PHOTOS: ARE ON THE FACEBOOK/GAUTENGCANOEUNION – other photographers should please send me a link to their pics so we can share them with all – the light reflection was very strong bouncing off the waves at Mine Rapid nevertheless the action on the busy rapid was very exciting!!  If any errors spotted please advise so they can be corrected!  thank you!


Florida Lake Canoe Club hosted the Gauteng Canoe Union Mixed Doubles River Championships canoe race on Sunday 27 August 2017 – from Heidelberg Bridge in Daleside, to Caravan Park (Danie Maclean Park) in Meyerton.


Although a cold front has swept through the previous day, the weather warmed well and it was a pleasant day on the river which was winter low, where some rapids become treacherous – it was noted that there was an unusually high number of swimmers at the dastardly final caravan park rapid as the turbulence threw even the top finishers out of their boats.


With numerous new learner paddlers taking on new rapids with limited experience which is very challenging, there were a couple of boats broken – one at Mine Rapid and the other at Saloojees bridge – still wrapped around the pillar! Please be cautious if tripping.


This may be a good time to reiterate the important of carrying a spare paddle in your boat for these challenging river races as they definately come in handy – who wants to be up the creek without a paddle!?  learn from history – that quote came from 100 years ago!!  ALSO please mark your paddles – a telephone number in TIPPEX will do the trick so when found, it can be returned to the owner.


Daleside Weir wave chucked a few paddlers out their boats as well with a kick, but its shallow and not a major swim, and despite the distance from the start Mine Rapid still had bunches entering simultaneously which always makes things more difficult.  Paddlers who dont immediately turn left into the eddy from the top get caught up in the current to river right and have to work hard to veer back to the left line – there is a middle line which is quite turbulent and challenging – well done to those who made it!!  Crossing the boat sideways above numerous rocks in strong current always causes problems as the nose of the boat gets into the stiller water while the rudder is still in the faster current resulting in boats remaining sideways – some noses pegged into rocks and there were some amazing saves  – and corrections!


Saloojees bridge is becoming quite challenging with trees blocking the left, a piece of roadbarrier thrown into the river after repairs on the road above lying in the open right side channel, and a newly wrapped boat on the pillar now as well as shallow rocks, while Broken Weir only had a handful of swimmers today despite being one of the most intimidating rapids on this stretch of the Klip.


The race was designated GCU Mixed Doubles Champs and the doubles male / female combinations turned out in full force to pit their abilities against their opponents .  It was Morgan Ziervogel who won the title yet again – this may be the 3rd year in a row although she has had different partners – the Klip Queen!!  nevertheless the other mixed doubles looked extremely professional and proficient as they elegantly weaved their way through the major rapids!  Morgan partnered with her brother Ryan Ziervogel finished 4th overall, as first Under 23 double, in a time of 2:02 (JCC).


The second mixed doubles finisher was Holly Spencer with Grant Ahschlager (DABS) – who were 5th overall, in 2:03, and the 3rd finishing Mixed double was Sonja Bohnsack with Nicholas Warren (DABS) in 2:06, as first Sub Master age category.


The only female boat to finish the race was Shelley Robertson and Hanli Bezuidenhout (CRO/CEN) in a time of 3:29 as 35th K2.


There were 14 K1’s at the race, and 34 K2’s, as well as 4 K3’s – making a total of almost 100 paddlers on the water including the marshalls,  with approximately 6 paddlers who withdrew for one reason or another including 2 broken boats.


The overall winner of the race was Loveday Zondi with Dylan Browne (Sow/Dabs) in 1:57, with Sowetan crew of Wongama Makhasi and Zanenhlanhla Mbala next, some 13 seconds later, as the Under 16 winners, and the first K1 finisher was Katiso Hlahatsi (VLC) in 2:04, as 2nd Under 23.  The first K3 was

Kelvin and Taflin Byres were the first Veteran finishers, and also 4th Mixed Doubles team in 2:09 (Dabs).  Andre and Mariette Zandbergh (Wat) finished as first Sub Veterans and the 5th Mixed Double pair in 2:11, while Keith and Peter Flemmer with Neil Barrow, in 2h12 as the second Sub Veteran age category (Dabs).


Meyer Steyn with Carel van Biljon (DABS) were the Sub Grand Master finishers in 2:12, as the 10th K2 finishers, and the 3rd finishing K3 were the first Master finihers with Michael Roy, Norman Andrews and Willie Du Plessis (JCC) in 2:14.


The top finishing Great Grand master age category winners were Franz Fischer and John Rowan (VLC/ERK) in 2:37, as the 32nd K2, and the Grand Master winner was Gavin Taylor (Dabs) in 2:39.


And so it was another festive sunny day on the river followed by boerie rolls / drinks and good cheer!

Thanks to FLCC for hosting the event and well done to all participants!


Jennie Dallas

for GCU PR

082 857 857 1