17 August 2016
We live in a country with a very critical and fickle sporting public.
Our national teams, and athletes, are absolute darlings when they are producing the goods. One speed hump in their performance, though, and the coach gets fired or embarrassing questions get asked.
I have to admit that I was one of the sceptics who raised an eyebrow when it was announced that SA could possibly bring back 10 medals from the Olympic Games.
With less than a week to go, this looks like a very real possibility.
We have been treated to a feast of phenomenal sporting prowess in a variety of disciplines. On Monday, the spotlight turned onto the canoe/kayak sprint program.
Following the fantastic performances of our junior and U23 team at the recent world champs in Minsk, it is now Bridgitte’s opportunity to shine.
Initially, she had turned down the offer to compete in the 200m, in order to concentrate solely on her major event, which is the 500m K1.
Whilst attending her pre Olympic training camp in Sao Paulo, it was suggested to her that she participate in the 200m, in order to settle any potential pre race nerves, and to accustomise herself with the peculiarities of the starting mechanism. She agreed, and we managed to get a last minute entry done.
The heats for the 200m K1 were held on Monday. It appears that Bridgitte did not get the coaches memo regarding the use of the race as a pre jitters warm up. She blitzed her heat and then ended up 3rd in her semi final the next day, missing a place in the A final by just one position. A few hundredths of a second and we could have had the absolutely unenvisaged situation of her being in the A final. Her B final was a very close affair, with the time difference between first and last being one second.
Today, she is racing in her preferred distance of 500m. She is in the second heat, in row 6. The race is being held at 10.05 Rio time, which should make it 3.05pm here.
There should not be too much pressure on her heat, as 6 go through to the semi finals.
Her semi final is at 10.55 local time, which should make it around 4 o’clock here.
There have been a number of complaints about weed on the course. Unfortunately it is not the stuff you smoke, but the stuff that gets stuck on your rudder. What a lemon – to train for 4 years and have your race brought to a grinding halt by a big blob of weed hampering your efforts. It’s like paddling with some people I know.
Let’s hope that there are good things to report in the next newsletter.
Getting away from things sprinting.
The river season is kicking off, or trying to.
Mother nature has not come to the party in any significant manner. The few storms that have fallen have all been in the wrong places, while the inland dams and rivers remain frustratingly low.
The Capies, however, have assured me that the Breede will be humping.
We would all like to hope so, as the race is this year’s SA K3 Championships.
With only 2 weeks to go, anything could happen. Whatever the weather outcome, the wine is always good and the farm school banter priceless.
For those who are forming coalition’s on the north side of the Vaal, and who do not drink wine, there is a superb opportunity to pick up a few pre Fish qualifying points by racing the two day race which is being organised on the Liebenbergsvlei over the same weekend.
On the surfski front. This weekend sees the hosting of the Citadel/My gas Dolphin Coast Challenge from Zinkwazi to Durban. One of the first opportunities for ski paddlers to see just how unfit they really are.
Followed next weekend by the first in the “DaReal” downwind series.
If any of the K3 crews have not wrapped there K3’s by the time the Fish has arrived, and wish to make a contribution to the safety of the race, the safety crew is looking to borrow a K3 for the Fish. If anyone has one that they are not using, please let me know.
That’s all for this week
Until after the Olympics
Rio is a dream come true
Graham Paull will be the first person from Africa to compete in para-caneoing at the Paralympics. Read the full story about how Graham Paull prepares to make history in Rio right here.
MacLaren & Mocké strike-up surprise combination for Breede showdown
Defending champion Stuart MacLaren has thrown the cat amongst the pigeons by taking up the 2016 Breede River Canoe Marathon challenge on 3 and 4 September with another former winner and Euro Steel team mate Jasper Mocké, ending chances of defending the title he won with veteran stalwart Graeme Solomon last year. Read the full story here.
South African Surfski Championships
It is still a number of months away but the organisers want to keep reminding people that the Pete Marlin Surfski Race will be the South African Surfski Championships for 2016. The race will happen over the weekend of 5-6 November. Take a look at their Facebook page here for more information.
South African K1 Championships
The Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon plays host to the 2016 SA K1 Championships! Make sure that you get your entry in early for this one! It is one that no one wants to miss!! Entries will open on 1 August so stay tuned here to find out more.
South African K3 Championships
The 2016 Breede River Canoe Marathon is going to be the SA K3 Champs for 2016. The race is coming up on 3-4 September and if you looking for more information then head to the website here.
Gauteng Canoe Union
The JCC Klip Race is taking place this weekend. If you are looking for more information on the event then head to the GCU website here. 9am start on Sunday!
KwaZulu-Natal Canoe Union
The McGregor Marathon Series continues after the opening round last week this Friday at Kingfisher Canoe Club starting at 17:15. The Citadal/My Gas Dolphin Coast Challenge is happening this weekend. For all the info you need head here!
Western Cape Canoe Union
Saturday 20 August is the Drew-Swellendam Race. Have a look here for all the details! The Bontebok K2 event is this weekend (21 August). The start will be at 10:00am with the finish at Philip Kemp’s farm Napkysmond. There are thorough directions on the WCCU website so go and have a look here.
Eastern Cape Canoe Union
The Border Canoe Club has got their Winter Series will be back on 6 August. If you want more information check out their website here. The Jumbo Kowie Intercity Challenge is coming up on 27 August! Entries close on 24 August so make sure you get them in. Head here for all the info!
PE2EL Surfski Challenge
Enter “The Challenge” at the special Early Bird Rate: Fees paid, and entry submitted by 15 June 2016: R2500! See our website www.bordercanoeclub.co.za for more info. We have officially “launched”, and are open for entries. We offer an experience of a lifetime, along the most impressive coastline in the world. This is an adventure not to be missed. Not for the fainthearted! Check the poster and get your entry form here!
2016 Fenn Cape Point Challenge
Planning is already under way for this iconic annual event, which takes place on 17th December, 2016. Entries open in October. More information here. Time to dust off those paddles and start logging the miles!
2 x Custom Kayaks Horizons
One newer (only owner) & one slightly older (previously owned), both in great condition & recently serviced.
R4500 & R3500 respectively.
Kyle (Durban) – 082 787 8820
Xterminator K2 for sale.
In great condition only done one river race (dusi).
Includes whale pumps and drag line.
Contact: Tim Lee 0832843511 firstname.lastname@example.org
Fenn Swordfish S full carbon or Carbon hybrid
Fenn XT Double Carbon
Carbonology Zest Double Carbon
Call Clive on 079 312 1683 or email@example.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
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