26 May 2022 View online

Hi {name},

Well, the SA marathon course has been washed over the dam wall and the portage is a metre under water, again.

Only the quick reactions of the Hazelmere staff prevented the KNCU safety boat from following the course buoys over the wall as well.

Much of the repair work from the floods in April, in KZN, has been in vain, as a second bout of flooding hit the province.

A very frustrating and, in some cases, tragic situation for many.

As is the SA psyche, however, we soldier on and make the best of what is thrown at us.

The hosting of the KZN marathon championships, the weekend before last, at Hazelmere Dam, was a resounding success.

Paddlers enjoyed the layout of the course and the portage. Spectators enjoyed the openness of the venue with ample parking, and plenty of space to put up gazebo's and umbrella's.

The fact that almost the entire course can be seen from the start/finish location was an added bonus. 

A little more attention will be given to the portage area before the national championships in less than 3 weeks' time.

The program for the event can be found here.


There are a couple of notable changes to the program of previous years. Firstly, all masters paddlers under the age of 64 will be paddling the same distance. In previous years, the younger masters paddled an additional lap. This change is to bring us in line with the change made by the ICF. Secondly, we have introduced a second guppy race to the program. The first guppy race of the day will see each age group racing separately for the national title. The second race is not a title race. It will be a mass start of all the age groups, and will be 3kms. Prizes will be given for each age group.

Please note, the dates of the championships are the 16th to the 18th. The selection document reflected the 17th to the 19th, which is incorrect.

There was a proposal that the U23's race, together with the seniors, but it was outvoted by the marathon committee.

If the standard of paddling and the excitement of the KZN champs is anything to go by, we are in for a superb national championships.

Once again, I urge all paddlers, irrespective of how good or bad you think you are (or what your mates tell you), to take plunge and to enter the event. There will always be someone to race against, wherever you are in the field. After your hour or two of agony is over, you can sit back and relax while you watch the proper guys do it. Entries are open on the CSA system.

For those who live far away, the event is most likely going to be live streamed, so, you can watch it in the comfort of your old armchair.

Over the last week, the proper, proper paddlers have been racing in the 1st World Cup sprint regatta for 2022. This is the first major international sprint meeting since the Olympics, where a number of countries like New Zealand and Australia have competed since the covid outbreak. 

South African paddlers had some superb results with Chrisjan Coetzee, winning both his heat and semi-final in the 500m before claiming a solid 7th in the A final. Bridgitte fighting back from a poor start to claim 5th in the 5000m. Callam Davis finishing 15th in the 5000m, which saw a dramatic end sprint with Denmark's Thorbjorn Rask outsprinting the more favoured Fernando Pimenta from Portugal. Esti finished 3rd in the C final of the 500m.

This weekend, Callam and Bridgitte travel to Prague for the ICF marathon world cup, where Callam will take part in the short course and Bridgitte will take part in both the short course and standard distance.

The final sprint team for 2022 has been announced.

The following paddlers will take part in the Olympic Hopes sprint regatta to be held in Slovakia in September - Bruno Cochrane, Cody Stallard, Tyde Malherbe, Theo Dreyer, Jordan Klopper, Zak Jacobs, Nicholas Erwee, Lungelo Gumede, Sibongeleni Mzimba, Kayla Szalay, Amy Duffett, Kerry Elliott, Nina Callebaut. The managers will be Jodie Dreyer and Janet Simpkins.

Bookings for the World Marathon championships and World Ocean Racing Championships have been hotting up, with much interest from our masters, as well as additional "non team" entrants for the Ocean Race, as it is an "open" event this year.

Immediately after the announcement of the national marathon team, we will be in a position to divulge how many spare places there will be in the container.

We have made a proposal to the organisers of the Ocean Racing World Championships that the masters race on a separate day to the "open" race. This will allow the masters to "share" ski's from the juniors and seniors. It will also allow masters to enter the "open" race as well if they wish, giving them an opportunity to race twice in one trip (or even 4 times, if they compete in the marathon champs as well).

We will know within the week whether our proposal will be accepted.

Its all lining up. This is the year. Get off the fence. Make a commitment.

Until next time

Your SG


And the joke:

Mechanic vs. Cardiologist 

A mechanic was removing a cylinder-head from the motor of a Harley motorcycle when he spotted a well-known cardiologist in his shop. The cardiologist was there waiting for the service manager to come and take a look at his bike when the mechanic shouted across the Garage, 'Hey Doc, want to take a look at this?'

The cardiologist, a bit surprised, walked over to where the mechanic was working on the motorcycle. The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, 'So Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take the valves out, repair any damage, and then put them back in, and when I finish, it works just like new.  So how come I make R30 000 a month and you earn ten times that when you and I are doing basically the same work?'

The cardiologist paused, smiled and leaned over, then whispered to the mechanic...

'Try doing it with the engine running.'

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