As the 2023 national canoeing calendar continues to forge ahead, Canoeing South Africa has confirmed the various national championship events to be scheduled around the country throughout the year, with the Eastern Cape set to host four of the national-title deciders.
The battle for national glory started a few weeks ago with the staging of the SA Canoe Polo Championships across all age groups at Portland Manor in Knysna, while the highlight of the domestic flatwater sprinting calendar will take place at the Victoria Lake club in Gauteng on the final weekend in April.
This year will see South African paddlers look to make their marks at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cups in Europe as well as the Junior and Under 23 Sprint World Championships in Italy before the senior Sprint World Championships in Duisburg, Germany.
Nigeria will host the 2024 Olympic Games Continental Qualification in November which will offer South African paddlers the continental qualification route for the Paris Games next year.
After its successful debut hosting the national marathon championships in 2020, the canals of St Francis will once again decide the flatwater marathon championships in K1 and K2 classes in mid-June, and will also serve as the national trials for the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships to be held in Vejen in Denmark early in September.
The tough four-day, 240km Berg River Canoe Marathon has been assigned to host the SA K1 River Marathon Championships this year, and is sure to bring new paddlers to the iconic event to test themselves against the distance, the Cape winter and the other paddlers eyeing a place on their age group podium.
The popular two-day Fish River Canoe Marathon that ends in the Klein Karoo town of Cradock will decided the SA K2 titles, a decision that is always popular with paddlers as the course lends itself to a classic test of marathon racing tactics, while also requiring a full set of river skills for any crew to be successful in claiming national medals.
The fourth national championship event to be hosted in the Eastern Cape will be the surfski title deciders staged at the popular Biogen Pete Marlin weekend in East London early in November. Both the single and double ski medals for 2023 will be awarded over the two days of racing off the fabled Border coastline. The event will also serve as the national trials for the Surfski World Championships to be held in Australia in the first week of December.
The venue for the national slalom champs has yet to be confirmed.
Canoeing South Africa national championships 2023
SA Canoe Polo Championships – 8-19 March, Knysna
SA Sprints and SA Schools Championships – 28-30 April, VLC, Gauteng
SA Marathon Championships – 15-17 June, St. Francis
SA K1 River Championships at Berg River Marathon – 5-8 July, Paarl
SA K2 River Marathon Championships at Fish Marathon – 6-7 October, Cradock
Sa Surfski Championships at Biogen Pete Marlin – 4-5 November, East London
SA Slalom Championships – Date & venue to be confirmed