Page 1

Issue 2 2020 APR / MAY

3 Weeks of Lockdown Loaded

Dusi Canoe Marathon 2020





Co n t e n t s 3 Weeks of Lockdown Loaded Week 1

12 Canoe South Africa 14 Dusi Canoe Marathon - Men’s Race 20 Dusi Canoe Marathon - Women’s Race 24 Lockdown Training Tips 28 Get your Watch Party On 20 Readathon - The Liffey Descent 34 Immune Boosting Smoothie

Week 2

38 Lockdown Do’s and Don’ts 40 Non-Stop Dusi 44 Lockdown Training Tips 48 Readathon: Saffas in the Liffey

Surfski Know-How 50 Winter Vegetable Soup 52 Get your Watch Party On

Week 3

56 Opinion: Managing Fear 63 Thule Surfboard Pads 64 High Altitude Surfski Champs 66 Pulley & Weight 68 SUP In’s & Outs 70 Visualising a Stroke 74 Feather Angle Facts 76 Race Dates to Watch 78 Watch and Read 80 Energy Balls 81 Radar & Evinrude IMAGE Graham Daniel



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; excompetitor 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.

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!


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

KEVIN BRUNETTE Kevin is an established surfski paddler, having completed three Cape Point Challenges. He is motivated by technique and boat speed, and can often 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.

DR wendy annecke Wendy is a part-time paddler and a full-time reader. When not in Coronavirus lockdown she lives mostly on the beach in front of her house but has also been seen yelling advice and instructions to paddlers in big race events such as the Fish River, Cape Point and hopefully, soon, the Liffey Descent.

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

Hayley Nixon is a competitive surfski paddler with postgraduate honours degrees in Biokinetics and Sports Science. With ten years of rowing to her name, followed by a successful paddling chapter over the last seven years which saw Hayley become the ICF Ocean Racing World Champion as well as a two times World Surfski Series winner, it is evident that Hayley’s knowledge is enriched by having both studied human movement science and performed at an international level in her sport’s career. Together with Linton Hope, Hayley now coaches athletes all over the world remotely through their Wild Dog squad online coaching programme.




on the cover

Athony Grote | Gameplan Media Graham Daniel Celliers Kruger Kevin Brunette Non-Stop Dusi Liffey Descent Paul Nixon Vanilla and Bean Naughty Nutrition Jeannie Dallas Bertie Baard

ATHELETE Thulani Mbanjwa PHOTOGRAPHER Graham Daniel EVENT Dusi Canoe Marathon 2020

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13 Mpete Road Drummond Upper Highway, KZN 3610 South Africa +27 (083) 415 2869 8



Shew, we thought 2019 was a tough year!

I love the resilience of the paddling community. The moment the lockdown was announced people started posting exercises to do during #lockdown. That was followed by people posting videos of them paddling in the pool. Down here we even had World Champion Dawid Mocké chipping in with advice on how to improve one’s stroke in the pool. Although how he would know is anyone’s guess? We have been doing Hayley Nixon’s exercises every morning and joined the Facebook group ‘SA Home run’ that runs around their gardens as a way of staying fit and health. Although we are not near to Jamii Hamlin’s 10km – that is just insane. Hopefully we will get there with only 15 days to go. Choë Bunnett has built an ergo machine and others have finally set up home gyms. We are amazingly resilient and resourceful given half the chance. Melissa and Graham have posted a beautiful pieces on being in the moment and I am really enjoying

posts on The Growth Equation website by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. They really resonate with me. Do give it a read. As soon as the mag is out I am going to read the book.

But what if you are the person that watches the pool paddling videos and thinks ‘O! %$# not another one’ or you see home exercises and think ‘stuff off dammit!’ I just want to be one of the hundreds of people that would say to you That’s Ok, those people are in a different space just let them be.You are in a different space and maybe this is your body / mind saying – we need a break. So take the break, pack way the paddling kit so that you do not walk past it every morning. Please just phone a friend or phone me. I promise I will not mind. Looking forward the only thing that we can be certain of is in the words of Meat Loaf “The future ain’t what it used to be”. COVID-19 is having an unprecedented impact on our world; more people are being hospitalised than during either of the World Wars, national economies are faltering and business are closing daily. We have been watching races

being cancelled or postponed all the way through to the end of July both here and internationally. Even the iconic Mega Sporting event the Tokyo Olympics has had to bow to the virus. This is having a massive impact on the athletes, coaches, race organisers, product manufacturers, event hosts and sponsors to name but a few. So now is the time to play your part even if your government hasn’t. Selfisolate, wash your hands regularly with soap and running water and don’t touch your face. We all need everyone to get through this if we are all going to survive. Take you out of the equation and there is one less person entering a local race, a local manufacturer that has one less person to sell to, one less person for the race sponsor to impact. YOU are a vital cog in this wheel. So please do us ALL a big favour and look after yourself so that in the end you can get back out there and make a big difference to the sport that we all love so much. Ed.

Linton Hope and Hayley Nixon have collaborated to bring both their expertise together, providing even better online coaching programmes to you, the athlete. paddling programmes are based on controlled time-trial testing to establish heart rate training zones and speed allocations per session. STRENGTH & CONDITIONING PROGRAMMES involve a battery of floor-work and gym-based tests to establish your strengths and weaknesses, and then weekly gym or home gym workouts are provided.

Train Smart | Rest Well | Have Fun

week 1



IMAGE Graham Daniels The Dusi Canoe marathon seems to have gone really well, so are there still discussions on moving it? The Dusi was a fantastic success, for those who paddled it. Unfortunately, fears regarding water quality and the recent history of unpredictable river levels impacted on the number of entries. The news on the amended Sports Bill has gone really quiet, is that still going ahead? The closing date for objections has come and gone. I suspect they were struck with a barrage. I suppose we now wait and see. The SA surf ski trials are set to take place on the 9/10 May do you think that they will be postponed now? The sponsors of the event have indicated that they do not feel comfortable hosting an event under 12 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

As it turned out, paddlers were treated to one of the best race conditions in years. A medium first day, followed by superb levels on both the 2nd and 3rd days. Even the weather played its part, with dry and cool conditions. The number of paddlers who succumbed to the negative effects of the water quality were also significantly down. With no major sponsor, the the current uncertain climate. The organisers have notified us that they would like to withdraw their offer to host the national championship (and national trial). The surfski committee has been notified. Unfortunately, there is very little certainty going forward. A number of races/ events have already been rescheduled for later in the year – what do you think that the knock on effect will be? As I mentioned above, there is absolutely no certainty moving forward. The situation is

organisers did a fantastic job in maintaining the standard that paddlers have come to expect. The organisers are aware of the sentiments of some paddlers who have suggested that the first day be moved to the Umgeni river, in order to avoid the most polluted section of the race course, but have decided to maintain the status quo for the time being. exceptionally volatile. A cure for the virus, that is causing the disruption, could be discovered tomorrow (unlikely). The length of time that it takes for life to return to normal could turn out to be a lot longer than most think (more likely). It is going to be exceptionally difficult to make any concrete plans for the foreseeable future. There are some races that cannot easily be postponed – SA Sprints and SA Surfski as they are the selections for the World Championships. How is

CSA going to manage those types of events? The necessity to hold these trials is contingent on the fact that the world championships will take place at all. The postponing of the Olympics has cast a massive shadow over the likelihood that these events will go ahead as planned. The dates of our trials are always worked backwards from the date of the World Championships, in order to arrange logistics (hotel bookings, containers for craft, flights, visas, etc.) The individual discipline committees will have their work cut out for them if they need to make last minute calls. My gut feel is that all world championship events will be either cancelled, or moved to the very end of the year. It looks like the Tokyo Olympics are going to be postponed (apparently Australia and Canada already withdrawn), do you think that they will re-run the selection

process or simply look to fill the unallocated berths? The Olympic games has been postponed. We will now wait to see what they will decide regarding qualification for the event. If the postponement was for a few weeks, I would imagine that they would have left the qualification as it is. However, much can change in a year. Our best case scenario is that they decide on a new qualification process altogether, which will allow our paddlers to qualify through the continent if they do not gain it directly. One of the last northern hemisphere summer event should be the Canoe World Marathon Championships in Baerum, Norway on the 27 - 30 August 2020. What would be your advice to athletes wanting to attend it? As things stand, there has been

no announcement regarding the postponement of the world Marathon Championships. However, Australia has already announced that they will not be sending a team if it is held this year. Our selection race has been left to the very last minute. We cannot delay it, even by a week or two, as we will not be able to get the container over in time. Much as I would love to think that we will all be back to normal by July, it may be a bit premature. Even if the event does go ahead, many of our paddlers will be compromised by a protracted layoff. What is your advice for the clubs? My advice for clubs would be the same as for individuals. Use this tragic opportunity to reflect and to plan. Also, don’t be naive to think that in the flick of a three week switch, we will be back to normal again. This is going to be a much longer haul than we imagine.



