The Elands 3338 Memorial took place on Saturday 3 Feb sponsored by Water Watch,  and always an exciting enjoyable awesome river near Waterval Boven with its fast down hill gradients and runway rapids into T junction corners – such good experience – technical,  fun and enjoyment!  Although the water level was not as high as hoped with promised rains, it was manageable for the K2’s as a Pre Dusi Training and Seeding race.

Special mentions include the lady finishers and Gustav Jnr Smook who finished as the first Under 18 in 5th place overall, in 1:56, however he has an advantage on the rest of Gauteng paddlers as this is the Lowveld Playground – they cut their teeth on learning trips on this river while the rest of us are struggling to come to terms with straightforward Klip wave trains!

Sonja Bohnsack finished as the First Lady in 2:19, as first Master K1 finisher as well, in 13th position overall, as 12th K1 finisher while Michelle Haskins was the 2nd lady finisher in 3:04, K1 34, and also a Master – both ladies from Dabulamanzi CC.  Hanli Bezuidenhout relatively new to river racing also finished the race as 3rd Lady (CEN), in a time of 3:09, as 37th K1 and 7th Sub Master…..

Richard van Zyl and Erichia Pretorius (CEN) finished as the first Mixed Double, 26th overall, 5th K2, in 2:32.
The top 3 finishers were K1’s – Loveday Zondi (SOW) Mark Smith (LOW) and Richard Cele (VIC)  in 1:45, 1:48:06, and 1:48:13 respectively with Mark Smith as first Sub Veteran although the K2 Sub Veterans who were also the first K2 finishers were Raymond Rorich and Michael Kirkby in 2:04.
Nkosi Mzolo was the 3rd K1 finisher in 1:55, in 4th place overall. (SOW).

Wihan Venter (LOW) was the winning Sub Master as 6th K1, in 2:04,  while the K2 Sub Master first finishers were Pierre van der Merwe and Gustav Radloff (CEN) in 2:23 as 4th K2 finishers.  Craig Lewis (LOW) was the first Veteran finisher in 2:12 as 8th K1,  and Jonathan Adams from UCT was the first Under 23 finisher in 2:18 as 9th K1.

Theo Smith and Ronald Pronk (CEN) were the 2nd K2 finishers, as well as first Sub Grand Masters in 2:20, while the K1 Sub Master finisher was Shane Gouldie (CEN) in 2:24.
Frank Dabrowski finished as the first finishing Great Grand Master, as 25th K1 finisher in 2:44 (Dabs) and Rooie Robbertse was the top finishing Grand Master, k1 38, in 3:09 (CEN).

Great fun for all, an enormous learning curve of technical experience and many war stories to tell around the braai fires!

Jennie Dallas

for GCU PR

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