Cradock – Entries for the 2023 Fish River Canoe Marathon are now open as paddlers begin their new season of river paddling, starting with the popular two-day race in the Klein Karoo from 6-7 October.
The Fish has become one of the country’s most popular races over the years as paddlers from all over the country converge on Cradock for a weekend of family fun and exciting paddling.
With a route littered with exciting rapids, and clean water greeting the paddlers for the two days from Grassridge Dam to Cradock, the event organisers are once again looking forward to hosting the country’s elite racers, as well as a big contingent of social paddlers.
This year’s race will double as the SA K2 River Championships, which adds another dimension to an event that already attracts a large field of paddlers.
The race’s most decorated winner, Andy Birkett, will be lining up for a crack at a sixth Fish title this year and encouraginly for organisers there is a gap of nearly a month from the conclusion of the Marathon World Championships in Denmark to the start of the Fish.
The 86km race has seen a number of exciting showdowns and 2023 should be no different as paddlers pair up to jostle for another national title.
The evergreen Hank McGregor, who recently won another national K1 river marathon title at the Berg River Canoe Marathon, is also expected to be on the start line at the beginning of October.
Amongst the women’s contenders Bridgitte Hartley and Christie Mackenzie will be the stand-out contenders as they are both past champions. However they could be an interesting entry or two that could shake up the women’s race.
From Keith’s Flyover to the Cradock Weir, the Fish River Canoe Marathon offers up so much excitement for paddlers that it is one of the bucket-list races in the country.
Following a number of years with the pandemic, the organisers will be hoping to welcome a full field of entrants back to enjoy the Karoo hospitality and the exciting racing conditions.