IMAGE Graham Daniel

0 2 0 2 Dusi MEN’S RACE

DAY 1- This was a day of epic racing. In both the men’s and women’s race the leaders changed several times in the first half of the race before the final winners of the day started to exert their dominance. The race morning dawned to a cloudy day where the temperature did not exceed 28C a far cry from previous years. The river was flowing at a medium / full level after the recent rains tempting the paddlers in to thinking that today was going to be easy. It was the team of Alex Masina and Bongani Ntinga that led the charge across the drift and down Ernie Pearce Weir. They held on to the lead to Commercial Road weir with Euro Steel team Lance Kime and Shaun Rubenstein lying second and Euro Steel Team Andy Birkett and Khumbulani Nzimande just behind them in third. By the time the leaders were running up Guinea Fowl 2 portage just after the infamous Devils Cauldron Andy Birkett and Khumbulani Nzimande were in the lead with Team Euro Steel Thulani Mbanjwa and Sbonelo Khwela in hot pursuit. From there on out, team Birkett/ Nzimande slowly widened the gap to come in as the winners of day one in a time of 2:39 followed by team Mbanjwa/ Khwela and then the big surprise of the day team Kime/ Rubenstein.

DAY 2 - The day broke to a cool cloudy morning with the promise of rain sometime in the day. The paddlers were treated to a medium full river for the first part and it only got better after the confluence. In the end, it rained for the whole day which made the portages slippery but the coolness was certainly a blessing for those on a 47km journey from Dusi Bridge to Inanda Dam. The top men’s teams shot off the starting line, in true racing form they were close to their racing speeds by the time John called 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go. First to

IMAGE Graham Daniel go was Andy Birkett and Khumbulani Nzimande making full use of their one minute lead on Thulani Mbanjwa and Sbonelo Khwela. The team of Lance Kime and Shaun Rubenstein were hot on their heels. Right behind them were the teams of Banetse Nkhoesa and Msawenkosi Mtolo followed by Ant Stott Carl Folscher. Ant Stott holds the record for the fastest Day 2 in a K1 (2007) and K2 (2008) so no one up front was going to have a moment to spare today. At Ibis Point the leading team had extended their lead to about 3:30 minutes on the chasers and were looking to extend their lead. But at Gauging Weir Andy seemed to underestimate the amount of water flowing over the weir and took a more traditional slide at 60Ëšapproach resulting in the tail of the K2 getting stuck in the suck back at the bottom of the weir and over they went. This was just the mistake that the ever determined team of Thulani Mbanjwa and Sbonelo Khwela was waiting for and you could see them up their pace as they blasted past. Just round the corner at Marianni 16 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

Foley causeway again it was team Mbanjwa/ Khwela that showed their experience by going river right in the full water and staying in the faster straight channel. Team Birkett/ Nzimande took the more traditional route of river left that is windy and requires more concentration to stay in the fastest flowing channel. With the big three rapids ahead this was turning out to be a battle royal. Team Mbanjwa/ Khwela would need to play every experience card in order to stay ahead of their chasers and put a significant gap on them before the dam. At the headwater of the dam it was team Birkett/ Nzimande in the lead after in his own words he had burnt a few matches to reel in the leaders and make it stick. It was always going to be a tough ask for any team to compete with a previous World Marathon Champ on flat water but team Mbanjwa/ Khwela gave it their all to grind out 2nd place with only a minute and a half behind the winners. The extraordinary battle for third continued with team Kime/ Rubenstein and team Nkhoesa/ Mtolo battling it out across the dam.

Both teams put in huge intervals to shake off the other team but it was not enough on the flat water so it finally came down to an end sprint for the line which was narrowly won by team Kime/ Rubenstein putting team Nkhoesa/ Mtolo into a podium challenging 4th. Team Stott/ Folscher raced meticulously in the big water just not loving the big climb up Ngumeni to come in 5th. The big surprise of the day came from team of Alan Houston and Andrew Houston who posted the second fastest time of the day, less than thirty seconds behind the winners putting them in 6th.

DAY 3 - of the Dusi was always going to be nail biting stuff, with the traditional racing snakes route over Burma Road closed it was going to force everyone to stay in the river of the whole 32km. The rapids on Day 3 have destroyed a number of potential Dusi winner’s chances of being on the podium as the first half is lined with technically challenging rapids. Added to this was the fact that the leaders would need to shoot the unknown Island 1 and Island 2 rapids in order to stay in

contention. Pumphouse rapid alone has ended at least 3 of the leading men’s podium challenges before so calm nerves and clean lines were going to be needed if they were to get through the day. Added to this the guaranteed water release and the overnight rains was going to ensure that the river was the fullest it has been in years. Team Birkett/ Nzimande had an overall lead of just over 2:30 minutes at the start of day 3. They were going to be hotly pursued by team Mbanjwa / Khwela who were under huge pressure to not make mistakes by team Kime / Rubenstein who were only 4 minutes behind them. They in turn were being gunned for by team Nkhoesa / Mtolo and team Stott / Folscher. The Houston brothers had moved themselves right up in to contention after blitzing day 2. There was only 13 minutes separating the top 6 teams at the start of day 3 and in the rough water that lay ahead just one swim or hole in your boat would gift the chasers a position. As they say – every second counts! THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 17

The crowds on the bank went mad with delight as they watched Andy Birkett and Khumbulani Nzimande cross the finish line for 18 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

Andy’s Phenomenal 10th win and Khumbulani’s maiden. A fantastic way to close on a very exciting three days of racing. They had paddled an intelligent race; setting their own pace when they could, being mindful of who was around them and constantly focusing on their task ahead. Less than 2 minutes behind them Thulani Mbanjwa and Sbonelo Khwela the, the stalwarts of the Dusi came charging over the line. They had had a phenomenal day and actually managed to do it a minute faster than the winning team but it was just not enough to close the gap and claim the top step. Right behind them was the Western Cape pairing of Lance Kime and Shaun Rubenstein who had been the surprise team of this year’s Dusi. They were followed by the teams of Banetse Nkhoesa and Msawenkosi Mtolo and seven seconds later Ant Stott and Carl Folscher.

IMAGE Graham Daniel

Team Birkett/ Nzimande set off brilliantly across the dam but came unstuck at the bottom of Tops Needle Rapid when they had to stop and reposition Khumbulani’s splash cover and suddenly the gap was down to 1:40 minutes. A few minutes later they look an interesting line on the left of Little John and the seconds were slowly being whittled away. Right behind them Team Stott/ Folscher and the Houston brothers were having exceptional days, neither team put a blade wrong the whole day and revelling in the big water. They would go on to post the two fastest times for day 3 and put the teams in front of them under immense pressure as their seconds kept reminding them that the chasers were closing the gap. It was only as the teams went under the N2 bridge that we finally saw any signs of slowing down as the teams resigned themselves to the last few kilometres to the finish.

IMAGE Graham Daniel

IMAGE Graham Daniel

Birkett Victory Counter



Paddler 1

Paddler 2





AJ Birkett

JA Graham


2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

2011 2012 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

K1 K2 K2 K1 K2 K1 K2 K1

AJ Birkett AJ Birkett AJ Birkett AJ Birkett AJ Birkett AJ Birkett AJ Birkett AJ Birkett




AJ Birkett

IMAGE Graham Daniel

JA Graham S Zondi L Kime /h McGregor K Nzimande

8:06:08 7:43:02 7:43:50 7:55:35 7:52:09 8:32:55 8:12:22 8:09:48 7:53:03

IMAGE Graham Daniel

WOMEN’S RACE DAY 1 - In the women’s race it

was Team Euro Steel’s Jenna Ward and Kyeta Purchase that lead the charge followed by Bridgitte Hartley and Tracy Oellermann from the start all the way through the town of Pietermaritzburg. It was only at the start of Campbell’s Portage that Team Euro Steel’s Cana Peek and Christie Mackenzie started to 20 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

make their presence felt. And then ever so quietly the Haw sisters Bianca and Tamika also started to put the hammer down and by the time the women got to the top of Guinea Fowl team Peek / Mackenzie were firmly in the lead with Team Haw just off the pace with Ward/ Purchase about five minutes off the pace.

In the end Team Peek/ Mackenzie that came zipping through the last rapids just over two minutes ahead of an ever smiling Team Haw. About twelve minutes later they were joined by team Ward/ Purchase. Just four and a half minutes behind them was team Hartley/ Oellermann. A little way behind the leaders came the second U23 team of Amy


Peckett and Cara Waud in 5th. But that was just day one and as they used to say “the Dusi is won on day one and lost on Day two and three” anything can happen.

DAY 2 - In the women’s race all the talk was about the big waters playing in to the hands of the more experienced paddlers and the long haul across the dam was expected to have a big impact on the race as it favoured the established marathon paddlers. Questions were also being asked after Christie Mackenzie sliced opened her leg with the rudder on one of the portages on day 1. Team Peek/ Mackenzie bolted off the line with a solid two minute lead on the chasers followed by team Haw and then team Ward/ Purchase. By the time they got to gauging weir team Haw were in a commanding lead of 3:30 minutes on the now chasing team Peek/ Mackenzie who had been battling with a bent rudder since back up at the confluence.


