Sasol Dam 2 Dam Canoe Challenge, 18km B- grade K1 race, 1 Point

Saturday, 16 July, K1 start 9:30; K2 starts same time, Trichardt River (near Secunda, ± 150km from Pretoria & Johannesburg), Entry: R90 seniors, R50 juniors.

 Prize money for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places sponsored by Sasol.

Awarding of other categories  1st, 2nd and 3rd places subject to number of entrants as per GCU rule. Prize Giving ± at 12:00.

Lucky Draw prizes

Lucky draw prizes up for grabs from various sponsors!!!

A shuttle service will not be available this year.  Safe parking avail at Start.

Pictures and a video of the major rapids will be available on display at the start.

Maps for seconds available at start.

 GPS co-ord  for start;  S26:30’09”  E29:14’13”

Coffee , tea and rusks available at the start.

Wors rolls, soup and cool drinks will be on sale at the finish.

Info: Sean , 082 462 0057

Race course description

The Trichardt River – smaller than the Klip, bigger than the Blesbok, definitely more bubblies (small rapids) than the Klip. With 4 ‘’big ‘’ rapids; The Chute; A&E; ’’ The Drop’’ and ‘’ The Slide’’. The current is much faster than the Klip, also a few tight bends, which together with the current, requires some positive paddling to keep the nose facing to the front. Definitely something worth trying, K1(recommended) or K2.

1)      The race starts with one lap on the Trichardtsfontein dam which should spread the field to avoid too much congestion on the river. On completing the lap, portage over the dam wall, past the sluices and put in 400m further, just past the fence and gate, on the other side of the stone bridge. Take the Left hand channel down

2)      A short paddle ends one into the small pool before the Gauging weir – ensure you line up properly before the weir (Spectator point 1). Turn hard left into and straight down either chute under the bridge – preferred take right hand channel under the bridge.

3)       A few tight turns bring you to a little drop between two trees. Choose a line close to the left as the current pushes one to the right (into the branches).

4)      Next up is the Bethal Bridge; either tunnel is okay with a nice little drop into a pool (‘washing machine”) on the other side. The river narrows up a bit before getting to the pipe across the river. This should be an easy duck to go underneath left hand side.

5)      Then the first low level bridge, any of the 4 openings will see you safely through if the level permits. If instructed otherwise, this may be a portage.

6)      Next “first of the new bridges” , the water can get a bit shallow here so look for a line through on the right.

7)       On the other side of the road, the S-bend rapid, the lines is down in the middle, and try to miss the rock at the bottom, either left or right.

8)      Another few hundred meters, the 2nd low level bridge, a compulsory portage on the left or right, walk past the bridge and put in anywhere on the other side of the low level bridge.

9)       Just around the corner from the 2nd low level bridge is A&E Bridge, it has a concrete slide at the exit: shoot it like a weir at the exit. Option 1:Take the right tunnel down the centre, as you are about to exit, left rudder to turn the kayak 45 degrees down the slope, on the other side. Or, Option 2 : take left hand channel straight down and out. A few bubblies follow.

10)   After the next new bridge is the gabion built across the river. It creates a small drop and can be shot anywhere safely, right of centre seems to be preferred.

11)   Next one is “The drop” (± 1m) the line is in the middle – pass just left (within 0.5m) of the pile of rocks visible on top of the drop, take it slow. Once you’re down, keep to left channel and try to get on the inside of the turn. Or, portage on the left bank. There will be a marshal to help show the lines

12)   Then “The Slide”, 1km further down, as you hear a bit a rumbling coming around a 90deg right bend, paddle down the middle or to the right, which will see you safe down. There is a big rock half way down-

13)   As one enters the dam around the last bend in the river – a tree block, its open on the extreme right. There is a sneak on the extreme left that will take you through safely.

14)   Sandy bay – stick to the middle at the entry into Tweedraai dam.The sandbanks clear up shortly (dam level dependant.

15)   Last 1 km to go, down the middle of the dam,  turn and head to the finish.

16)   NB – An update on the obstacles will be given at the race briefing.

Directions to start from Johannesburg

It’s about an hour and a half’s drive (± 150km, allowing some time for mist on the way?) from JHB via N17, follow the road signs to Trichardt/ Bethal. The start is from the yacht club at Trichardtfonteins dam, next to the town.

1) Take the N17 from Jhb, pass the 3 tollgates all the way past Trichardt.
2) 1.5km past Trichardt, turn right towards Charl Cilliers. (Marker)
3) Go straight, onto the gravel road. (Marker)
4) The entry to the yacht club/camping area is about 1 km on the left. (Marker) Continue to the yacht gate. (Markers)Keep left as you enter through the gates at the dam and continue to the HSC ( Highveld Sailing Club). Parking on the left as you enter the HSC.

Directions to the finish (from start)……Drive back to the N17, left towards Springs/JHB.

1.       About 2 km past Trichardt, take the Vlaklaagte turn off to the right.

2.       The dam is visible from the road on your right.

3.       At 4.9km from the turn off, (just before the Isibonello  mine entrance), enter the farm gate (yellow “Visvang” sign), turn right along the fence. (Marker)

4.       Follow the dirt tracks down to the Tweedraai dam.