21 June 2017

Dear Paddler,


“Can you feel it?”

I bet, that like Michael Jackson and his dysfunctional family, most of you can.

It is official, we are slap in the middle of winter. The winter solstice took place at exactly 06h24 this morning.

Today is the shortest day of the year.

The sun is shining, sardines have landed on Scottburgh beach, and the sea is warm and balmy.

We will spare a thought for those in the frozen hinterland.

Most of the country’s ski paddlers are hoping beyond hope that the balmy sea conditions do not prevail for the weekend. Otherwise, the ‘Durban Downwind’ may just turn into the ‘Durban’.

The race is doubling as the SA single ski championships, as well as the trial to select the national team to compete in the world championships in November.

Nominations for inclusion in the national team have closed.

The current list is attached RIGHT HERE

There are a number of birth date and I.D. number irregularities, but they come from East London paddlers, so need to be taken at face value. Slummies is a very close knit community, and some of the family trees don’t have too many branches.

I have not heard anything from the organisers as yet, but ‘windguru’ is suggesting that the optimum window would be during Saturday afternoon. We will keep you posted.

It is going to be a cracker of an event, with all of the racing snakes in attendance. I have even hauled my old Porky partner, Shaun Rice, out from Australia to give the masters division some discomfort.

The second oldest surfski race in the world, the Scottburgh to Brighton, was held on Sunday morning.

Many of the ‘larnies’ opted not to paddle, as they are saving themselves for this weekend. This resulted in some of the new flock, together with a very old shepherd to dominate.

The race was won by Gene Prato, with Bailey De Fondaumiere taking the silver. Performance of the day, however, has to go to Lee MacGregor, who, at 65 and some change, managed to pull off a third place overall, only a few seconds behind. This incredible performance was mirrored by the only women in the field, Sabina Lawrie, who, as a junior, won the women’s race in an exceptional time, despite a very long swim at Toti.

Last Wednesday a large number of canoeists and administrators attended the memorial service for Neil Powell.

The phenomenal tributes that were read by friends and family bore testament to a life well lived, and to a unique individual who couldn’t do enough for his community.

Both my wife and I were asked to present something. Janet, as a close friend, and I on behalf of all of you. Janet was brave enough to read hers out herself. I succumbed to a pathetic lack of control of my emotions and got a mutual friend, Grant Thiel, to read mine (ours) for me. I have attached it HERE.

Rest well Neely, you were one in a million.

Another national championship race was held over the past weekend. The SA K1 river championships was held in conjunction with the Pink Lady/Drakenstein canoe marathon.

The race attracted a very small field, as most of the paddlers from other provinces were convinced that the race would not go ahead due to the severe drought that is being experienced in the Western Cape.

Almost on cue, a last minute thunderstorm a few days before the race saw river levels rise to something nearly manageable.

The lack of numbers did not detract from the quality of the field at the sharp end of the race, with Jasper Mocke capturing his first ever SA K1 river title. Bianca (Bubbles) Beavitt having a relatively comfortable paddle to win the women’s section.

Jasper has loaded his surfski and is busy driving up to Durban for the SA Surfski Champs.

It is AGM time for many of the unions. I know that WCCU had theirs last week, and that KNCU is holding theirs on Monday evening.

Please support yourselves by attending and offering to drive the bus that we are all on.

The organisers of the Sella Descent in Spain have been badgering us for entries.

This is an iconic race (always held on the first weekend in August).

Training for the event should include drinking at least a cup and a half of red wine vinegar before each meal (including breakfast) to get one’s constitution prepared for the ‘cidre’ that is consumed in industrial quantities during the festival.

This is definitely a bucket list race.

That’s all for today

Until next week
Your SG


Mocké and Beavitt grab golds at Pink Lady
Jasper Mocké and Bianca Beavitt scooped the SA K1 River Marathon titles for 2017 after posting emphatic wins at the Pink Lady Drakenstein Canoe Race on the weekend on a technically demanding low Berg River. Read the full story here.

Heavy duty women’s field lined up for Durban Downwind
The 2017 edition of the popular FNB Durban Downwind will see one of the strongest ladies fields ever assembled as a number of paddlers eye out the national singles surfski title when the race takes place over the weekend of 24-25 June. Read the full story here.

Czech star Mojžíšek back for another Berg crack
Respected Czech Republic marathon paddler Petr Mojžíšek has added his name to the entry list for the upcoming Berg River Canoe Marathon, joining Hungarian former world champion Adrian Boros in a strong looking international team heading for the four day classic from 12 to 15 July. Read the full story here.


Sprint Season Selection Documents
If you need any information and copies of the 2016 Sprint Selection documents. Click HERE to get all the information you need

World Marathon Championships Selection Document
The World Marathon Championships will come to South Africa this year! If you didn’t know that then here is everything you need to know!! If you want to put your name forward for selection then fill in the online application form here!

The second bulletin for the event is available here


KwaZulu-Natal Canoe Union
The FNB Durban Downwind takes centre stage this weekend! It is either happening on Saturday or Sunday depending on the best downwind conditions but keep an eye on their Facebook page to find out the final details!

Gauteng Canoe Union
The Gerhard Nel Memorial race will be held on the 24th of June, and it’s going to be a great training session for the marathon training paddlers, and especially for the guys going to the Berg. (Approximately a 26 km race.). Race start is at 09h00 at Caravan Park, Meyerton. To enter go to www.canoesa.co.za

Western Cape Canoe Union
The river season continues with the Dal Josephat to Grensplaas race this Saturday, 24 June. Registration starts at 07:30! For more info click here.

Eastern Cape Canoe Union
They might be a long way away but the ECCU Marathon Championships are on 29/30 July and will be hosted by the Blue Water Canoe Club! All entries can be done online at www.eccu.co.za. For more info get in touch with Rod Fox (mrrcfox@gmail.com)


Harbour-2-Heads 2017
The Harbour-2-Heads Challenge is coming up in July. The event coincides with the Pick ‘n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival! The race takes place on Sunday, 9 July and if you need more information then check their Facebook page out (facebook.com/knysnalagoon) or enter online at www.entrytickets.net

The International Sella Descent
We received a note from the President of the International Sella Descent Organising Committee and they are hoping that a large group of South African paddlers will take part. The event is happening on 5 August. If you are in search of any more information get in touch with Colin Simpkins (sg@canoesa.org.za) or the organisers (codis@descensodelsella.com)



Epic Legacy M flatwater race carbon vacuum marathon setup.
Weighs 8kg. Suitable for paddlers weighing 58-76kg.
In very good condition. R14 000.
Contact Tayne on taynethompsontnt@gmail.com or on 0715016905.

Brand new Lancer/Carbon
Original style – stable and light
Never been on a river
Contact; Robyn Henderson
Tel : 083 455 2078


Fenn Swordfish S full carbon or Carbon hybrid
Fenn XT Double Carbon
Carbonology Zest Double Carbon
Call Clive on 079 312 1683 or clive.mcgill@gmail.com

Second hand Fenn Double Elite (Carbon or glass).
Based in CPT, but could arrange shipping.
Contact Gustav via this e-mail address or 084 234 1731


Click here to view MANY more classifieds

Got something to sell?? Let us know and we will include it in our classifieds section! Email nick@gameplanmedia.co.za to get your advert out there!