By the time team Haw got to the headwaters of Inanda Dam they had managed to stretch that lead to about seven minutes showing their big water temperament and by the time they got to the finish they had an incredible 11 minute lead on the chasers. Team Ward/ Purchase were having a cracker of a day and managed to reign in six minutes on Team Peek/ Mackenzie. This meant that they finished the day with only an 8 minute deficit on the potential silver medallists.

Day 3 - The excitement in the air at the start of day 3 was almost tangible as front paddlers tried to find Dusi rats so that they could ask about the best lines through the rapids at levels that had not been experienced in the last five years. A few of them were trying to make last minute plans with their seconds about what to do if they got to Island 1 and 2 and decided to shoot it and came unstuck. For a large part the seconds were saying things like “Please don’t go” and “maybe do

it next year”. I must tell you some of the back paddlers were looking quite bleak about the prospect too. From what I saw a lot of paddlers attempted the Islands and I would guess more than half made it. The Haw sisters went in to Day 3 with an unassailable lead of 10 minutes so they were literally the only ones on the water when they set off. The other teams were still getting their boats ready and that pretty much set the tone for the day. Where ever we saw them they both had big smiles and took the time to pass comments to their seconds as they powered through the rapids without missing a stroke. But right behind them the pressure was on as team Ward/ Puchase had managed to claw back 6 minutes on second placed team Peek/ Mackenzie on Day 2 and with the promise of big water and big risks Ward/ Purchase looked super keen to take on the battle. About five minutes behind that there was a fascinating dual going on between

team Hartley/Oellermann and team Hilary Bruss / Hayley Nixon. Both teams had had day 1’s that were off point but Bridgitte and Tracey swopped driving for day two and Tracey was showing that she was more than up to the challenge of the big water. Hilary and Hayley were showing that they are far better paddlers than runners. The end result is that they both finished day two on 3h36. Could Bruss / Nixon make up the 10 minute gap from day 1? A swim on day 3 would make the gap disappear. Interestingly enough team Haw and team Peek/ Mackenzie opted to play it safe and run pumphouse rapid after all the big rapids that they had so brilliantly charged down whereas team Ward/ Purchase and team Oellermann/ Hartley opted to stay in their boats and make the most of the last of the fun rapids on the way to the finish.

Team Haw skilfully driven by younger sister Bianca and powerfully managed by Tamika came home to take their maiden win in the same manner that they started the day. Ever smiling. They were followed by the ever keen U23 team of Cana Peek and Christie Mackenzie. Only a couple of seconds slower on the day was the third placed Jenna Ward and Kyeta Purchase. The battle for the converted fourth place continued the whole day between team Oellermann/ Hartley and team Bruss / Nixon. In the end Bruss / Nixon finished a minute faster on the day than their rivals but it was not enough to make a big dent on the day 1 deficit which saw Oellermann/ Hartley flying across the finish to claim a hard fought 4th and put Bruss / Nixon in at number 5.



The time to stay home is here and yes, as a group of outdoor exercise enthusiasts this is a daunting and “stuff of nightmares” task! In the greater scheme of things, we are pretty lucky to be asked to just stay at home so let’s not get too caught up in it and instead, make the best of it! Many of us generally overlook strength & conditioning, yoga, mobility and cross-training and claim that we are too ‘time poor’ so we choose paddling over everything else. Well now you have all the time in the world to rest those overuse paddling niggles (which we all get!) and to work on all the other exercise modalities that you’ve been avoiding. Here are some tips on how to make the best of your exercise during lockdown:

Keep active! Lazy breeds lazy, so the best thing you can do is keep active. But remember that a little bit of movement everyday will be more sustainable than going out the blocks so hard on day one that you are totally burnt out and over it all by day five.

Stretching, whether it be a few basic dynamic or static stretches on your own or joining an online yoga class. Use this time to do the stretching and mobility that you never had time for before.

Strength training! You don’t need a full gym to get stronger, body weight exercises are so good for you and will challenge you in ways you never imagined so include a few simple body weight drills and you’ll reap the benefits. Best to do these slow and


controlled and under the guide of someone with a bit of experience so you don’t hurt or injure yourself.

Healthy eating! We are all going to be challenged on this one. Try your best to eat clean and drink lots of water. With less movement happening we are going to need to curb our calorie intake…sad but true! So how do we keep active? It’s all relative to what you are used to and what your body is conditioned for. Of course, you can try some new exercise activities but start conservatively and let your body adapt to the new challenges. I have written-up ten Mobility Drills and ten Strength & Conditioning body weight drills, all of which are relatively simple and well known but very effective if done properly and at the correct intensity.

Have fun, train smart and stay home! If you have any questions or would like further information on what training you can do at home please contact me and I would be glad to help:

You can follow our daily #5aday lockdown exercise programmes on Facebook and Instagram, click on the links below to connect with us: Hayley-Jo Nixon Wild Dog Squad

If you are interested in a paddling programme for the future or would like a personal lockdown programme please contact Hayley:

@hayleszn @wilddogza

10 MOBILITY DRILLS hamstring and calf hamstring stretch

calf stretch

abductors, lower back and adductors lower back ITB stretch with band

adductor groin stretch with band




hip-flexor & quad hip flexor stretch front view


hip flexor stretch side view

cat stretch


child’s pose

UPward Facing Dog

downward Facing Dog Downward Facing Dog

See more from Hayley on page 45


Walk on Water: A Kayaking Film When a skiing accident left Greg Mallory paralyzed from the waist down, he turned to whitewater kayaking to help him escape his wheelchair. Now he’s an accomplished Class V whitewater paddler who finds strength, challenge and meaning in paddling rivers. This is his story. CLICK TO WATCH NOW

Masters of Surfski What you’ll learn The skills that ALL surfski paddlers need, at every level. How to continuously improve your technique and go faster. The different paddles and boats and how to select the right ones. How to be safe every time you go surfski paddling. Common surfski mistakes and how to avoid or correct them.The essentials of race preparation, training and competition. What you need A Surfski, a paddle, and an intrepid spirit. CLICK TO BUY NOW

beYOND THE RIVER “Two men from vastly different walks of life have one thing in common: to win gold in the most arduous canoe marathon.... Somewhere along the river of their lives, there’s a confluence that changes both of them - forever. Inspired by the true story of paddlers Siseko Ntondini and Piers Cruickshanks, Beyond the River will take you on a nail-biting adventure through the hillls and valleys of their lives.” click to buy now

The Liffey Descent By Iain Maclean Published by Maclean Publications 2019

IMAGES Liffey Descent

“Paddling the Liffey has brought me joy and disappointment, from the days when I was a nervous paddler in awe of the river to later on when I improved my skill and fitness levels sufficiently to win the event. Since those heady days, my story is one of ongoing decline, of hoping to avoid a swim on the day, yet still enjoying the magic of a successful shoot of a weir, any weir. Any shoot is easy when you get it absolutely right, and the thrill never dies.” So says Iain Maclean, a topclass paddler, who has written a thoroughly researched and highly entertaining history of the internationally acclaimed river marathon known as the Liffey Descent. Although he has more than 50 Liffeys under his paddles, and has intimate knowledge of the river, the weirs and the people involved, Maclean does not rely on his own memories but has examined official and unofficial records and spoken to more than fifty past and present race organisers and paddlers to construct a convincing narrative. The paddlers include Jimmy Sweeny and Frank Burgess who were involved in the first race in 1960 and who, along with others, unearthed long forgotten posters and early photos showing boats home-made of plywood on top of lovely old cars. I am not a paddler so I was worried that a chronology of racing results from 1960 to 2018 might be dull but The Liffey Descent is a riveting read. The addictive magic comes in a series of flooded weirs over a seventeen mile course. Throw in a couple of helicopters, lots of swims and crowd participation and you have an adrenalin filled event. I found myself waiting anxiously at each weir but especially at Straffan which comes five minutes after the start when the competitors are

still bunched together and carnage is almost inevitable. The spills and skills are well-illustrated in plentiful colour photos! I cheered on the close finishes and was horrified at the South Africans brazen breaching of the anti-apartheid boycott in the 1960s and early 70s. This included Paul Chalupsky, father of our much celebrated Herman Chalupsky. I was fascinated by the development and changes that have taken place in the course, the boats and paddles and the fitness and speed of the paddlers. Maclean explores several of the challenges that the paddling fraternity in South Africa are facing today; highlighting that these are neither new nor unique. Sponsorship is the first. A reliable sponsor can do wonders for the development of a sport and the sponsorship of the Liffey Descent by Coca Cola from 1960 to 1971 and Irish Distilleries through their Jameson whiskey brand from 1988 to 2003, ensured the growth and development of the race. In between the race organisers had to scramble for funds and numbers. Maclean recalls the Jameson period from 1992-2003 as golden years of plenty, and when Jameson ended their sponsorship in 2003, the race entered a new and difficult period. The financial crash of 2007 saw paddling curtailed as we all took a knock. Since then many of us have been cashed strapped, but changes in the design and construction of boats and paddles mean that they have become more and more sophisticated and expensive. This has resulted in a gradual decline in numbers of Liffey entrants, unintentionally exacerbated by an increased focus on World Championships and rising affiliation and race fees in order meet escalating club and administrative costs.

