Unfortunately no VENI VIDI VICI for our sprinters at the Junior and U23 World Championships in Portugal over the past week.
Conditions were tough and the competition even tougher.
Our paddlers were hugely outclassed.
Those who took the time out to watch the livestreaming of the event, would have appreciated the ridiculously high standard of the opposition, mostly from Europe.
To give you an example, Callam Davis paddled a personal best for the U23 1000m K1 (3min 39sec) and was not even close to making the A final. Any thought of a medal by our team was quickly dispelled.
Hopefully the bloody noses will translate into an appreciation of what will need to be done between now and any chance of qualifying for Paris in 3 years' time.
With some good fortune, we will have the much needed funding to assist them in reaching this goal by then. But given the noises from our national sports department, I would not hold my breath.
The budgets of some of the major canoeing nations is mind blowing. The UK spent around R300 million on preparations for Tokyo (on canoeing alone).
Our long suffering paddlers and their parents have had to manage on their own.
Another sprint team left on Monday to take part in the Olympic Hopes regatta in Racice, in the Czech Republic.
By this time next week they would have had a fantastic experience and will have wide eyes about where they need to get to regarding standard.
One of the premier K2 races on the calendar, the Breede, happened over the weekend. Richard Allen, one of the organisers, sent me the following:
"After 4 consecutive years of drought with race day levels at sub 2 cumecs followed by a Covid cancellation year, the rain and snow finally fell in the correct time frame.
Paddling on an average of 50 cumecs both days strangely enough brought on challenges of its own. The perfect storm when it comes to safety challenges. Water flowing neither under nor over 3 of the major bridges along the way resulting in 2 tricky compulsory portages at Bollard and Drew bridges and a carefully manned shoot at Jonkeer.
185 paddlers started.
Besides the phenomenal racing up front by our SA stars, performance of the race has to go to the mixed double crew of Holy Smith (driving) and Zak Jacobs, both 15yr old and river novices. They were 1st mixed and 1st U16 crew coming 15th overall and beating the likes of Ian Trautmann with Steph Von der Heyde and Melanie van Niekerk with Gary Luke.
The other up and coming junior talent also featuring in the top 20 were Josh Smith, Dyllan Farrel, Luke Jean Le Roux, Levi Meyes, Kira Bester and William Beyers".
The race was won by Andy Birkett and Nic Notten, followed about 4 minutes later by Kenny Rice and evergreen ballie Graeme Solomon.
The women's race was won by Angie Austin and Kira Bester, from Shannon Parker Denison and Tracey Oellermann.
Onto our next major river race within a week. The South African K1 river champions will be decided this weekend on the Standard Bank Liebenbergsvlei Marathon.
The race starts at the Reitz waterworks and heads 30km downstream.
The Liebenbergsvlei race is one of the very few races with guaranteed clean and fast flowing water.
Entries for the event close tonight at midnight.
The members of our national marathon team are putting final touches to their preparation for the world marathon championships, to be held in Pitesti, Romania at the end of this month.
A number of them are having anxious moments as the Romanian Embassy has closed its doors and there does not seem to be anyone at home to issue visa's.
Some Fred Astaire like, hectic last minute footwork being done by management.
Another of our paddling teams that has managed to overcome the Covid travelling nightmare is our newest discipline of SUP. Our team starts their competition today.
Billed as the largest SUP World Championships in history, the event, being held in Balatonfured, Hungary has attracted the world's best from a host of nations.
The world championships will be streamed live on the canoeicf website and Planet Canoe youtube page from Friday.
That’s all of the major stuff that is on the go.
Lots of smaller races (river and sea) happening all over the country.
Looks like we might be getting some good news from Cyril this week regarding our Covid restrictions.
Until next week
And the joke;
A father told his 3 sons when he sent them to the university: "I feel it's my duty to provide you with the best possible education, and you do not owe me anything for that.
However, I want you to appreciate it. As a token, please each put £1,000 into my coffin when I die."
And so it happened. His sons became a doctor, a lawyer and a financial planner, each very successful financially.
When their father’s time had come and they saw their father in the coffin, they remembered his wish.
First, it was the doctor who put his £1000 onto the chest of the deceased.
Then, came the financial planner, who also put £1,000 there.
Finally, it was the heartbroken lawyer's turn. He dipped into his pocket, took out his cheque book, wrote a cheque for £3,000, put it into his father's coffin and took the £2,000 cash.
He later went on to become a member of Parliament...