The Western Cape Canoe Union hosts four major events each season:
• The Freedom Paddle surf ski race, held on the 27th of April, an exciting 30km race around Robin Island to celebrate Freedom Day;
• The 4-day epic Berg River K1 Marathon from Paarl to Velddrif covering 244 kilometers in July
• September sees the season shift 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
• Lastly the Cape Point Challenge, a 50+ kilometer paddle starting at Witsands on the Atlantic Coast, rounding the iconic Cape Point and finishing at Fish Hoek beach.
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 performs exceptionally well.
During the summer months, the accent on canoeing focuses on Junior paddlers and flat water (sprint) regattas which 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, some incorporating the best “Downwinds” the world has to offer. Local surf ski time trials are held daily by various clubs, for more information visit the WCCU website.
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 is evident by the number of Junior development paddlers participating in Sprints and Marathon competitions with great success.
WCCU Union Chair
Rob Hart Union Co Chair WCCU firstname.lastname@example.org 072 333 2728
Peter Van Der Merwe Union Co Chair WCCU Peter@van-der-merwe.co.za 082 554 1517
Union Administrator – Rene Boehm 0733639866 email@example.com
Affiliated Clubs: Century City CC, Langebaan CC, Milnerton CC, Peninsula CC, Paarl CC, West Coast CC, Tygervalley CC, Stanford CC, Strand CC, University of Cape Town, University of Stellenbosch, WP Waveski, WC Canoe Polo.
WCCU Development Coordinator: Wayne August firstname.lastname@example.org
CSA Discipline Committee representatives:
Marathon – Peter Cole (Chairman)
Canoe Polo – Don Wewege
Surfski – Ian Black