Apart from finances, major races such as the Liffey Descent, and in South Africa, the Drak Challenge and the Dusi, are heavily dependent on the right amount of water being available. The variability in rain patterns as a result of climate change is cause for concern as is the increasing abstraction from rivers to service growing populations - in Dublin as elsewhere. The Liffey had to contend with poor water conditions in 2007 and 2011 and again 2018 when the drought resulted in fewer race entries. Shooting Straffan in the drought conditions was chaotic but capable and well-known South Africans Jenna Ward and Ryan O’Connor managed a second in the mixed doubles. Men and women paddlers are given even treatment by Maclean who explains that in the late 1980s the term ‘Ladies Events’ was replaced by the less condescending women’s events - something that South Africans have been slow to adopt. Water quality issues seem to have been sorted out for the Liffey but remain a constant concern in South African rivers. A worrying trend in Ireland and South Africa is the decline in the number of junior paddlers. In the face of major challenges Canoeing Ireland has tried several new and innovate approaches. As early as 1998, in an attempt to counter the drift to flat water races, the Liffey Descent twinned with the rough water South African Fish River Race with the winners of each sponsored to race in the other. Along with the Tordoff family, Gary Mawer is a name that features prominently in the Liffey. Mawer won the K1 class in 2001 in a thrilling finish and earned a trip to the Fish River race. How he fared there is not told. In the final historical chapter

covering the period 2012 -2018, Maclean considers efforts to secure the future of the race, such as the Classic Canoe Marathon Series established by the ICF in 2012 with nine races including the Liffey Descent, the Stella in Spain and the Drak in South Africa where points can be accumulated. Encouragingly the number of countries participating in the Liffey has increased and in 2018 the Liffey welcomed ten paddlers from South Africa and six from the USA.

Self-isolating, complete lockdowns and quarantines will no doubt be in place for a while so grab a copy of The Liffey Descent and plot your course from Straffan Weir to Trinity Boat Club. Get the book for yourself or gift it to your restless paddlerpartner or friend. It is packed with glorious photos of exquisite scenery (my favourite is Straffan Infinity page 153), exciting shoots and advice on approaching the weirs. The only thing I missed was a good map of the course. The next Liffey Descent

is scheduled for the 12 September 2020 and Corona virus permitting, I am keen to hang over the Straffan Bridge and cheer! The Liffey Descent is available on line from 960 words plus 110 heading and quote = 1070 words wendy annecke


Carrot-Ginger Citrus Immune Boosting Smoothie For the coldest months of the year, add a little sunshine to your routine with a Carrot-Ginger Citrus Immune Boosting Smoothie. This turmeric smoothie recipe comes together fast and is an easy way to start the day on a healthy note.Vegan + Gluten Free Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time:1 min Servings: 2 Servings Ingredients 1 Navel or Cara Cara Orange or three small oranges such as mandarin or satsuma, peeled 1 Thin Slice of Lemon , leave skin on 2 Medium Carrots choped 1 Banana sliced into chunks, frozen is preferred for extra creamy and chill 2.5cm knob of Fresh Ginger 3 Tbs Hemp Hearts or a small handful of preferred nuts such as cashews 1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric* (see notes) 1 C (235g) Water Instructions Into the pitcher of a high-speed blender (I use VitaMix) add the orange(s), lemon, carrots, banana, ginger, hemp hearts, turmeric and water. Start on low and increase speed up to high until all the ingredients are smooth. About 45 seconds. Pour into a glass and top with a sprinkle hemp hearts. Notes *I use ground turmeric in this recipe, but fresh can be used as well. Use 1/2� knob if using fresh.I’ve read that a pinch of black pepper helps activate the turmeric. Feel free to add a pinch to this smoothie for a peppery kick!

Traci York | Vanilla And Bean


week 2
























P O T S N O N i 2020 s u D rtesy

te cu y Gro nthon


plan Game




The Garden City Commercials Non-Stop Dusi is one of the toughest ultra-marathon races because one is constantly changing between paddling and running with a canoe on your shoulder. It can also become a tough mental game because it is raced over the same course that you did two weeks before and every time you get to a traditional overnight stop you have to keep going.Your body says ‘We’re here!’ and it take a lot of will power to keep going.

IMAGES Non-Stop Dusi

Added to this, there are three strictly enforced cut-offs to ensure that the paddlers keep a steady pace. The first is at Finger Neck at 09:00 the second at Inanda Dam wall by 14:00 and the third at Pump House Weir at 17:00. The title of Non-Stop Dusi Champion is a highly coveted title amongst those that are fit enough and determined enough to take on this completely unassisted challenge, where it just comes down to you and your fit and willing seconds. For this reason men and women have come back again and again to earn the title for another year. In the women’s race the leaders board has a number of women that have two titles to their names but at 40 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

the top there is Debbie Germiquet (2 K2 & 1 K1) and Hilary Pitchford (1 K2 & 2 K1) both have three titles to their names and claiming top spot is Wendy White with five K2 titles behind her name. ‘Dusi Duke’ Martin Dreyer’s name appears a very impressive seven times on the men’s leader board along with his Non-Stop protégé Thulani Mbanjwa. They won together in 2007 and 2008. But going in to the 2020 Garden City Commercials Non-Stop Dusi it was Red Bull/Euro Steel’s Sbonelo Khwela that was looking to win a remarkable 10th race. With 9 wins (5 K2 & 4 K1) out of 13 finishes Sbonelo Khwela was showing that he was South Africa’s ultra-distance river King so the 10th title would be the perfect accomplishment to round off what we already know. Since 2013 Sbonelo Khwela’s name appears on every leader’s board – could he do it again? For Khwela’s onslaught he teamed up with this year’s 4th placed Dusi finisher and last year’s Non-Stop winner Banetse Nkhoesa. Nkhoesa’s 2019 Non-Stop partner Thabani Msiya then teamed up with fellow FNB Change A Life Academy team mate Msawenkosi Mtolo who had shown that he was a force to be

reckoned with coming 4th in this year’s Dusi Canoe Marathon. In the early parts of the race it looked like the team of Khwela/ Nkhoesa had the race comfortably in hand. They had set the pace throughout the traditional day 1 route; over the two big portages and through the technical rapids of day 1. In fact when they got to Cabbage Tree Portage they had just over two minutes on the chasers Msiya and Mtolo. Team Khwela/ Nkhoesa continued to stamp their dominance on the race through the first part of the traditional day 2 and maintained their lead through the half way mark of Marianni-Foley Causeway. Behind them the team of Cele/ Nyambosi were slowly gaining on second placed Msiya/ Mtolo after their unfortunate swim at Taxi rapid much earlier in the day. It was only as the leaders shot past Mfula Store in the fast flowing water that is was clear that the challenge was on from the chasers. Khwela/Nkhoesa had had their lead cut down to less than a minute by team Msiya/Mtoto and team Cele/ Nyambosi were burning matches to get a view of the teams in front of them.



By the time the leaders got to the headwaters of Inanda Dam and Thabani Msiya/Msawenkosi Mtolo have taken the lead from Sbonelo Khwela/Banetse Nkhoesa and for the first time it looked like Khwela’s 10th title could be in jeopardy. Khwela/ Nkhoesa had regained the lead at the Inanda Dam wall portage and managed to put about one minute between them and the chasers. But it was a costly move in kilometres of flat water. By the time they got to Side Chute the leaders had managed to grind out another minute and they were burning matches fast in order to have an unassailable lead by the time they got to the flat waters to Durban. The youthful pair of Msiya/ Mtolo were turning out to be formidable foes over this distance.


Khwela/ Nkhoesa then opted to run the Burma Road portage due in part to their damaged canoe but also backing Khwela’s phenomenal ability to run with a boat. Msiya/ Mtolo opted to do the same and kept up the relentless pressure all the way to the top, gaining on the leaders. It was there that it all came apart as the effort of staying in the lead took its toll on Nkhoesa and he came down with cramps. In the end Khwela ran down to the put-in with the double on his shoulders in order to stay in contention. The pair of Thabani Msiya/ Msawenkosi Mtolo were unstoppable from there on out as they made their way through the last rapids of the day and over the mud flats on their way in to Durban to claim the 2020 Garden City Commercials Non-Stop Dusi Canoe

Marathon title in a time of 8:17:15. Sbonelo Khwela/Banetse Nkhoesa were able to hold on to second after a day that was hamstrung by boat issues – not quite what Khwela had in mind. They were followed by the gutsy U23 pair of Jabulani Gwamanda/Mpilo Zondi in a time of 8:29 Just over an hour and a half later the K1’s started crossing the finish line lead by Bruce Brauteseth in a time of 9:39:10. In second place came Stuart Roberts and right behind him Derek Stutterheim. Martin Dreyer managed to add to his Non-Stop Dusi titles, this time with his wife Jeannie as they claimed the mixed doubles title in a time of 9:09:38. They also came 6th overall in this ultra-distance event.

