On a superbly pleasant warm sunny midday in the Gauteng Highveld, Victoria Lake Canoe Club hosted their 2nd Cake Race, which was the GCU K1 Trials to enable selection for a team to the SA K1 River Championships to be held mid June on the Berg – Pink Lady Drakenstein event.

The race started at the Heidelberg Bridge (behind the Blockhouse) and finished in Meyerton at the Danie Maclean park, a distance of almost 30km – excellent training opportunity for paddlers to improve their stamina and fitness.

The sequence of photos are quite interesting as in a number of cases it seems like the paddlers have disappeared completely but are hidden by the wave, as they dropped into the hole before hitting the wave and whoa – there were some big splashes in the wave…..

While water levels were fairly low on most rapids, the river continues to flow comfortably through the early winter months and while warm in the midday sunshine, swims would be quite icy!  Although these early races in the season beginning are aimed at providing novices with much needed points and experience, there are surprisingly few who take advantage of the opportunity and despite being a K1 Championships river race, there were only 12 K1 participants while the rest of the field were the K2’s and a couple of K3’s……

Alex Roberts (Dabs) won the race in 2 hours, as the first Sub Veteran with Tommy Booth (ERK) 6 minutes behind him as the 2nd Sub Veteran.  The third place finisher was Under 23 Melusi Nxumalo (FLO) in 2 hours 7 minutes, and the 4th finisher, also a Sub Veteran was Gregory Smith (JCC) in 2 hours 9 minutes.

The next finishers were the first K2 paddlers, Keith Flemmer and Neil Barrow (Dabs) as first Veteran age category finishers, in 2 hours 9minutes and a few seconds behind the previous K1 paddler, while the first novice to cross the finish line was Peter Tumiel (St Davids Marist College / Dabs) partnered with Cobus Wagner (Dabs) in 2 hours 10 minutes – hope they enjoyed the cake together!

The Great Grand Masters were not to be outdone on this worthy distance race and Frank Dabrowski (Dabs) did extremely well to finish next, as 5th K1 in 2 hours 15 minutes,and well done to the first female finisher, Under 23 Morgan Ziervogel, recently awarded Female Paddlers of the Year by the Gauteng Canoe Union, who finished the race some 14 seconds later as the 6th K1 finisher – earning her place in the team should she decide to trek to the Western Cape Berg where an enormous storm and plenty of rain is also heading!

Meyer Steyn (Dabs) finished as the first Grand Master age category in 2 hours 19 minutes as 7th K1, and 14th overall, while the Sub Grand Master who finished a second later Carel van biljon was 8th K1.  Warren Ziervogel was the Sub Master champion of the day finishing in 2 hours 20 minutes as 9th K1.

VIC’s Craig Johnston and NOVICE daughter Jade were the first Mixed Doubles at the race finishing in 2 hours 27 minutes to be rewarded with the second NOVICE Cake.  The first K3 finished with Zonele Nzuza, Ian Hewat and Zonele Nzuza (Sow/Dabs) in 2 hours 20 minutes as the 17th boat to finish, while the top Master was VIC’s Grant Conlon in 2 hours 31 minutes – 10th K1 – like many, training for the epic Berg adventure no doubt!

North West University novice paddlers were there to test their mettle on the long distance with Ronald Botha being the only K1 novice paddler to finish the race in 2  hours 39 minutes.

Thanks to VLC for the cake race series the first race of which was cancelled due to lightning some weeks prior to this event, which will be made up as an official trip on 10 June for those requiring the point and to be included in the draw for prizes for the three series race winners.

Jennie Dallas

for GCU PR

082 857 857 1