the milo-coloured waters. We met this charming 16 year old, whom we shall call Hermione to protect her dignity, at the start. Thank goodness. Evinrude morphed into his alter ego. In another generation he was Tom Selleck, Magnum PI. His voice dropped several decibels and he larconically massaged his moustache as we introduced ourselves. He was now The Man, and I knew we were going to be alright. When he is in that sort of mood he could single-handedly make peace in the Middle East.

However…Evinrude had raced Day One in his scrumcap (which Hermione confessed was a trophy from a fleeting liaison with a Hilton boy) and hadn’t worn his usual lucky cap. The scrum cap has big triangular holes in the top. Evinruide is basically bald, through you would never guess it from the marvellous comb-over he has mastered. Now Evinrude had four triangular sunburns on his pip and the goblin was returning. No amount of beer or red wine or lamb bredie could distract him. It was a long night in our tent and his ongoing survival to this day has much to do with the fact that I slept in the bakkie that night.

Hier Kom Die Bokke!

Only, the girl’s school was Just when I thought Evinrude super keen had levelled out (he does start on the Rugby to behave immaculately after a World Cup few beers and in the company of theme for charming women), we untied our the Pimp My K3 only to find that someone had Ride competition, and Hermione stolen the back seat out of our boat. presented me with a Hilton College rugby jersey to wear and gave Now it is sundown on Thursday Evinrude a scrumcap as his costume. night, and we have to find a Out came the cameras. Selfies. Ha replacement seat before the start ha. Then down to the water for our in a few hours’ time. So back to batch start. the Sports Grounds. Evinrude was back to full boiling point. “I bet you Day One was awesome. Double the bastard who slicked my seat was Trouble - klapped. Keiths - we French…” hardly got wet. Hermione shrieking like a hadeda that has been stepped By around 9pm we had borrowed on. Soutpans - aced it through an old flat seat, and with some duct the middle of the big hole at the tape and polystyrene taped to the bottom. The mood was good when underside, we more or less got it we paddled into the finish. to fit. We sent Hermione back with This was going to be a great Fish her school mates and we swung because we were taking down a back to Cradock for a beer. I young schoolgirl, as we had done thought we were out of the woods the year before, as the middle-seat with Evinrude behaving like a 98 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

Francophobe Eyeore.

Day Two came around thankfully quickly, and we were back to doing what we do best. Smashing the river. Coccxyx Rapid – obliterated. Marlow Chute – Duane Vermeulen couldn’t have smashed it any better. Cradock Weir we took fast and pretty straight and basically boofed it. Landed it and Hermione refound her hadeda. Fifteen minutes to the finish, and we get to watch the Bokke with all the other paddlers after prizegiving. Yebo. Evinrude was jiggling around in his improvised seat singing a bastardisation of “Hier Kom Die Bokke” when he reminded us to fit our goggles. Herein lies another story. In recent years the rapids on this river have become infested with little bugs that hover just above the waves, especially close to Cradock. So we solved that problem last year by buying two R50 angle-grinders

goggles for a hardware store in town. It’s not Gucci paddling but any stretch of the imagination, but it works. No bugs were going to spoil our victory paddle into the finish. “Hier Kom Die Bokke. Hier Kom Die Bokke. La la la la la!” Evinrude was getting his groove on in the back seat as we swung into the Golf Course rapids. A lurch to the left as we hit a wave from the right and over we went. After the cleanest of clean Fishes.

help pull him ashore by his paddle. Yelps of delight, all calling him “Meneer” and they obliged. Only, what they finally pulled out of the water scared the cat out of them. Evinrude in a scrumcap with mad Biggles plastic goggles. But the moisturiser that he had rubbed all over his sunburnt skull was now foaming with contact with the water, and it looked like his brains were bubbling out through

the scrum cap. The kids ran for the hills like their lives depended on it. We found Evinrude on the bank muttering “What? What?” and laughed our way into Cradock with Evinrude perched in the economy-class seat in the middle. Thank goodness the Bokke beat Namibia. The trip home was far better for our international diplomatic relations.

I collected the spluttering Hermione (I think she was swearing actually) and her paddle and got her to the bank with the boat, while Evinrude was unceremoniously swept through the whole of Golf Course Rapids on his own and ended up on the opposite bank. We emptied and got going again, with Hermione now promoted to the wobbly back seat, in search of Evinrude. We found him five hundred metres downstream, totally disconsolate. It turns out that after a long, ego-bruising swim through Golf Course he had seen a couple of local kids on the bank and yelled at them to


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G N I al c N i I t c A a TR l and Pr ca

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SS E N FIT and Social Fun lo o P e Cano IMAGE Graham Daniel

Profile for The Paddle Mag

Paddle Mag 6 2019 DECEMBER / JANUARY  

Merry Christmas to all our readers, advertisers and supporters. Once again we have a blast trying to bring you some of what our athletes got...

Paddle Mag 6 2019 DECEMBER / JANUARY  

Merry Christmas to all our readers, advertisers and supporters. Once again we have a blast trying to bring you some of what our athletes got...