Race Report: VLC Flat at Germiston Lake 23 Aug 2014

Courtesy of Anton Nel - VLC

Courtesy of Anton Nel – VLC

The long flat 24km race annually hosted by Victoria Lake Canoe Club at Germiston Lake as a pre-FISH training race inevitably brings its challenges – usually weather as although spring warmth has arrived in Gauteng, once again the lake in Germiston had choppy waves and an icy wind….!

Fortunately thanks to support from the Department of Sports and Recreation / Ekurhuleni local council ensured that the finishers were all well looked after with a good warm and tasty meal as well as sherry after the cold slog while sponsorships provided enjoyable giveaways while paddlers warmed themselves near the fire!

Once again the top positions were dominated by the development paddlers who have been supported by Gauteng Canoe Union and Canoe SA with assistance from the National Lottery Board Trust Fund, while the Sowetan Canoe and Recreation team have been fortunate as Adreach with a network of corporate sponsors have ensured the support they needed to develop into the top paddlers of the region.

The winning K2 was manned by Adreach’s Bradley Fisher partnered with SisekoNtondini who are members of Dabulamanzi Canoe Club at Emmarentia Dam and the Soweto club respectively, finishing in 1 hour 56 minutes, while  East Randers from Homestead Dam East Rand Kayak Club – Michael Stewart and Tommy Booth, who  finished 3 seconds later in 2nd position.

The top Sub Veteran paddlers finishing 3rd were Shaun Maphanga (FLCC) and Gunther Grune (CEN).

The first K1 finisher was Under 23 ThandoNgamlana from Soweto Canoe Club in 2 hours 3 minutes, although the K2 Under 23 winners were FLCC\s Sammy Lenyora and Macdonald Nkosi in 2:10 8th K2, while Sowetans were also the first junior finishers – Under 18 SiyabongaTyiki and SimnikiweNtondini finished in the 5th K2 position overall and a time of 2 hours 4 minutes.

Andy Leith / David Ferguson and Antje Manfroni performed a hat trick finishing as the first K3, as well as the first Mixed double and the first Veteran category winners although in this K2 event, the K2 winners in the Mixed doubles category were Nicolas Roodt and Kate Dabrowski – also from Dabulamanzi Canoe Club.

Their fellow club members Steven Milton and Ricardo Teixeira were in fact the K2 Veteran doubles first finishers after numerous K1 ‘s in this age category had completed the race, the double completed the race in 2 hours 16 minute. Dabs also finished as the first Masters with Jim Davies and Peter O Connor in 2:04, as 6th K2 finishers, and while Mark Shuter was first Sub Master K1 finisher, the K2 event saw the VLC combination of Neil Jackson and Uwe Schmidthaus finishing as the Sub master K2 winners in 2 hours 17 minutes.

The youngest achievers in this gruelling tough race and the icy wind was Alex Masina (JCC) Under 16 lad finishing as 8th K1 in 2 hours 15, and Anya Botes as the only female, and an Under 16 participant finishing as 12th K2 in 2 hours 33 minutes, toughened by her Berg experiences.

The main race was followed by a school league event thanks to the support and assistance from Department of Sport and Recreation in Ekurhuleni Council as well as Victoria Lake canoe Club and their sponsors who assisted in hosting the event, the 50 young paddlers representing various schools around Gauteng, who train at various clubs throughout the area from as far afield as Parys and Pretoria, had a great training opportunity despite the fresh wind even enjoying the ice creams provided while they huddled near the fire after the race!!

Jennie Dallas