Gautengers at the Tugela 20’s River Race……






As always I look forward to any amendments/corrections to this race report / feedback – information – funny stories or interesting adventures experienced to share with the Gauteng paddlers – we call them WAR stories……!!

Tugela 20’s which took place around Bergville/Winterton on the long weekend 9, 10, 11 August was good fun as usual with super sponsorship, Tshirts, great catering, a special vibe as the season opener and despite some gusty winds, the weather was pleasant……the water releases made it a superb river race enjoyed by all who may have suffered somewhat but are stronger and fitter having done the training!!

The race also hosted the SA Schools K1 River Championships with numerous canoeing schools encouraging participation … and Gautengers were there!!!

Day 1 – Friday 9 August 2019!!  150 Boats finished…. 67 K2, 1 K3, and 82 K1!!  (219 finishers)

The first finisher was Scott Little, from Natal in a time of 1hour 51 minutes as first Under 18 followed by a host of youngsters with a scattering of old toppies between them, and the first Gauteng finishers were in 15th place, Frikkie and Marko Reynders (Dabs/Tuks) who finished as the first K2, in 1 hour 57 minutes / mixed age categories and a father son team….

Gautengers also achieved the first K3 finish position with FLCC team – Warren Mackenzie, Liam Whitlow and Ryan Coutts in a time of 2h16 that first day…..and the first K1 finisher from Gauteng was Ronnie Botha (North West University / Potchefstroom) in 2h16 as 46th K1 and as 5th SM…..!!

Gauteng juniors were represented by Jaydon Hunt (Dabs) who finished as  first Under 18 Gauteng finisher in 2h20 as the 50th K1 and 19th Under 18 paddler.

U16 brand new first time river paddlers at their first river race from Gauteng were Josh Holmes and Harry Edgar (DABS) who finished the first day’s race!

There were a number of students from North West University who completed their first river race and gained good stamina/endurance and fitness training! as well as experience as some of the gentle bubblies were described as major rapids by the enthusiastic and excited young finishers after their first river race….

DAY 2 – 10 August – first Day of the SA Schools K1 Championships race! Saturday! there were 72 K2 finishers, and 93 K1, as well as 3 K3’s!    246 Finishers!

The winner was….. previously Gauteng champion junior paddler – Brandon Van der Walt now canoeing coach in Pietermaritzburg….. Natal! in a time of 1h19 minutes,  while history repeated itself with the first Gautengers to finish being the Dabs/Tuk tfather/son team of Frikkie and Marko Reynders in 1h22!  while the first K3 was once again FLCC’s Warren Mackenzie, Liam Whitlow and Ryan Coutts in 1h34.  The first K1 Gauteng finisher was Stuart Butcher (Lowveld) in 1h34 as K1 52……..

The juniors were represented by Jaydon Hunt (Dabs) – 1st Gauteng Under 18 in 1H39, as 25th finisher in that age group,  and Harry Edgar (Dabs) finished his 2nd ever race, representing King Edward School in Gauteng, finishing as 37th Under 16 in 1h45!

We think John Greeff and Jeanne Kleu (CCC) were the sweeps  – finishing last as 72nd K2 in 2h08 – we expect to hear some war stories about that achievement!!

Day 3 Tugela 20’s – 11 August 2019!  54 K2’s, 93 K1’s, and 2 K3’s…207 paddlers!

Top finisher of day 3 of the Tugela 20’s brought in Lindokuhle Maphumulo, from Natal in 1h35 as first Under 18, while at the risk of sounding like a stuck record, I repeat that the first finishing Gautengers were Father and Son team Dabs/Tuks – Frikkie and Marko Reynders in 1h42 as the 2nd K2 this time, pipped at the post by a Michaelhouse combination 2 minutes earlier!

While the first K3 finisher was once again the FLCC crew of Warren Mackenzie, Liam Whitlow and Ryan Coutts in 1h57, and the first K1 was Stuart Butcher (Lowveld) in 1h47 as 5th Sub Master!  Jaydon Hunt (Dabs) was again first Gauteng junior finisher in 2h02 as 23rd Under 18 finisher,  and Harry Edgar (Dabs) was again the Gauteng junior Under 16 finisher in 2h14 as 36th Under 16….  Jason Brown and Kirsty Pott (Dabs) were once again the Gauteng Mixed Doubles finishers in 1h55, as 15th K2, 5th Mixed Double, and 4th Vets!

A number of NWU Potch students were on the water including Under 23’s and a great day of training was enjoyed by all


Jennie Dallas