PHOTOS:  Thanks to Bertie Baard


Dabulamanzi Canoe Club at Emmarentia Dam hosted the High Altitude Surfski Championships in Gauteng, at Emmarentia Dam on Saturday 9 May on a glorious sunny afternoon on the highveld, dedicated to Mark Feather, a well loved paddler lost at sea last year.

The only High Altitude surfski race in the world, the organisers arranged motorboats to provide waves as simulated surf to provide challenge for the paddlers and add to the fun and excitement.  The honour of having the current multiple Dusi river race winner at the race, Andy Birkett, as well as mutiple winner of the world paddle ski series –  Dawid Mocke attracted over 100 participants as well as a number of Stand Up Paddlers (SUP) to enjoy the challenge and Custom Kayaks as well as Carbonology provided loan ski’s for paddlers to try out as well as providing prizes.  Gerhard Moolman, the only person to have paddled practically unassisted from Nambilia to Somalia also participated so the race was not short of celebrities to encourage the locals!  The race was also used to donate monies to the NSRI from the entry fees collected.


Dave Hamilton-Brown and Wayne Jacobs won the 12km race (Dabs members) in a time of  53.23 minutes,  in the Sub Veteran age group, while the first Senior finisher was Multiple Dusi winner, Andy Birkett in 54 minutes.  The 2nd K2 surfski finishers were Bradley Fisher and Siseko Ntondini, in  a time of 56:19 minutes, followed by Sub Veteran multiple world surfski champion Dawid  Mocke a second later, also a Sub Veteran while the 3rd double surfski also brought home a sub Veteran team, (Dabs)  Marco Magni with Anton Fatti, in 57:37 minutes.  The third single surfski finisher was Mark Garden in 59 minutes.

The winning Veteran age group finishers a few seconds later were James Godden and Luke Symons, and Kyle Copeman with Jonty Dabrowski were the Under 23 first finishers in 59 minutes.  Master finishers in 1:00 were Sean martin and Alaric Pagel,

Antje Manfroni was the first female finisher partnered with Tony Purchase as a Mixed Double, in the veteran age category finishing in 1 minute, and Michael Stewart (ERK) was the first Sub Master finisher in 1:02.

Nigel  Harvey partnered with Chris Murray were the first Sub Grand master finishers in 1:03, while the Great Grand Master top finisher was Brian Longley in 1:04. Grand Master finishers were Henning Wentzel in 1:07 with Peter O Connor some seconds later in K1’s and the first female Surfski pair were Janet Bartlett with Sara Robinson in 1:08.

Liam Stewart was the first junior – in under 16 finishing at 1:10 minutes, and Anna Clifford Arwidi flew the flag for the females finishing as  a Sub master in 1:11.

The first Under 18 finisher from SCARC was Khaliphile Nquku in 1:17 while their first lady to finish the surfski race was Sneziwe Gxobole in 1:20.

In the Stand Up Paddle Board competition, Chris Couve led the race followed by Gunther Burger and Anton Nel with their 8km times recorded as 40:17, 43:27 and 44:10.

Organiser Pete O Connor sends thanks to all those who supported, sponsored, provided prizes, assisted and contributed to the overwhelming success of the event!

Jennie Dallas

for GCU PR

082 857 857 1