From all reports Johannesburg had a wet and grey weekend so well done to the brave paddlers who dared the weather to participate in the ERK DUSI TRAINING RACE hosted on Sunday 8 January 2016.!  It was certainly a chilly morning but over 70 paddlers were out there and combating the elements to improve their fitness and stamina!

The first  K1 finisher of the 20 km race,  (which was previously advertised as a 15km event but changed to a slightly longer race),  was Loveday Zondi (SOW) in 1 hour 34 – an excellent time under difficult conditions – with Siseko Ntondini (SOW) following  3 seconds behind him, as the first Under 23 – WHOOPS no….. not anymore apparently – its a NEW YEAR and the age categories have shifted again!!  VIC’s Richard Cele picked up the third podiumposition in the race 40 seconds later  in 1:35.

Alex Roberts won the Sub Veteran podium position (DABS) finishing in 4th place in 1:36 while Michael Stewart was the first Sub Master finisher in 5th place (ERK) in 1 hour 40, and Kelvin Byres (DABS) was 6th finisher as first Veteran in 1 hour 40 right behind the ERK legend.

The first finishing junior – Liam Stewart – is STILL Under 18, and finished some seconds later, while the first Under 23 was Sipho Qoko (SOW) in 1 hour 44 minutes.

Not even the cold unpleasant wet conditions could keep our older tougher diehards away from the race, and Zach Zacharopoulos with Noel Bessler (VIC) finished as first Sub Grand Masters in 2:01, and Kim Leslie (CEN) as first Great Grand Master in 2:04!

Nigel Leighton (CEN) was first Master finisher in 2 hours 9 minutes,  and John Rowan with Keith Beeston (ERK/JCC) finished as first Grand Masters in 2 hours 12 minutes.

I was unable to find any female K1 or K2 contenders which is hardly surprising under the conditions – after all we are well aware that they females are the more sensible of the species and they no doubt chose to huddle near the fire of the clubhouse or stayed home in bed – perhaps its also fortunate that the male canoeists seldom read my race reports this far so I can often get away with these little jocular pro-feminist comments!

In any event, there WERE a couple of brave ladies who  partnered up as mixed doubles – Sarah Evans bringing in the first Mixed double with Sean Evans (DABS) in 1 hour 46 minutes, and a second Mixed Double brought in Jerome and Elsali Boulle (FLO) in 2 hours 5 minutes  –  sheesh this is a first 6 months of a new marriage and I have some concerns that at this rate there might not be too many 6 months periods ahead – well done gals!  and their guys too…..

The first K2 finishers in 8 th place were Robert Levick and Justin May (DABS)  in 1 hour 41 minutes.

Very well done to all those who braved the challenge – I am sure ERK had hot fires and drinks to assist with recovery after the event!

Results have been posted on GPKayak and will be posted on the GCU website.

Jennie Dallas

for GCU PR

082 857 8571