Western Cape (WCCU)

If you want all the latest information on upcoming events and the like go to the WCCU website here

The Western Cape Canoe Union hosts three major events each season; the 2-day Swartland K1 canoe marathon in June over approximately 80 kilometers between Wellington and Bridgetown; the 4-day epic Berg River K1 Marathon from Paarl to Velddrif covering 244 kilometers in July  and then in September, the season shifts to the Breede River and the Breede River Marathon which is raced over 78 kilometers between the Klein Karoo town of Robertson and the Overberg’s Swellendam.

Leading up to these events, the WCCU, through the clubs in the region, host a number of 1-day races on sections of the Berg and Breede Rivers that make up the marathon races that are held on them, these being between approximately 20 to 40 kms in length as well as a 2-day event on the Olifants River in the Citsudal region of the Cape and 1-day races on the Eerste River in Stellenbosch and the Diep River in Stanford.

Prior to the river racing season, the Union hosts Sprint Championships (usually in April) for all categories of paddlers in their different age groups and for K1 and K2 canoes, before Canoe Marathon Championships (again for all age categories and for K1’s and K2’s) that are run normally in late May.

In April each year, when the SA Schools Canoe Sprint Championships are held (normally in Kwazulu-Natal or in Gauteng), the WCCU sends a team that has year-in and year-out done exceptionally well, Western Cape usually bringing back home the lion’s share of the medals!

During the summer months, the accent on canoeing focuses on Junior paddlers and flat water (sprint) regattas are organized around the province for paddlers 18 years and younger, competing over the normal sprint distances; 200m, 500m and 1000m as well as a Junior Marathon longer event of 3000m to introduce them to the longer events.

Also during the summer months in the Cape, there is a vibrant series of surf ski paddling races that are held at various venues in False and Table Bays as well as in the open seas off the Peninsula. Similar to what is available in winter for canoeists, surf ski paddlers have a couple of major events each summer, these being the iconic Cape Point Challenge, a 50 kilometer paddle from Scarborough on the Atlantic Coast, around Cape Point to Fish Hoek, held in mid-December and the 2-day Peninsula Surf Ski Marathon which is held on stretches of the ocean during ‘downwind’ conditions, usually in February. Because of the ‘downwind’ requirements, the start and finish venues for this event are weather dependent where for example, Day 1 might be held in Table Bay from Milnerton to Melkboss and Day 2 in False Bay from Rooi Els to Strand to tap into favourable weather conditions. Local surf ski time trial in Hout Bay(Tuesdays), the DownWind Dash – Milnerton to Big Bay(Wednesday), Oceana  (Thursdays) and Sea Dog series in Fishoek (Fridays)

The Union also has a thriving development program that has taken the sport of canoeing to many who otherwise might never have been able to get onto the water. This includes a “Coach the Coaches” programme, clinics in Paarl, Stellenbosch, Milnerton and the Peninsula and a “Work for Water” project with the Dept of Water Affairs. Coaching centers are the Cape Paddling Academy at Century City and the Orka training group at Peninsula.

Paddling assistance for Beginners:

If you are a beginner or serious about competition ‘5 Moves Ahead’ canoe and kayak coaching school can put you ahead of the rest.  We offer a wide range of services including but not limited to: a beginner’s introduction to kayaking, flat-water and river proficiency programs, supervised group training sessions, personal coaching, mental preparation, and style assessment and coaching.

For more detailed information please contact:  Greg van Heerden at 5movesahead@live.co.za or 082 940 9368

Canoe Training over the internet with Andre Hawarden (36 Dusi’s, 11 class wins). Train anywhere in the world, and guess what… It really works!

Email to:  hawarden@cybersmart.co.za
Based in the Milnerton area but he is mobile.
Andre Hawarden Personal Trainer Cell 083 459 9318

Canoe Coaching and Training at WCCU canoe clubs:
At Milnerton Canoe Club contact Greg van Heerden at 5movesahead@live.co.za or 084 940 9368

At Century City Canoe Club, contact Richard Kohler richk@mweb.co.za on 083 299 6569.

At Stellenbosch Canoe Club, contact Tamika Haw at 16072294@sun.ac.za

At Peninsula Canoe Club, contact Peter Cole at orkatraining@gmail.com

Flat water proficiency certificate programme @ Peninsula C.C. on Zandvlei.
Contact Edgar Boehm (snr) 083 301 5001 or Gerfried Nebe (082 420 7869).

At Paarl Canoe Club contact Wayne August on 0849055268

River proficiency programme – Rob MacLean (082 496 8957)/ Edgar Boehm
(snr) 083 301 5001


WCCU Union Chair

Eric Farringer – 083 458 3559 (pickwick@mweb.co.za)

WCCU Administration: Laura van Heerden
Tel: 084 700 2742
Fax: 086 619 8483
Email: secretary@wccanoeunion.co.za
Website: www.wccanoeunion.co.za
Affiliated Clubs: Century City, Langebaan, Milnerton, Peninsula, Paarl, NB Multisport, Simonstown, Southern Swells, University of Cape Town, University of Stellenbosch

WCCU Development Coordinator: Kirsten Penderis
084 426 1974

CSA Discipline Committee representatives:

Marathon – Peter Cole (Chairman)
Sprints – Richard Kohler
Canoe Polo – Iain Clarke
Surf-Ski – Kenny Rice