RESULTS 1. Msawenkosi Mtolo/Thabani Msiya (U23) 8:17:15 2. Sbonelo Khwela/Banetse Nkhoesa 8:24:38 3. Jabulani Gwamanda/Mpilo Zondi (U23) 8:29:06 4. Richard Cele/Mfaniseni Nyambose 8:42:01 5. Shaun Dias/Konrad Karcz 9:01:23 6. Martin Dreyer/Jeannie Dreyer 9:09:38 (1st MD) 7. Jody Taylor/Duane Taylor 9:23:54 8. Bruce Brauteseth 9:39:10 (1st K1) 9. Stuart Roberts 9:48:53 10. Derek Stutterheim 9:48:55




IMAGES Paul Nixon




front plank

double leg raises


single leg bridging

crunch bicycle


side plank

side plank hip lifts

Click on the links to connect with us: Hayley-Jo Nixon Wild Dog Squad

@hayleszn @wilddogza

If you are interested in a paddling programme for the future or would like a personal lockdown programme please contact Hayley: THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 47

South Africans in The Liffey Descent By Iain Maclean Published by Maclean Publications 2019

South Africans mentioned in the top finishes in Iain Maclean’s The Liffey Descent 60 years of Ireland’s toughest canoe challenge Maclean (2019) has developed a set of results from 1960-2018 for the internationally acclaimed river race known as the Liffey Descent. A canoe race has been held on the Liffey River every year since 1960 and the list of results is as close to complete as possible. Over the years many South Africans have been involved in the race, and as readers of THEPADDLEMAG you may be interested to know: In 1969 the van Riet brothers, Willem and Roelof, and in 1972 Anthony Scott, Paul Chalupsky, Andre Collins, Jacque Vandemere and others disregarded the antiapartheid boycott to take top places in the Liffey race. In 1980 Tim Biggs, Jerome Truran, Chris Greef, Lance Park and Oliver Chalupsky, again in defiance of international directives, registered as White Water Racers. Despite the ban on South Africa from all international competitions, in 1981 an even larger contingent tried to race in the Liffey Descent, some taking to the water without bibs despite the ban. Due to the repercussions the South Africans 48 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

did not reappear until the end of apartheid in the early 1990s when they were welcomed back - by the organisers and sponsor alike! First up in 1992 were South Africans Daniel Conradie and Anthony Stevens who were gracious winners of the K2 class in rainy and muddy conditions. It may interest South Africans to know that Australia won their only K1 class in the Liffey Descent in the Dublin Millennium year of 1988 which was when Michelle Barry won the first of her eleven victories in the women’s K1, and the youngest crew ever to complete the course were an 11 and 12 year old! Irish paddler Gary Mawer features prominently in thrilling spills and finishes - Mawer won the K1 class in 2001 and a trip to the Fish River race. In 1994 South Africans Neil Evans and Graham Bird took second place in the K2 class in the Liffey, while in the same year a young Hank McGregor made his first appearance as a K1 junior. The following year, 1995, he crashed out of the race on Straffan weir. This was also the year that a South African woman, Deborah Geldard took second place in the women’s K1 class. In 1997 Rory Bohm was second in the K1s. Rob Ollars and Grant Wilson were second in K2s in 1997 and Bruce Wenke and Paddy Strickland in 2000 (they were given the same time as winners). Mark Hutson was second in K1s in 2000 but in 2001 Hutson and

Kenlea Murray gained notoriety for ramming Peter Egan and Jason Briody who were lying second. Egan and Briody were recognised and awarded the silver medal. 2001 the Dusi King Graeme Pope-Ellis and Dave Rawlinson finished sixth. 2002 Herman Chalupsky, son of Paul Chalupsky (of 1969 notoriety) with Gordon Emmet finished fifth in K2 class while Len Jenkins, known to paddlers of the Fish River race, won the K1 class. In 2003 Sven and Dion Bruss were the winners of the K2. Jaysen Golding and Kenneth Collins came third in the K2 in 2007; Barry Lewin won the K1 in 2007. Ryan and Greg Louw won the K2 in 2008 in a boat lent to them by Gary Mawer when theirs went to Singapore by accident! In 2015 Louw and Ernest van Riet were second (their father also of 1969 notoriety). In 2016 Hank McGregor and Furby took fifth place and Bianca Beavitt was second in the women’s K1 class. In 2018 Jenna Ward and Ryan O’Connor came second in the mixed doubles. Over the years the course has changed, finally settling on the seventeen miles and seventeen weirs from Straffan to Trinity Boat Club. Maclean provides all the times over the various courses but leaves it to the reader to decide on the fastest race! The list of results has also been posted on the Canoeing Ireland website. wendy annecke

SURFSKI: Perfecting your technique by Kevin Brunette This has been my go to book for the last couple of years. After the 2014 Cape Point Challenge I could not lift my arms for about three days and realised that over the years my technique had deteriorated completely. There are a number of reasons for this; paddling a too unstable boat, compensating for a front paddler and not maintaining my own level of fitness are just some of the reasons. This book takes me back to the basics in terms of setting up my ski, how and where I hold my paddle and getting ready to work on my technique. What I really like about the book is that we often hear the words – Recover – Preparation – Catch – Draw – Exit and this book explains in detail exactly what you should be doing in each step. The book then goes on towards optimising your stroke rate and putting in in a vital feedback loop. There needs to be a measure of your improvement be it less shoulder pain, lower heart rate or increased boat speed. The last chapter is on how you put it all together with your doubles partner so that neither of you have to compromise too much on your technique in order to paddle together. CLICK TO BUY NOW


Winter Squash, Leek & Vegetable Soup


This hearty and healthy winter inspired soup is jam packed with nutrients that will give your immune system a little boost, even on the coldest of winter days. Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 15 minutes Servings 4

Ingredients 1 butternut squash

2 carrots

2 leeks

2 stalks celery

2 cups spinach

1/2 yellow onion medium

2-3 cloves garlic

4 cups vegetable broth organic

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 block sprouted tofu organic

pinch sea salt or to taste

herbs optional rosemary and oregano

2 shiitake mushrooms dried; optional but adds nice flavour to the broth. Either whole or powdered

Directions 1. In a stock pot slightly saute the onion, garlic, leek, carrots celery with minimal oil on low heat 3-4 min. 2. Add the cubed squash, shiitake mushroom, broth and turn to medium heat for 30 mins or when the squash is soft. Add the spinach at this point. 3. While the soup is on slice a sprouted tofu block into 1 cm cubes, place them on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil, herbs, and a pinch of sea salt or tamari. Bake these at 350 for 20mins. 4. When the soup is thoroughly cooked, you can either keep this with broth and vegetable chunks, or choose to puree the whole soup, or half the soup. Our style is half pureed, half chunky. 5. Add croutons to the soup when serving.

Recipe Notes: We used an entire pack of dried chanterelle mushrooms and added some sage and thyme for an earthier taste.

Article and images: THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 51


Jeep Surfski World Series 2014 Episode 4-Pete Marlin surfski challenge CLICK TO WATCH NOW

Stroke & Body Technique Module Canoe Sprint CLICK TO WATCH NOW


week 3




Managing Fear IMAGES Curtesy Celliers Kruger




It feels somewhat trivial to write about managing fear in the context of paddling, while we deal with the all-encompassing existential crisis of the coronavirus that is sweeping across the globe. But, there are some parallels that can be drawn. What is fear? The dictionary says that fear is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined.This definition is insightful. Firstly, fear is an emotion, and an emotion is something that can be controlled, albeit with great difficulty sometimes. We also know that fear can be rational or irrational. Fear is ultimately a powerful lifepreserving function, honed over millennia of evolution. For most of human’s history, life was an endless battle to stay alive, and it didn’t really matter if the fear was rational or irrational - the only important factor was whether it kept you alive or not. We now live in an age where we willingly put ourselves in potentially dangerous situations, and our ability to deal with the fear is not necessarily a matter of life and death, but it can mean the difference between a shameful bailing out versus an Instagramable picture. Secondly, the perceived threat can be real or imagined. This brings about some interesting permutations. It follows that one can have a rational fear of a real threat. But, one can also have an irrational fear of a real threat. On the flipside, one can have a rational fear of an imagined threat. Finally, one can have irrational fear of an imagined threat. Let me create some context for these permutations, as an understanding of the concept of

fear will be beneficial before I get to the nitty-gritty of managing it. • Rational fear of a real threat: This is easy to imagine. Imagine being on top of a big waterfall, or trapped in the surf zone with a massive swell rolling in. Those are some real threats, and rational fear in this type of situation is a very healthy thing to have. • Rational fear of an imagined threat: This is not as silly as it seems. An imagined threat can be based on previous experience with a real threat that had the same appearance. Let us say for instance you’re paddling down a river and you see spray rising a distance away. Previous experience of seeing such spray will indicate that there is likely a waterfall ahead. But, in reality, it may just be a nice rapid where wind blowing from just the right direction has whipped up some of the spray. The fear is still rational, even though the threat may end up being imagined. • Irrational fear of a real threat: This is often the most harmful fear that paddlers encounter. As explained above, rational fear for a real threat is normal and often beneficial. But when one has the skill and ability to engage with the threat in a positive way, but the fear is so overwhelming that it is impossible to utilise said skills, the fear becomes irrational and debilitating. • Irrational fear of an imagined threat: This is where the wheels really comes off. When one reaches this point, it is a hopeless exercise to continue and it is best to just get off the water and sort out your head. When talking about a threat, it is natural to think of the threat as a

physical thing, like a waterfall or a weir or a big wave breaking on a nasty reef. But, the threat can also be a psychological element, like failure. One can fear failure. One can also fear the unknown. There are many threats that can be feared, and fear can be paralysing. In managing fear, it is important not to confuse it with bravado or riding on adrenaline. Bravado often leads to injury, and riding on adrenaline is only good if it is rooted in a solid skill set. When dealing with fear, it is all about building the courage to face the fear squarely in the eye. Courage is not a constant. It is slippery emotion that is affected by testosterone, experience, skill, fitness, injury, equipment and general state of mind. The good news is that, apart from testosterone, these are all aspects that can be worked on with a bit of effort. By consciously improving on these different facets, you create a positive mindset to overcome fear.

