It was a supurb day on the Liebensbergvlei river, between Reitz and Tweeling when VLC/Maluti Canoe Clubs hosted the Gauteng Canoe Union Mixed Doubles river championships…..warm sunny some cloud protection from the heat, a little breeze from time to time – it may be a more or less 3 hour drive there and back, for 3 hours on the river, but its a worthy opportunity….. with sponsors from VLC members – Franz Fisher (Switching Systems) and Johan Nel (Birnel College)  for prizemoney, as well as giveaways / lucky draws including coolerbags from, Tshirts for most entries, delicious Droe Wors / boerie rolls etc…..

There were a number of FIRST TIME lady racers on the river as paddlers strived to make up Mixed Double combinations – a few to mention –  from Victoria Lake Canoe Club – well done – quite a challenge to start with a 32km river race!  Shellee Nel, Karla McDuling, Roslyn Cassidy, Tayla Saunders.  There may have been others who also did their first ever river race – do let me know as they are not marked as such, in the results!

Wayne Jacobs (Dabs) was the first boat to cross the finish line in 2:07 setting the pace as 1st Sub Veteran however for this event, we will be focussing on the MIXED DOUBLES!!

and the First Mixed Double, in 2nd place across the finish line were the Ziervogel Siblings….Morgan and Ryan who finished a mere 1 minute behind our top Gauteng and international marathon distance paddler, also as the youngest Mixed Double pair in Under 23!!

Kobus and Caroline Filmalter (WAT) a married couple (still keeping these partnerships in the family) were next to finish as first Veterans in 2:11, and Richard Cele partnered with Helen Jansen van Vuuren to finish as the 3rd mixed double – a highly experienced Dusi paddler with Non Stop Dusi records to his name, and a 14 year old girl who has achieved well in the Gauteng Canoe Union School League in 2018….. so they were the first SENIOR partnership to finish……

These were the TOP 3 Mixed Double finishers – Under 23, Veterans, Senior category!

The rest of this report focusses on the top MIXED DOUBLE finishers in the various age categories...and with a number of partnerships where juniors partnered with much older age categories, there is no way to tell if there were any racers in the actual senior age category!!

The 4th Mixed double was a “Master” with an Under 18 Junior – Kevin Middleton and Alexis Rich in 2:15, in the Senior Age Category as the second “Senior” category finishers and Ryno Armdorff with Tanya Saunders as the 7th Mixed Double were the third “Senior” Category finishers although Ryno is doubtless also an older age category – they finished in 2:21.  Everybody had great fun and an awesome day in the sun and on the river!!

The First Finishers in the various  older age group categories include Andre and Mariette Zandbergh (WAT) as first Sub Veteran Mixed double combination, (Another married couple who still train together!) in 2:17, with Eric Dixon and Alison Hay from the Lowveld as the first finishing Mixed Double Master age category in 2:20 (presumably Alison is related to the well known and much missed Paul Hay – legendary Lowveld Canoeist) while the first Sub Masters were Anton and Shellee Nel (VLC) (MORE Married couples who can get on together for 3 hours stuck in one boat!!!) its pleasing to see that the old fashioned idea that married couples can’t partner together in sport without ruining a relationship has been left in the dark ages!

In the older age categories it was Raoul Goosen and Caroline Henderson (Dabs) who finished as the first Sub Grand master pair in 2:30,  while Bertie Baard and Jennie Dallas (FLCC) brought up the rear as the oldest mixed double pair in the race – the  Grand master finishers – 3:01…..!  No not sweeping this time…. and NO not married either!!!  but sporting together has retained mutual interests so they’re stuck together!!

There were 18 mixed double combinations on the river – congratulations !

Jennie Dallas
for GCU PR