SASOL DAM TO DAM – Saturday 18 July 2015

What a lovely river and fantastic race – such a pity so few people make the effort as it really isnt far!

Its a short 1.5 hour drive and well worth the effort for some fabulous fun, superb hospitality, great marshalling and a wonderful river! a MUST DO river race!

The weather was expected to be really cold as car gauges showed -6 on the drive to the race, but it was a lovely day warm and pleasant no wind, the dam was like glass (and it can be like a turbulent ocean!) and quickly divided up into 2 bunches for the 5km slog…

The river is very exciting – non stop fun described as a MINI FISH in a 10km concentrate, or from a mountain bike perspective its like a piece of single track you could tackle with tight bends, technical rapids, and awesome drops. The war stories heard by paddlers who had never tried it before, were underrated – the river was MUCH more fun than any of the war stories even the exaggerated ones! one drop after another, into tight turns, over another drop, around an island, into a wave train, duck and dodge occasional tree branches – its so busy and it doesnt stop for the full 10km on the river…..

Sit on tops finished the race comfortably for the first time – stable and didnt have to mess around with splashees despite swims, and during portages take outs and put ins….. quotes:” IF you ever wanted to know what Lowveld Croc the Ultimate K1 race or Drak Challenge is like – do this stretch of river – a wake up call of note – with excellent marshalling – straightforward lines through rapids or efficient Sasol marshalls – clean water and perfect distance”…..

While the river rapids are certainly tricky, this year there were no broken boats – maybe for the first time since the race started a few years back or Gauteng paddlers are just getting better at their technical river skills and river reading ability!

Well done to the top 3 K1 finishers on the narrow tight spruit – Tom Ngcobo, Phineas Zulu and Alex Roberts (Sow / Sow / Dabs) in times of 1 hour 14 minutes, 12 seconds, 55 seconds and 1 hour 15 minutes 24 seconds, with the first K2 taking up the 4th position, in 1 hour 15 minutes 25 seconds, being Simnikiwe Ntondini and Zonele Nzuza (Sow).

Alex Masina (JCC) first Under 16 and top junior paddler finished in 1:21 as 4th K1, and the first Sub Veterans in 1;26 as 3rd K2, Vaughn Van der Merwe with Rowan Bryant (Dabs) .

Well done to Morgan Ziervogel who was the 1st Female finisher and also top Under 23 paddler in 1 hour 29 minutes (JCC), followed by the First Sub Masters – K2 in 1:29, Dabs paddlers – Nicolaas Roodt and Frank Dabrowski, while Warren Ziervogel was the K1 Sub Master winner some 18 seconds later.

The Sub Grand Master winner was Meyer Steyn in 1:30, (Dabs), while the Sub Veteran K1 winner was Serge van hee (FLCC) some 23 seconds later.

The winning Mixed double with Jason Brown and Monique Steven (Dabs/FLCC) finished in 1:34, and the first Master finishers were Michael Merry and Craig Johnston (Dabs/VLC) in 1:37, although the K1 winning Master was Soois Scheepers (SAS) in 2:01.

Gordon Malcolm finished the race in a sit on top as did Chad Andrews and had awesome fun!


Jennie Dallas

for GCU PR

082 857 857 1