Skill Knowing that you don’t have the skill set to deal with a situation is extremely debilitating. Get coaching! A good coach will help you to improve your skills in a safe environment, progressing to more difficult situations at a pace that you can handle. As much as the lack of skill can be debilitating, knowing you have a solid skill set can be equally powerful. What is considered a solid skill set will depend on the type of craft you paddle and where you want to paddle it, but it will typically include the following: reading the water correctly, a variety of paddle strokes, rolling, knowing how to swim safely with your kayak, and knowing how to re-enter your kayak. THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 59


knowledge on to you.

Nothing beats experience. Experience enables you to distinguish between truly dangerous situations and those that just appear to be so. In other words, to distinguish between real and imagined threats. Experience is gained through good coaching and by spending time on the water with paddlers who can pass their

Keep in mind that gaining experience takes time. If you’re a sporty person, you might gain skills quickly. Don’t confuse skill with experience. Take it slow and keep it steady. Trying to advance too quickly can put you in a situation that you are simply not ready for.



When you want to step up your game and start paddling more difficult waters, whether that be on flatwater, whitewater or the ocean, arm yourself with knowledge of whatever you want to attempt. If you are aiming to cross a big lake, learn the typical wind direction, what weather patterns to look out for, how cold the water is, etc. If you want to paddle a new river or a

new rapid, get insight from paddlers who have paddled it before or study a guidebook. If you want to attempt a section of ocean that you haven’t done before, find out what the tides are doing, where the best launch sites are, what breaks to avoid, and so on. The more you know, the less there is to worry about.


Not being fit enough has both a psychological and physical effect. Knowing you’re not fit enough to deal with the consequences if things go wrong can be as debilitating as knowing that you lack the skills. From a physical point of view, as you get more tired on a trip, you also lose confidence. The solution is obvious: get fit! Being able to hold your breath for longer than just a few seconds if you’re trapped under

water can make the difference between life and death.

Injury Having an untreated or recovering injury messes with your head.You’re constantly aware of it, it may cause pain while you’re paddling, and it also makes you hesitant to do anything that could make the injury worse. Get it fixed, or give it time to heal.


Equipment When situations get rough, your life depends on your equipment. Substandard equipment not only puts you at risk, it also affects your confidence when you know that your kayak or paddle could break at any moment, or that your PFD will not really keep you safe if you take a swim, or that your helmet may get ripped off if you capsize. This is the easiest thing to remedy. Inspect your equipment regularly, and fix or replace items timeously.

State of mind When all these factors are dealt with, you are left with your own state of mind, and that is often the biggest hurdle to overcome. It is not a battle that you can win completely for all eternity, but the more you knock the fear down, the weaker it will be. To quote the late Hendri Coetzee: “You will end up fighting the battles in your conscious mind on the plains of actual risk where they should be fought, not in the shadows of your subconscious mind where irrational fear rules”. Getting to know your fear is like playing chess against the same opponent, time and again.You get to know its weaknesses and peculiarities. Everyone’s fear is different and has different triggers. By playing chess with your personal fear regularly, you learn to anticipate its go-to moves, and you figure out ways to obstruct those moves and counterattack.You get to understand when it is just a bluff and when it is the real deal. Fear is a formidable opponent, and you cannot expect to win every time. Sometimes you will win, sometimes you will lose. The key 62 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

is to not run away from the battle. And always keep in mind, fear exists for a reason. Sometimes fear has to get the upper hand to save you from your own stupidity. Also, remember that fear is bipolar. Sometimes it is rational, sometimes it is not. It is brilliant at disguising its irrational side, pretending to act in your best interest.You only get to learn how to distinguish between the two when you intimately engage with it. The best way to lose your fear of FEAR is to become desensitised to it. This means regular exposure in small doses. Get comfortable in its presence. Put yourself in situations that simulate your worst fears but that are not lethal. Face your fears in the presence of a good safety net; surround yourself with competent fellow paddlers. Take the beating, survive, and realise that it wasn’t so bad after all. And do it again and again. You will learn that fear itself cannot hurt you and can be managed.You just have to practise being scared. The better you manage your fear, the more you keep its ugly cousin at bay: panic. Panic kills, and you want to stay away from it as far as possible. Visualise Remember that rational fear of a real threat is only useful when you have to decide whether you are going to do something or not. Once you have started doing it, there should be no room left for fear.You cannot afford to be distracted or paralyzed. Therefore, once you have the skills, equipment and state of mind sorted out, you will be able to employ the most useful technique

of visualisation.Visualising helps to eliminate unnecessary mental calculations when you’re in the thick of it, freeing your mind to achieve a state of flow where fear doesn’t exist. Practise visualising familiar sections. The better you get at it, the more beneficial it will become in difficult situations.

Everyone is different, and some will find some facets of managing fear more difficult to work on than others. The important thing is to be aware of your shortcomings and to consciously try to improve on them. With some practice, you will be able to better distinguish between rational and irrational fear and also between real or imagined threats, and you will have the tools to manage that fear.



Thule Surfboard Pads Top length: 75cm

Thickness: 4cm

As luck would have it instead of the usual two months that we get to review a product, we had almost three even with the #Lockdown. This gave us the chance to load and unload all sort of craft on to it from my son’s super light guppy and plastic kayak to our fabulous 38kg Mazowe made by Vagabond.

In a laps of reason, when I suddenly had to rush off to the airport, my single kayak weighing 30kg was left on the roof of my car while I was out of town for almost a week. Coming home I was worried that I would find this flat piece of rubber separating my kayak from the roof rack. So as soon as I got home I put down my bags and went out to the car to take the kayak off the roof. I need not have worried at all – the pads were just as thick as when I left them. No signs of the rails or anything on the surf pads. We can safely say that we have loaded and off loaded at least 40 kayaks in that time period and most of them were the Mazowes which are much heavier that the expected surfboards with no visible signs of wear and tear.

The 3 BIG PLUSES: They are tough. Our kayaks have been dragged across the surf pads again and again and still they look brand new. They are firm. It doesn’t matter if they have the sharp rails, the sides of a cockpit or the flat bottom of a plastic kayak the moment we took the boat off the pads went back to their original shape. The thickness of the pads. Sometimes when loading a K1 or K2 only one of the cockpits actually fits on the surf pad, the nose of the other cockpit gets stuck in between the roof racks. The pads are so nice and thick that even the back deck is on the pad the raised cockpit is still well clear of the roof of the car. In fact we can safely say that with a set of Thule DockGrip cradles and a set of surfboard pads we cannot think of any craft that you would not be able to transport safely.


High Altitude Surf Ski Championships

IMAGE Bertie Baard A number of Gauteng based canoeists who enjoy paddling in white water, also travel frequently to the coast to participate in the surfski races that take place in the ocean..... With the planned upcoming Surfski National Championships planned, Gauteng based paddlers need a trial in order to be selected to represent the province at the national event. Many years ago, they came up with a novel idea of hosting an inland high altitude surfski race to serve as team trials! The event became extremely popular and paddlers of various different ages and abilities enjoy participating in the fun 64 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

event....... The 10th High Altitude Surf Ski Championships known as HASSC took place on Saturday 14 March 2020, at 15h30 on a sunny bright late summer day at Emmarentia Dam - hosted by the Dabulamanzi Canoe Club. The course consisted of 10km with 10 x 1km laps To produce the challenging “surf” conditions, motorboats and jetski motors are used at Emmarentia dam (thanks to boat drivers as well as Hutton Motors for the fuel!) and participants are allowed to race (provided they have passed the required basic proficiencies per regulations from Canoe South

Africa which include swimming ability) in any sit on top craft! The top finishing winners in both the men’s and ladies categories were in fact world champion canoeists with multiple gold medals for international marathon racing as well as surfski racing - well known guests of honour - Hank McGregor who partnered with Gauteng’s Wayne Jacobs, in 42 min 46 sec and Hayley Nixon - partnered with young Gauteng local Alexis Rich finished in 49.25. Clinton Cook partnered with Hamish Lovemore to take the 2nd the men’s race finishing in 44.14.

