And so it came to pass that the marathon committee proclaimed that there will be a national marathon championships this year, and it will be held in St. Francis on the 11th and 12th of October.
And that is not all.
The surfski committee has baled onto the bandwagon and has commandeered the 10th of October for the national single ski championships, also in St. Francis.
At last, something to train for.
After all of the hard work that our administrators have done to get us back on the water, we were beginning to wonder if any race organisers were going to step up to the plate.
The Eastern Cape mob have done just that.
Their fears, of organising the events under the current conditions, will have been allayed somewhat after the hosting of a successful race on the upper Umgeni this past weekend.
Notwithstanding a large police presence, the organisers did a superb job and the racing was as hectic as ever. Most paddlers just revelling in the knowledge that they were back on the water, sticking it to their mates.
Even the organisers of the oldest surf ski race in the world (the Pirates Umhlanga Pirates) have had a change of heart from a virtual race to the real thing. This will be held on the weekend of the 29/30 of this month.
From a covid organising perspective, this race should be even easier to organise as a river race, as paddlers will have entered online before the event. They will simply arrive at the venue and paddle out to backline at their own leisure, where they will have a deep water start. This brings social distancing to a new dimension.
Who knows, maybe we can back to some sense of normality and I can get back to annoying you on a weekly basis with these tired newsletters.
The ICF is still going ahead with a few virtual events. I received the following from them last week:
I’m contacting you in regard to our new ICF Paddle Challenge which will run from August 10th to September 6th. It is a free to participate event where paddler can record and submit their GPS time for either 2k or 5k (or both) in any craft. Optional donations will support our charity partner Peace and Sport and will be eligible to win a Rotomod kayak each week.
The idea of this event is to get all paddling communities to join (recreational and elite) to paddle for a good cause. When we first lunched ICF 5k Paddle Challenge in May, we only had one participant from South Africa. So, I wanted to reach out to you and your federation to see how we can get more participants this time.
Looking forward to your reply”
Come on all. Surely we can do better than one adventurous soul.
Over the next week or so we will be revamping what is left of the seasons calendar.
So, if you are a race organiser and are buoyed by the prospect of being able to hold your race after all, please let us know.
The organizers of the Orange Descent have already done so, and the SA K1 and SA K2 river titles will be decided over the 2 days of this event.
In the interim, get back to training. There are medals and titles up for grabs.
And now for the joke
INNOCENCE IS PRICELESS
One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyer of the church staring up at a large plaque.
It was covered with names and small flags mounted on either side of it.
The six-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, “Good morning, Alex.”
“Good morning Pastor,” he replied, still focused on the plaque. “Pastor, what is this?”
The pastor said, “Well, son, it’s a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service.”
Soberly, they just stood together, staring at the large plaque.
Finally, little Alex’s voice, barely audible and trembling with fear, asked,
“Which service, the 8:30 or the 10:30 ?”