Photos are posted from the SHUTE (5km into the race just before Visgat) on Facebook/Gautengcanoeunion!  Two different albums and Caroline Filmalter’s photos of both days were also shared!

What lovely pleasant winter Gauteng sunny days enjoyed on the Vaal river despite a chilly start not as cold as many winter days – just before the real cold front arrived…!

Paddlers gathered at the Dam wall where the usual daily flow was observed and lots of rocks peeked out from the water – although Doubles and Trebles got stuck on some flat rocks even requiring a paddler to get out and pull boat over the rocks, the majority of singles at this K1 event, seem to have managed better than expected .

A number of paddlers participated in one or other of the two days, and the results / feedback are based on those who completed both days of this epic event that has been running in Gauteng since long before most of us paddlers were even born!

Siseko Ntondini (Dabs) was the winner finishing in a time of 5 hours 42 minutes over both days, followed by Loveday Zondi in 5h43, with Alan Houston (Western Province) finished 6 seconds later in 3rd place as the first Under 23.

The 2nd Under 23 finished 10 minutes later on the dot as the 4th K1, in 5h53, being our own Gauteng born Alex Masina now based in KZN, while Kobus Filmalter (WAT) who has been training on the Vaal and knows the deep water sections better, finished as the 1st Veteran after a flawless race, in 5th place overall and a time of  6 hours 9 minutes.

Shaun Maphanga finished next as 6th K1, in 6 hours 9 minutes (FLCC) and the first K1 came through in 6 hours 11 minutes – that was a hard pull on the shallow waters – bringing in lightweights Phineas Zulu and Connor Erwee (Dabs).

Kelvin Byres was the 3rd Veteran podium position in 6 hours 18 minutes as 7th K1.

Brian Longley was the first Great Grand Master Finisher in 6 hours 42 minutes, followed by Pete O Connor (both Dabs) in 6 hours 46 minutes – showing the youngsters how it should be done!!

The first Sub Veteran team was a K2 in 6 hours 52,  Tommy Booth and Pieter Engelbrecht (ERK)

Under 18 top finisher Sibusiso Chwayi (SOW) in 6 hours 59 as 15th K1 finisher.

Andre Zandbergh  (WAT) was the first Sub Master finisher as  17th K1 in 7 hours 03 minutes while the Top master finisher  Anton Nel (VLC) finished in 7 minutes 07 as 18th K1.

Finlay Leask (Dabs) living up to the reputation earned as top junior and top paddler awarded at recent Gauteng Prizegiving, finished this tough event, as the Under 14 top finisher – great achievement on a river that breaks most experienced strong fit paddlers with numerous years of muscle memory built up over many years – as 20th K1, in 7 hours 22 minutes over the two days.

The Parys based paddlers from Likkewaan as well as the Watuni paddlers have been tripping and getting to know the shallow sections of the Vaal in recent months and building up stamina and endurance needed for the sluggish water and resistant flow and the benefits are proven by their results – well done to Sean Van Pletzen – 2nd Under 18 in 7 hours 35 and  Ruan Van Pletzen (LIK) who finished as first Under 16 in 8 hours 02 minutes as 26th K1 loving every minute as photos prove!

Gavin Taylor (Dabs) was the Grand master winner finishing in 8 hours 5 minutes as the 27th K1 finisher  and the Second Sub Veteran  was also the first Mixed Double, bringing in Gunther Grune with Nicolene Stuart who finished  in 8 hours 20 minutes as the 5th K2 finishers.

FLCC paddlers Waldig Strauss and Deon Kearns finished as the 3rd Sub Masters in a time of  8 hours 27 minutes as 6th K2 and the last finishers who were also the 3rd Great Grand masters, aged nearly 70 years – finished in a time of  10 hours 59 minutes – 7th K2 with Mike Howard (ERK) who has done probably the most number of Vaal Marathons of any paddler partnered with Claude Graham (Dabs)

Jennie Dallas


082 857 8571