Wade Krieger won the singles K1 category in a time of 49:50, and also the lucky draw happily going home with a Fenn Swordfish - branded FENNIX (A play on the Phoenix mythical bird rising from the ashes - when the Fenn factory burnt down!) while various other prizes were also won thanks to donations from SET/CanoeConcepts / Watt / Adreach and numerous other contributors - while the delicious gourmet hamburgers supplied by Standard Bank were much appreciated and enjoyed!

IMAGE Jeannie Dallas







Ins &outs

Paddling your 12’6/14ft race board through the waves to the backline as hard as you can, turning at the back and catching a wave in. The idea is to get your heartrate as high as possible on the way out through the surf and then recover and rest on your way in while riding a wave! Doing In’s and Out’s through the surf on your race board is one of the best ways to get paddling fit. Some of the benefits of training in and out through the surf are, balance, strength and power! If you are new to this type of training you can start by doing one or two of these exercises on a small, clean day – and then slowly increase the number while learning to master all conditions!

Five tips to help you get started! •

Always make sure your board is facing straight out to sea or straight towards the beach. Never parallel to the wave!

Use short fast strokes through the surf.

When the white water of the wave hits you make sure your back foot is at the back of your board. Pushing down on the tail of your board allows your nose to lift up and over the white water.

Always wear a leash. If you feel uncomfortable in the waves you can also wear a PFD (lifejacket) and helmet.

Make sure you are pulling with your ‘bigger’ muscles (eg: abs) rather than just your arms. tarryn king


CONSIDER THE 3 W’S: Once you’ve decided what area you want to take your SUP board out on, you have to prepare for the different elements you will be dealing with… Wind Wind is not a force you want to recon with on your SUP board.You can catch a lot of breeze standing atop your board, like a mini sail. So, always check the forecast! Winds can cause choppy waters and make for a bumpy ride. Wind speeds below 10 knots are usually safe for most skill levels. But anything above 10 knots- you should know how to handle more extreme conditions before paddling out! Extra SUP Board Wind Safety Tips*Before launching, figure out which way the wind is blowing and paddle against it, that way when you return, more fatigued from a day of paddling, you won’t be fighting against the wind. Instead of pushing against the wind the wind will push you. *If you are caught fighting against the wind and find yourself struggling to get back to shore, lay flat on your stomach and use your arms to paddle back to shore. This is more aerodynamic, stopping your body from catching wind and sending you further away from your landing point. Waves Sometimes big waves can be totally tubular, that is if you’re out there SUP surfing. No matter what reason you find yourself out on the water, it’s always safest to be mindful of the swell. Underestimate the waves, and you could get pushed farther out than intended, tumble off, or exert more physical strength navigating than you planned. Always research the coastline before taking your SUP board out and get a good sense of the wave patterns. Decide if you want to chill in calm waters or wipe out on some gnarly waves dude Water Your safety while SUP boarding is largely dependent on your understanding of the water you’re dealing with. Always consider the water’s temperature, current, and tides. The shoreline when you launch will most likely look different then when you left. Always plan your route using currents and tides to your advantage to avoid getting stuck out at sea or over exhaustion on your return. And to ensure total safety and enjoyment always dress for the right water temperature. THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 69

Visualising a stroke IMAGE Kevin Brunette 70 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA


At times when paddling on the sea is not always practical or possible, there are plenty of activities that you can do to maintain your paddling skills. One of them is to visualise your paddling stroke, embedding a perfect stroke into muscle memory. The complex path a blade tip has to follow makes it difficult to deliver a perfect stroke, one after the next. Complication comes from the physical actions having to be integrated into a fluid movement, identical across the left and right. Visualisation is an accepted means of repeating a muscular movement through mental imagery, making the delivery automatic and permanent. A visualised stroke should be a movement that you can understand, identify and replicate on and off the water, perhaps involving an image that you see of yourself.

Reinforcing the physical movement It is easy to train your mind to obey a thought process and once done, your body faithfully reproduces what is asked of it. Visualising a perfect action can save many hundreds of hours of stroke correction on the water. Visualising a stroke can iron out irregularities and unevenness. With the compound actions to be integrated, it is tricky working on them all simultaneously. Focus on one at a time, working your way through until all are covered. The process can be repeated many thousands of times to reinforce the level of precision. Think of the precise path a blade 72 THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA

has to follow to generate maximum power, then replicate this movement through accurate hand and eye coordination. Including a small muscular movement supports the visualisation process.You can close your eyes, visualising the planes and circles in which your hands, elbows, arms, shoulders and hips should be moving.

Emphasizing the power points The force you deliver at a catch should be in a slightly downward direction, contained around your centre of gravity, giving the sensation of lifting your weight. Pay attention to where you apply directional pressure through a heel on the footplate and your bum pushing against the seat hump. The major portion of the force generated should be through a heel, driving the craft forward. Visualise where you are producing power in the stroking cycle and how it is hauling your craft past the anchoring point. Think about the precise muscles engaged, and those controlling the action. Sequence the recruitment of muscles, from the larger to the smaller controlling muscles, maximising control over the movement. Focus on power coming from the lower extremity of a blade, transferred through your core to the boat.Visualise the angle of the blade in the forward and lateral planes, which should be just off vertical in the forward plane and vertical at the exit in the lateral plane.

Maximising fluidity

A stroke has to be visualised as smooth for it to be fluid in practice. Integrate each action into a flowing movement, particularly the transition from a recovery on one side to a catch on the other. Optimise each blade trajectory, projecting this onto the paddle shaft. Many thousands of repetitions can be necessary to embed a stroke into muscle memory, with many more to modify an established action. Even with a perfect action in memory, it can take time before your paddling structure is able to fully support an unfamiliar movement. KEVIN BRUNETTE

SURFSKI KNOW-HOW Expand your know-how by reading books in the SURFSKI series, which contain practical and easy-to-understand reference material on the sport. The content is especially applicable to individuals from disciplines such as lifesaving, river canoeing and adventure sports that seek the transition to surfski. CLICK TO KNOW MORE


Feather angle facts The feather angle is the angle between the two blades of a paddle. It is also the source of a never-ending debate about ‘the perfect angle’. The main reason that this debate is still ongoing is that paddlers get attached to the feather angle that they are used to and they will defend the merits of their chosen/taught angle without ever considering alternatives or understanding the mechanics behind it. Allow me to shed some light on this issue. There are two ways to control your paddle, and the method you use determines the correct feather angle. 1) You use one hand exclusively as the controlling hand, which grips the shaft tightly, while the other hand allows the shaft to rotate in it. When you use this method, the correct feather angle is determined by the angle of your paddle stroke. It is that simple. It is a matter of physics. 2) You use both hands to control the blade, alternating between the hands with every stroke. When you use this method, the best feather angle is zero degrees, although


a different angle can work if you understand the technique well enough.

hand’s side, your wrist should not cock forward or back to make the blade go smoothly into the water.

Using one controlling hand

On the opposite side, the shaft should be free to turn inside your hand to allow the blade to enter the water correctly. In other words, you only grip the shaft with this hand when the blade enters the water, after aligning it correctly. If you need to cock your controlling wrist to align the opposite blade correctly, it means that the feather angle is incorrect for your paddle stroke. And this is the crux: the more vertical your paddle stroke is, the bigger the feather angle needs to be to align the opposite blade correctly.

The most common way of controlling a paddle, which started way back when most paddles had a 90-degree feather angle, is to use one controlling hand. The original reason for setting the blades at 90° was to reduce wind resistance on the upper blade. Nowadays, very few paddles have a 90° feather angle as it turned out to have detrimental effects on paddling style and efficiency. Most paddlers use right-hand control. Whether you are left- or right-handed is irrelevant as you quickly adapt to whichever control you start with. For this reason, I always advise new paddlers to go with right-hand control, as this makes it so much easier to buy a new or second-hand paddle, and even more so if you suddenly need to use someone else’s paddle in an emergency. The blade on your control hand’s side should line up perfectly with your hand. In other words, when you take a stroke on your control

