The annual Stanford race on the Klein River and, in the past, has been used to signal the start of the river season in the Western Cape and when the race gets underway on Saturday, 15 March the season should be underway.
Since 2013 this has changed with novice events being held on the Breede and lower Berg section, primarily as opportunities for novices to get an idea of what river racing is all about but the Stanford race remains a favourite as the river course, the start and the finish are in such tranquil surroundings.
The race in Stanford on the Klein River is over 16 kilometres, starting in the village and heading downstream on wide, flat water to where the river enters Hermanus Vlei and back to the start again.
It is a classic event for power paddlers as with the flow being so slow, there is virtually no help with river flow when paddling downstream and of course, little to hinder propulsion when paddling back up to Stanford.
This is also pretty much the last race that paddlers can do without having had to renew their membership of the union (or join it for the first time) or face the penalty of paying more than the normal entrance fee to take part in a race.
One of the interesting things about the Stanford race is that it gives a good idea of what will be the ‘pecking’ order – senior men and women, juniors as well as masters – in canoeing in the province for the rest of the season.
The race begins at 09h00 in Stanford. Registration will be open from 08h00.
The second major event coming up in the next few days in the Western Cape is the annual ‘Sunset Seven’.
On Tuesday 18th March, Peninsula Canoe Club will host their annual ‘Sunset Seven’, an event which many years ago started off as the ‘Twilight Twelve’!
This is essentially a race for novices who either try out their paddling talents on Zandvlei and through the canals of Marina da Gama or join an experienced paddler in a K2 or even in a K3 or K4 canoe. The main idea behind this event is to introduce novices to canoe racing where they are either ‘shepherded around the course if in K1’s, or paddled around it if in K2’s, K3’s or K4’s.
The event will start at 18h15 in front of the Peninsula Canoe Club clubhouse at 18h15 with registration starting from 17h00.