Following the recent excitement of the national surfski and marathon championships, focus now shifts to the Orange Descent – the race that will host both the K1 and K2 river marathon championships – from 7-8 November.
The organisers of the race, which has become the pride of the Northern Cape and the famous Orange River, have made some bold changes to the programme to make the two day double national title decider more manageable.
“We have taken into consideration the distance that people will have to travel so we have shortened the race,” organiser Waldo van der Linde said. “We have reduced the first day from 39km to 26km and taken out a lot of the hard slog and long portage.
“There are two short portages in and out of the irrigation channel and paddlers will have the exciting Neus Gorge section to look forward to.
“Day two will start at 7am so that means paddlers should be off the water at 11am and after prize giving they can start their journey home.”
The event has also arranged a number of activities that will allow paddlers to enjoy some of the Northern Cape’s tourist gems, while remaining firmly compliant with the prevailing Level One Covid-19 lockdown regulations.
“After the first day we are going to do the sunset wine tasting trip to the Augrabies Falls and with it being a shorter day that will give us more time at the falls.
“Following the second day we are expecting to have a full prize giving at the Oranje Rus Resort.
“We will also have a lucky draw for a Knysna Racing Vantage. So when you enter you get put straight into the draw.”
Despite the change in date for the race the organisers are still expecting good water levels. The water releases in November are substantial and paddlers can expect between 50-70 cumecs for the two days of racing.
The event has been set up so paddlers can paddle for both the SA K1 and the K2 titles. Day one will be the K1 contest while the second day will be the shoot-out for the K2 honours.
Paddlers who might not be paddling for national titles can race in either their K1, K2 or K3 over both days.