15 September 2017
Most ballies will remember when they were lighties, using the word “jislaaik”. I seldom hear youngsters using this expressive colloquialism any more.
For me, the word seems to perfectly sum up the events of the past week.
Often I sit on a Wednesday morning sucking my thumb for some interesting content for the weekly offering. Today I sit, thinking ‘where the hell do I start’.
I, and the many paddlers and supporters who attended the World Marathon Champs, have been privileged to be a part of a massively successful and memorable occasion.
There were two very distinct facets to the event. The first was the ability of the organising committee to host the event and the second was the performance of our paddlers.
Both groups came out of their boots and produced the goods, way in excess of most expectations.
Most people who receive a hospital pass, of the magnitude that Steve Botha did, end up with their noses in the dirt and the knees of a couple of props in their backs. Very few manage a side step, a few hand offs, and a gallop across the try line.
Given the organisational history of NCC to put on large events such as the Dusi, most of us were relatively confident that they would put on an ‘ adequate’ show. The limited resources and the massive downscale in budget compared to what Steve’s predecessor had envisaged, had forced us all to temper our expectations.
Seven days later, we are all shaking our heads in amazement at what an awesome success the event has been. Many of the competitors and ICF officials claiming it as one of (if not the) best ever.
A massive thanks to Steve, Mary, and the rest of the NCC committee and volunteers who pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat.
A huge debt of thanks to our 11th hour sponsor â€œEuro Steelâ€. Not only did they come up with a significant sum to support the event, but added a further significant sum towards incentive bonuses for the medal winners. All of this on top of the individual sponsorship of many of the national team members.
The week of racing was characterised by some of the most gutsy performances I have ever seen, as well as some heart breaking bad luck that scuppered the chances of certain medals.
Although many of us were quietly hoping that Hank might pull off the double gold, it was a huge ask and not altogether expected. He did not disappoint and lifted his overall tally to 10 World Championship gold medals, making him the most successful male marathon paddler in history. There may even be more to come.
The week kicked off with the ballies events. I printed all of the results and started to count medals. My Port Shepstone High School higher grade maths let me down half way through the exercise. Suffice to say that we kicked butt in an enormously big way.
I can’t begin to mention names and outstanding performances. There is not enough memory in this computer. If the organisers had to play the SA anthem each time one of our masters paddlers won gold, even I would know the words by now.
Besides the incredible efforts of Hank in both the K1 and K2, together with his potent partner Jasper, there are a few stand out performances from national team members that need special mention.
The impressive 3rd place by Christie Mackenzie in the K1 Junior women.
Copying her in the Junior Men’s K1, and bringing home the first ever world championship medal by a black paddler, Alex Masina.
My most gripping race of the week was the Junior Menâ€™s K2 race. Adam Varga from Hungary had demolished the K1 field the day before in an absurd display. He, and partner Levente Vekassy began dominating the K2 race in similar fashion. They had their work cut out though against the 2 SA crews of Hamish Mackenzie/David Evans and Hamish Lovemore/Callam Davis.
The trio formed a breakaway and medals were a dead cert for both SA crews. Disaster struck when the rudder fell off of the Lovemore/Davis boat, leaving them in a similar position to our country, rudderless. The young U16 crew of Evans and Mackenzie went on the claim silver, while Callam and Hamish soldiered on to finish a disappointing 6th.
Not the best of birthday presents for Callam.
Another disappointment, and in my opinion a definite lost medal, occurred in the Men’s U23 race when Jean Van der Westhuyzen took an unexpected swim shortly into the race. He fought bravely back to 9th position.
The race was, however, the sole domain of Cape star Nicholas Notten. He became frustrated at sucking the hind tit at the back of a very aggressive bunch, and took it upon himself to break away by himself with 2 full laps to go. Most of us watching lamented his decision thinking that he would easily be caught. Contrary to expectation, he held on, only to be reeled in by the Ivan Franco from Argentina. Nonetheless, a well fought silver.
The repeat of the same 2 medals for Andy Birkett as he won last year (K1 silver and K2 bronze with Jean) is testament to the dominance of our male marathon paddlers.
The Men’s Kayak Team trophy was awarded to SA for the 3rd time.
We can now all take a deep breath and look forward to the rest of the season in the knowledge that we have done ourselves proud on all fronts.
Until next week
Team SA thrive at marathon worlds
After being heaped with praise for hosting the thoroughly successful 2017 ICF Canoe Marathon World at Camps Drift, Team SA is celebrating winning the overall men’s kayak team title and finishing second on the medal table behind the dominant Hungary over the four days of competition. Read the full story here.
Drought forces rules changes to Breede Marathon
Organisers of the 2017 Breede River Canoe Marathon have made a bold call on the format for the race this weekend, as the river system continues to suffer under the worsening drought in the Western Cape. Read the full story here.
2017 Fish River Canoe Marathon
The 2017 edition of the popular race in Craddock will also be the South African K2 Championships! Entries are open so get yours in here.
SA Canoe Polo Squad Application 2018 Overseas Tour
I hope everyone is getting the dust off their boats and getting some time in the water. We have a big season ahead with many events planned around the country. In anticipation of the overseas tours next year the national committee has put together a squad application document which invites players, coaches and managers to apply to the squad. Please fill this in and return it to me before the 30 September 2017. If you would like to put your name forward as a player please fill in the application form HERE. If you would like to coach or manage a team please fill in the application form HERE
Western Cape Canoe Union
The 2017 Breede River Canoe Marathon is set to take place this weekend. The two day race through the winelands is always a popular choice and to find out more about the race head to their website here.
Gauteng Canoe Union
This race is raced on 25 CUMECS of clean water over two days from 16-17 September. This year is a K2 event and with R50 000 in prize money and great giveaways its a great race to do! Entries are available at www.canoesa.co.za or for more info visit their Facebook page here or visit here for more.
2017 Dischem Pete Marlin Surfski Race
Once again, the Border Canoe Club and East London will be hosting this very popular downwind Surfski race on 4 & 5 November. With the valued contribution from our sponsors Dischem, Mazars, Fenn, Investec and Bate Chubb & Dickson there will be a total of R80,000 on offer for prizes. In addition, this race is one of the World Surfski Series races and will also host the Gauteng Surfski champs. Please visit our website for more information and entry forms: www.bordercanoeclub.co.za/pete-marlin or email email@example.com
VKB Liebenbergsvlei Canoe Marathon
This race is raced on 25 CUMECS of clean water over two days from 16-27 September. This year is a K2 event and with R50 000 in prize money and great giveaways its a great race to do! Entries are available at www.canoesa.co.za or for more info visit their Facebook page here or visit www.dabulamanzi.co.za
Breede Canoe Marathon
The 2017 Breede River Canoe Marathon is set to take place the weekend after the 2017 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships. The two day race through the winelands is always a popular choice and to find out more about the race head to their website here.
25th Cape Point Challenge
This year is the 25th running of the Cape Point Challenge and the organisers are pulling out all the stops to make it one to remember. Put this date in your diary: Saturday, 16th December… and start working the long distance paddles!
Fenn Elite Glass vacuum.
Hardly been used
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0715016905.
FENN Elite Double Ski for Sale.
Glassfibre construction. Good condition.
R9500.00 ONCO Based in PMB.
Contact 083 445 1516 Gavin.
1 x Medium (or large) PDF
Must have loops to accommodate drinking system please.
Contact: Terry 074 8855440
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