Whowhee sounds like this was a humdinger!!  Sorry I missed it!  especially sorry that I was not there to take awesome photos of the fantastic water level!  And it was a good field with over 100 entries although less than 90 actually paddled and finished….. although there were two withdrawals due to boat / rudder problems.

Numerous marshalls were set up as the river had been in flood in the days leading up to the race, to ensure safety but there werent many issues on the actual river – some of the rapids become so much easier although the wave trains at little Klip and Double Drop were legendary!

There were problems at the start without a working loudspeaker communication to large spread out groups is difficult especially on the water, and someone called out GO before the Starter was able to, which created a difficult scenario resulting in some time penalties which was a pity but the matter was resolved amicably thanks to paddlers for co-operation.

Daleside weir had a strong suckback the previous tripping day and the previous weekend and marshalls were in position to ensure no unpleasant experiences but it seems the quality of the racers did not require assistance, and Mine rapid was so easy at the higher water level that we feel obligated to add obstacles in future as there were no enjoyable fun photos to show any carnage!!

Greens Bridge was made a compulsory portage although the water had dropped sufficiently to enable paddlers to duck under however there were pipes and debris under the water and insufficient time to clear it on Saturday before the race.

Henley Weir should have been a challenging put in with the water rushing over the weir but marshalls managed to use logs/bricks/rocks to provide foot and handholds making it interesting and workable, and Saloojees was smooth flowing despite only being open on the far right channel.  Broken Weir had a bit of a drop with some turbulence and was challenging with its wave train below as well.  Despite pre race briefing asking paddlers to stay RIGHT on double drop  where a branch provided an arch to line up with, because of a tree parked on the left in the middle of the two drops, most paddlers still went left or most ended up middle where the huge rocks are and with a strong suckback in the waves of the drops there were some interesting swims however no major incidents.

The racing was fast and the portage marshalls were caught unprepared as were photographers for the top 3 boats who arrived far too soon at Sportsground and Little Klip portage.

The Top 3 Finishers were, not unexpectedly, Dabs’ Kelvin Byres and Mark Garden in 2 hours 12 minutes for the 30km race with 2 portages of almost 2km each, as the top Veterans, followed by Robert Crichton and Alistair Jackson 2nd in 2 hours 14, and 22 seconds later the first Sub veterans Alex Roberts and Shaun Maphanga (Dabs/FLO) came through.


The one and only ladies boat crew to finish the race was Cally Henderson with Michelle Haskins (Dabs) in 3:41 as the first Masters – well done ladies!


The 2nd Senior finishers in 4th place overall was Thando Ngamlana and Zonele Nzuza (SOW) in 2:14:40 and the 3rd senior age category finishers  were Nkosi Mzolo and Phineas Zulu (SOW) in 2:18.


The winning Under 23 team were Sowetans Simnikiwe Ntondini and Chazani Gumede in 2:21, followed by the top Under 16 Sowetan team of Wongama Makhasi and Zaanenhlanhla Mbala in 2:22.

The first K1 finisher was Sipho Qoko (SOW) in 2:33 as 2nd Under, and as the 15th boat overall, while the first Mixed Double brought in Kobus and Caroline Filmalter (WAT) as 3rd Veterans.

The first K3 finish3ers were also a mixed double crew of Sub Veterans with Keith and Peter Flemmer and Kate Stubbs (Dabs) in 2:39, while the 2nd K3 finishers were Sub Grand Masters John Rowan, Francis Lateaza and Franz Fischer (ERK/Int/VIC) in 3:02.  An Under 18 team finished as 36th K2, in 3 hours 26, with Buhlebenkosi Phakathi and Finlay Leask (Sow/Dabs).


So ends an exciting race, and an exciting year of paddling and we can all look forward to next year’s Dusi seeding events and the upcoming JCC Two Day Klip!


Thanks to all the marshalls who volunteered assistance and support and all helpers who were greatly appreciated – and thanks to the paddlers for turning out in their numbers to make the effort worthwhile!


Jennie Dallas


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