JCC LONG BERG TRAINING UPPER KLIP RACE – SUNDAY 5 JULY 2015
BUKSIES / LIDO TO SCOUT HALL
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A lovely pleasant winter day to enjoy the tricky challenging interesting upper Klip section with its infamous obstacles – and some 20 doubles mastered and finished the race. There were at least three withdrawals with one being old boat admin, while another damaged rudder on the weir above the Pipes, and a third wrapped at the waterfall which I understand was called a portage to avoid further boat damage as it was shallow in the current water levels and the narrow channel with high banks made recovery difficult.
There were quite a few swimmers at the Gawie’s Gat which is notorious for catching paddlers by surprise as it shoves them into the left hand bank after the drop and while in the turbulent water causing all kinds of difficulties and it was certainly a tough race with a number of quick short hard portages. A few paddlers also found it difficult to manouvre through Morgans corner getting caught up in the S/bends and sideswipe currents between the dead trees till the river opens up again at confluence of the Natalspruit.
The victorious winner of the race certainly had no difficulty mastering the obstacles as K1’s can easily sneak through most of them – bringing Sipho Qoko home in 2:54 – a stunning under 3 hours for nearly 40kms, as the 1st Under 23 proving how easy it really can be!!
Richard Tandy and Michael Stewart (ERK) finished next, in 2:56 as first Sub Veterans also showing that K2’s with good paddling skills and river knowledge can also cruise comfortably and easily quickly through the section, while the 3rd finisher was 2nd K1, Tommy Booth from ERK, in 2:58. Following Greg Smith and Grant Conlons K2 (VLC) which finished in 3:02, the 3rd place K1 winner was Roy Clegg, also VLC and top veteran in 3:02 .
The first Sub Grand Master, Brian Bader, originally from Australia as can be ascertained from the spoken accent, now ERK member, finished comfortably in 3:36, while the first Grand masters finishers K2, in 3:56, brought in Vincent Buttrick and Rodney Carpenter also both ERK members.
Thanks to JCC for hosting the race to accommodate the stronger paddler wanting to do a decent distance on the river, and to prepare for the tougher races on the calendar.
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