To give a specific example: if the majority of your paddle strokes are at 45°, the feather angle of your paddle should be around 45°. There will be times when you need to do more vertical or more horizontal strokes for whatever reason.You would then compensate by cocking your wrist forward or back. But, if you have to cock your controlling wrist with every stroke taken on the opposite side, it means that you need to adjust your feather angle. It is, of course, entirely possible

to use a paddle with a feather angle that differs from the angle of your paddling strokes. But, it just means that your controlling wrist always have to compensate for the difference. This increases fatigue, and can even cause wrist problems. The angle at which you paddle depends on a number of factors. With a wing paddle, for instance, you only get the benefit of the wing shape when the blade is fairly vertical in the water - at least 60°. Long distance paddling with a touring paddle is often done at about 30° to 45°. In whitewater, a flatter stroke is often used for the sake of stability, with angles ranging from 15° to 45°. Angles of 80° to 90° are useful for canoe polo (goal keeping) and slalom (dodging poles). When you paddle against a strong headwind, a high feather angle creates the least drag. When you paddle with a strong side wind, a zero feather angle will give you the least hassles. It is surprisingly easy to adjust to different feather angles, because it is so directly connected to stroke angles. Using the exact same technique, a 60° feather angle will feel the same when you do high angle strokes as a 45° feather angle when you do less vertical strokes. Using two controlling hands This technique is favoured by a growing number of paddlers due to the simplicity and symmetry of the load. It forces you to relax each

hand during each stroke, reducing strain on joints. In essence, when you use this technique, you swop controlling hands every time you complete a stroke. With a zero-degree feather angle, you will swop controlling hands the moment the paddle shaft is horizontal - right after you pull the blade out of the water. Let’s say you do a stroke with the right blade.Your right hand holds the paddle tight during the pull, while the left upper hand is somewhat loose while pushing. The shaft will rotate in your left hand during the stroke. By the time the stroke is completed and the blade comes out of the water, the left hand and wrist will be lined up correctly with the left blade. At this moment, you grip the shaft with the left hand, and relax your right hand to allow the shaft to rotate while you set up and complete the stroke on the left hand. This technique with zero-degree feather angle works with any type of paddle, including wing paddles, touring paddles and whitewater paddles. If you’re into Greenland paddles, there is no other choice. Many freestyle kayakers use zero feather because it means that both blades are active or inactive at the same time whilst manoeuvring the paddle underwater, and it also helps for balance in a bow stall. You may want to use a feather angle for a different reason, such

as reduced wind resistance or for safety in heavy whitewater. In this case, you can still use the technique of two controlling hands, but your timing should be different to switch control between the two hands. How do I know if I should change my feather angle? Knowing if you should change your feather angle is as important as knowing how much to change it. If you suffer from chronic wrist fatigue, it is a sure sign that you need to make some changes. Otherwise, you could get a friend to take some video footage of you paddling. Focus on two specific shots: 1) Get a close-up of your controlling hand and wrist (if you use one controlling hand), to see if you are doing any unnecessary wrist cocking. 2) Get footage from straight ahead or straight behind to see at what angle your paddle is most of the time. You may be surprised to learn that the feather angle you are using is not as suited to your style as you thought. Try a variety of feather angles in different conditions, focus on stroke, blade placement and how your hands and wrists are positioned. As an added benefit, you may also pick up some other flaws in your paddling style; it is always a good idea to evaluate your own style from time to time. CELLIERS KRUGER



Race Dates to Watch *** Subject to change of course! RACE SA Sprint Champs Freedom Paddle ICF Sprint Cup 1 King of the Bay ( SA S1 & S2 Champs) ICF Sprint World Cup and Olympic qualifier Maui Jim Molokai Challenge SA Canoe Marathons Scottburgh 2 Brighton Mauritius Ocean Classic Berg River Marathon ICF Sprints Canoe Polo Canadian Ocean Racing Champs Gorge Downwind (WSSL) ICF Junior and U23 Sprints Tokyo Olympics

ORIGINAL DATE 1 – 5 April 27 April 8 – 10 May 9 /10 May 21 – 24 May 24 May 13 – 15 May 20 or 21 May 21 – 29 June 8 – 11 July 10 – 12 July 11 & 12 July 6 -11 July 13 – 18 July 16 – 19 July 26 July 2020

NEW PROPOSED DATE Cancelled 24 October 2020 Cancelled Postponed to later in the year Cancelled 24 May 13 – 15 May TBC Postponed but no indication of when TBC Postponed TBC Cancelled Still on with a medical advisory Cancelled 23 July 2021



How to Set Your Paddle Feather For Maximum Performance CLICK TO WATCH NOW


RUN THE RIVERS by Celliers Kruger Do something different when we all come out of lockdown... Pick a section of river that you have never paddled! what better time than now to get planning! Grab a copy of this awesome book and get dreaming with your mates! I am sure like us, you are meeting up over Zoom! Make sure to let us know where you are heading, and send in pics and stories of your adventures. Get your copy from Amazon.


The Perfect Energy Ball Formula STANDARD ENERGY BALL: 1 cup medjool dates 1 cup nuts/seeds 2 – 3 tablespoons nut butter Blend that up in a food processor, roll them into balls and you’re good to go! How to Customize Your Energy Ball Recipe There really is no end to the possibilities with your flavor combos for energy balls! You’ll see some of my favorite recipes below, but if you’re trying to get creative, here are the places you can change things up: •

Dried Fruit: dates, figs, dried apples/ mangoes & dried berries all work

Nuts/Seeds: use any combination you’d like (I love adding coconut)

Flavored Powders: adding things like cacao or protein powder is a great way to change up the flavor!

Spices: just like with cooking, you can add spices to transform your flavors! Some of my favorites are cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice!

Article and images:


Radar & Evinrude Paddle with Evinrude and you will know all about the physicality of my chum. The original champion of the man-hug, he quickly learnt the chest-pump, and also has the unpopular unexpected rugby-tacklefrom-behind as part of his social repertoire. As a paddling partner, he thrives on reversed low-fives from the frontseat paddler (he never drives – long story) or paddle fives after shooting a major rapid successfully. Get on his wrong side and you see the goblin side of Evinrude. Don’t every try and cut in front of us going into a rapid. That will lead to a full body check (if he can

reach) or at worst a lateral paddlestroke across the chest designed to cause as much pain as it is intend to impede the progress of the errant would-be-overtaker. But most of the time he is his usual good-natured self, pacing around race finishes waiting like an eagle ready to swoop, diving in his spadelike paws to shake hands with an unsuspecting victim. I saw him mangle the blistered hands of one unlucky paddler at the finish of the Non-Stop Dusi. This poor soul had just finished a tenth Non-Stop (largely off-the-shelf) and it had been a hurt-fest, despite the good water.

That was the day the ickey stuff hit the fan and coronavirus shutdown started. Evinrude was chilled, apart from a brief tirade against anything Chinese, until he heard Donald Trump come up with the term Kung Flu, which he thought was hilarious. Everything changed when they started cancelling sport. Umko. Gone. Two Oceans. Gone. SA Lifesaving Champs. Gone. Epic. Gone. Tour Durban. Gone. Olympics and Comrades - We aint going anywhere. Hold that thought actually…. Then the dark forces of microbiology robbed Evinrude of watching his beloved Sharks play THEPADDLEMAG.CO.ZA 81

Super Rugby. Then cricket went for a burton as well, just as his Dolphins team was getting ready for their semi-final. “We were gonna win them both this season” he bleated, before unpacking his latest conspiracy theory that it was Bulls and the Titans who were behind the virus because they needed an excuse for how rubbish they both were this season. Social distancing became the thing. Don’t you dare stand within two metres of him in the queue at Checkers. In a flash he rips out his tape measure, zings it out to 2,00 metres against the offenders forehead while pressing them backwards like he had Prof Dumbledore’s walking stick. After three days of self-quaratine Evinrude was starting to crack. He had been banned from any further singing of Don McLean’s “American Pie” – his favourite way to pass the time – so he insisted on going for a social-distance paddle on the dam. Social distancing in sport gets complicated. Think about it. As soon as someone is ahead, then the chaser has to pass around them by at least six metres and stay six metres away and ahead still they can get back into the racing line.

good friend. A local resident in the valley, runner up in the Dusi, and out for a late paddle as well. He quickly drops me and takes off after the paddler in front of us. Evinrude. Luckily they both turned at the top can so I could see this all playing itself out. Evinrude heard the approaching paddle splashes and upped his speed to red-line. Still the local hottie came boring down on him. “Get Away. Six metres!” he yelled, as a last resort to try and salvage his two beer booty. They were side by side as they came to the jetty that marks the end of the time trial course. The local hottie snuck ahead and extended a hand to thank Evinrude for the fun duel to the line. “Get thee hence to endless night, Corona!” he got instead before the inevitable paddle stroke across the chest, and my Dusi and Non-Stop Dusi champ mate in his twitchy race boat was in the dam, while Evinrude claimed it on the line, repeating Hank McGregor’s paddle spear from the World Marathon Championships a few years back. Only then did the penny drop. Ashamed, he turned and towed him to the side, uttering an amazing concoction of obscenities in lieu of an apology.

So we start our 8km time trial, with the usual bet of two beers for the winner. Which ensured that he races faster than Caster.

He did shake his hand, albeit somewhat controversially after spraying both of them with hand sanitiser before he did so.

We start six metres apart and off he goes, like a scalded cat. It was a bit of a late start and by the time we got to the bottom of the dam it was getting dark. I was nowhere and could only watch Evinrude get smaller and smaller in front of me when, all of a sudden, alongside is a

He is back in his hutch, quarantined in his home. Fretting about whether the big races in the second half of the year will actually happen.


Dedicated to Mark Perrow, who was Evinrude’s brother-fromanother-mother.


Profile for The Paddle Mag

Paddle Mag 2 2020 April|May  

In the midst of Corona chaos we bring you 3 weeks of Lockdown Loaded: Be Inspired by what paddlers have been doing. Celebrate with Andy Birk...

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