Race Report – ERK Nite Race – 3 October 2014

A blustery gale blew over Gauteng late Friday, bringing scattered thundershowers, rain in places and lightning in patches throughout the area and many were dubious about the effects a possible storm would have on the ERK Pre Fish Night race taking place at 18h30 on Friday night 3 October 2014…..

With heavy Gauteng traffic throughout the area a number of paddlers may have bailed on their plans to participate at the event, but nevertheless there were still  42 boats on the water, 25 K1’s, 14 K2’s and a couple of K3’s…..not all the paddlers who started, managed to finish……some got chucked in the water (which may have been sacrificial as the paddler happily spent the evening at the fire in the pub and made a huge dent in the bar stocks), while another got sea sick in the choppy waves withdrawing his team who were only too pleased to avoid the cold wind while watching far off lightning with trepidation!

There doesn’t seem to have been any lady boats at the race which may be because they are wiser and more sensible as the conditions were genuinely not very pleasant…..although not quite as bad as the Grassmere Fish dam experience of last October 2013…!!

The top finishers were not surprisingly once again the development squads from the highly successful Gauteng integration and transformation programs who have done us extremely proud with Siseko Ntondini (SOW) clinching the K1 victory in 1 hour 13 minutes, as the first Under 23 as well, while Tom Ngcobo (SOW) took 2nd by only a 1 second delay, and Loveday was another second later so a tight hard exciting finish for these three top highly talented young paddlers who are also obviously hard working!

Siyabonga Tyiki was the next finisher (SOW) as the first Under 18 in 1:14 so only 21 seconds after the front bunch who probably only dropped him in the final end sprint,.

The first finishing K2 was the local father and son team who are expected to do very well at the Hansa Fish in this category having achieved a podium before, Michael and Liam Stewart (ERK) finishing in 1:16.

And the old ballies proved their mettle finishing as the top Grand masters and first K3 – ERK’s Vincent Buttrick, Raymond Pratt and Rodney Carpenter, in 1:17.

Alex Masina (JCC) as top Under 16 K1 finisher in 1:18 was the 9th K1 overall, and the winning Sub Master K1 finisher was Mike Barry (ERK) in 1:18.

The Top Veteran was Ian Faller in 1:22, as the 15th K1 finisher, and the Ryan Simonato with Louise Pieterse (JCC) finished as the first Mixed Double, as they prepare for Louise’s first Fish River Marathon, in a time of 1:22.

The youngest finisher was Under 14 Sibusiso Chwayi (SOW) in 1:23, and although the docs, Paulo Ferrao and Richard Greeff (FLO/VIC) were excused from duty at local hospitals to do some last minute crash training before Hansa Fish, did finish as the first Sub Veterans, in this K1 race, the SV winner was actually Hercules Sandenbergh (DABS) who was very proud to confirm that he had achieved his full 6 qualifying points for A grade status and was heading to Cradock shortly!

Top Master was ERK’s Franz Lottering in 1:27 but the real winners were the guys huddled by the fire in the clubhouse where delicious food was available courtesy of the Ekurhuleni Municipal Sports department!!!!

Next report will be feedback on Gautengers at the HANSA FISH MARATHON and we wish you all safe travelling and happy days – fortunately the predictions on Cradock weather indicate gentle winds and no rain, although beware – the temperatures are NOT expected to rise high……pack warm clothes for days and nights!

Jennie Dallas