Header12 DECEMBER 2017


You have been spared the weakly irritation of the dreaded “corner” for the past fortnight, as I have been “relocating” to Durban.

In the old days we just used to “move”. Nowadays one “relocates”. The change in terminology may have something to do with the amount of absolutely non-essential garbage that one hoards (actually, what the wife hoards) over the years.

Major lifestyle adjustment moving from a 9 bedroom, 5 bathroom house with a 180% sea view in a large estate, to a 3 bedroom (can’t close the door because the bed is too big) apartment. The price one pays for a decent education for kids.

The upside is that I can now irritate the Durban paddling community on a daily basis.

Our media partners are going on leave for a couple of weeks. This means that this may be the last newsletter until the new year.

Anyway, here goes.

The river season is in full swing in KZN and Gauteng. The rain that we complain about on a daily basis has still not made its way down to the Cape.

A host of paddlers enjoyed an exciting level for the no. 8 to Josephine’s race on Sunday.

The major paddling race on the calendar this weekend is the Fenn Cape Point Challenge. By the look of windguru, competitors will have a testing first half against a not insignificant NE.

Paddling around the pint is always special. Some don’t get to enjoy it that much, as they struggle to stay in their boats in the chop caused by the rebound waves off the cliffs.

Another, far older, ski race will take place on the same day, even though it may not have the same number of participants. The Winkle/Toti/Winkle has been on the calendar for years and provides some of the city boys (like myself) an opportunity to venture to the outback of the south coast.

For the far more adventurous, Underberg will provide the perfect setting where you will have the opportunity to test the strength of your marriage, engagement, parenthood, friendship, or whatever relationship constitutes a legal entry into the KZN mixed doubles championships.

Onto the business end.

SAMSA regulations and PFD’s.

As very few of you will know (because almost nobody reads this official stuff), CSA has been granted the status of “Authorised Agent” by SAMSA.

SAMSA is the South African Maritime Safety Authority. They basically control what is allowed and what is not allowed on all of the country’s waterways and coastline.

They have a fairly stringent list of requirements that need to be complied with before you are allowed to head off into the blue yonder, or around Emmarentia dam, or wherever else you can think of.

The status of “authorised agent” means that we have been granted the authority to be self-regulatory” to a certain extent, and that we do not have to adhere to all of the stringent requirements that would normally apply.

The status was granted after a lengthy negotiation, during which we had to prove that our safety protocols were adequate. The status gets reviewed every 3 years.

One of the numerous issues that SAMSA wanted clarity on was the wearing of PFD’s (personal floatation devises). In order for them to accept the PFD that we recommended, they needed a recognised international standard against which the devise could be tested. The lightest and least restrictive classification that they would accept was the EN ISO 12402-5 (level 50).

In order to protect the PFD manufacturing industry from suddenly having a pile of stock that they could not dispose of, as well as giving the buyers of PFD’s the luxury of getting some use out of them before they were declared “illegal”, we requested a 5 year moratorium on compliance with the ISO standard.

This moratorium expires on the 26th of January 2020.

After that date, paddlers will not be allowed to enter races without a PFD that complies with the ISO definition.

Most decent PFD’s last for a number of years (in Tony Scott’s case – 35 years). January 2020 is only a couple of years away.

If we do not enforce this SAMSA requirement, they will be at liberty to remove our current status.

If they do that, we will have to comply with their normal stringent requirements.

I can’t really picture all of the geriatski paddlers heading off on a Saturday morning paddle with an anchor, 20 litres of water, 50 metres of rope, a “lifejacket” that comes out of the “Titanic” set, flares, whistles, etc.

In the interim, a PFD needs to comply with the following;

o It must be able to float a weight of 6.15kgs.
o It must carry the appropriate labelling.
o It must be in sound condition.
o It must not be loose fitting
o Shape and design of the jacket must allow freedom to twist and lean the torso.

So, for those who are contemplating the purchase of a PFD for your darlings Christmas present, take note that he/she may still have the folded up Christmas wrapping in the back of their cupboard when it becomes illegal.

We are not the only country that has these issues. At the Perth Doctor this year, no competitor was allowed to compete unless they had a PFD of the same ISO standard as we have recommended to SAMSA.

World Marathon Champs Portugal 2018

Although it seems like the grandstands at Camps Drift have just been taken down, plans are already in an advanced stage for next year’s event.
The first bulletin has been circulated.

It looks like it is going to be a superb event. Read the first bulletin right here.

Notwithstanding the fact that they have relaxed their immigration policies to the extent that shady Arian ski paddlers have been allowed to take up residence, the Poros are passionate about the sport and they receive support from government and sponsors.

Added to the attractiveness of the event is the fact that it is probably the most affordable of nearly all of the European destinations.

If you are happy with an hour or two stopover in Luanda, TAAG airlines flies from JHB to Lisbon for around R7 900.

So, before you rush out and spend your Christmas bonus on filling up your house with “stuff” that you will probably throw away when you “relocate” in a few years’ time, remember to stash some away for the Algarve.

Youth Olympic Games

For the massive cross section of our paddling population who satisfy the following criteria ( born between 1 January 2002 and 31 December 2003, can paddle a C1 or K1 slalom boat and a sprint boat, have enough cash to pay for themselves to attend both a trial in PMB on the 20th of January and then a further qualification event in Barcelona from the 6th to the 17th of April 2018), this one is for you.

The 2018 Youth Olympic Games is to be held in Buenos Aires.

In order to qualify for the games, a qualification event is being held in Barcelona in April. In order to be selected for the qualification event, a trial is being held in Pietermaritzburg in January.

Besides the trip to Buenos Aires, all events will be self-funded (what’s new).

The format of the trials will be;
K1 Head to Head Sprint
K1 Obstacle Slalom
C1 Head to Head Sprint
C1 Obstacle Slalom

A trip to the Youth Olympics would be an awesome experience.

Although the criteria whittles the number of potential competitors down to very few, it would be fantastic if we could get someone to get through.

Well, can you believe it, only 2 weeks to Christmas.

May I take this opportunity to wish all of you a hectically enjoyable holiday.

Just remember, moderation is for sissies.

If someone made a movie of your life, would you bother to watch it.

Go huge. Be safe.

Your SG