From the organisers:

So we had a perfect winters day for racing, the water was like glass and the racing conditions ideal for a great race.
We managed to attract 50 paddlers for the VLC flat and probably over 80 youngsters for schools !

The course format provided an ideal opportunity for some final preparation for GCU Marathon Champs next week, 10 X 2Km laps in predominantly deep water with a short 100 m portage after every 4 Km.

The race had some of GCU top paddlers doing their final prep for Champs.
The smaller group of K2’s set off first with an upfront tussle between the experienced Masters Colin Wilson and Nick Oldert, seniors Kelvin Byres and MJ Robb and youngsters Zanentlantla Mbala and Bambo Fanteni.

The youngsters impatience got the better of them and after the second portage broke away to hold a commanding lead of at least 100m for the next 8 Km. However the experience and patience of Wilson, Oldert, Byres and Robb came back with a vengeance and the youngsters were not only caught up in the last lap they were blown off the leading two senior boats. A humbling but real great experience for the youngsters to learn from ahead of Champs.

The K1’s was hotly contested for the first few laps with up to 8 boats in the front bunch. The slick portaging of the four front runners soon separate themselves from the big bunch.  Loveday, Sibusiso, Richard Cele and Katiso held the front buch for much of the remaining race with Kobus Filmalter putting in a brave effort to try stay in touch. The finish came down to a sprint finish between Loveday and Sibusiso with Loveday pipping Sibusiso  across the line. Richard managed to outsprint Katiso for the final podium finish whilst Kobus finished a two minutes behind the leaders as the first Vet and Theo Smit finished 5th also not far behind and was the first GM.

A big thank you to all those paddlers who came out to support the event and our race sponsor Bearing Vision who managed to ensure each competitor walked off with a great long sleeve t-shirt for all their efforts.

The school league results will be posted independently and separately  on the GCU Website at www.gcu.co.za;

The 20km marathon event which incorporated portages in line with the requirements for the Gauteng Canoe Marathon Championships coming up next weekend, as preparation for the SA Marathon Championships taking place in St Francis Bay  over 15 – 17 June, and for World Marathon Championships took place on Saturday 27 May 2018 at Germiston Lake, hosted by the Victoria Lake Canoe Club…..with some impressive racing, on a superbly sunny day with a touch of chill in the air as winter approaches.


Race numbers throughout the provinces in the past year has been dropping as the economy, pressures, travel and expenses take their toll, however the 35 boats that completed the event enjoyed the competition and the cameradie, as well as the sponsorships / Tshirts / prizes organised by VLC.

The event also provided training opportunity to improve fitness and endurance.   There were 26 K1 finishers, as well as 9 K2s, however there were no K3’s although it was a suitable dam to enjoy the company!

Well done to the first lady finisher, Sarah Evans,  from Dabs who wqas the 18th finisher in 2 hours 1 minute, first in the Sub Master female category, with Watuni’s Caroline Filmalter finishing as the 2nd of the two ladies brave enough to take on the challenge, who was the first Veteran lady finisher  in a time of 2 hours 19 minutes.

The Mixed double first finisher were Sub Veterans from Centurion in 1:57, Gunther Grune and Nicolene Stuart while a second Mixed double brought in Herman Vogel and Lydia Opperman (Lik/Cen) in a time of 2 hours 5 minutes as the 9th K2 overall to finish.

The winning boats were two from Dabs, with Colin Wilson and Nicolas Oldert in first place as Sub Grand Masters in 1:37:10 taking the edge off the youngsters who fought back gallantly to finish in 1:37:18 with Kelvin Byres and Michael-John Robb….

Zanenthlanhla Mbala and Bambo Fanteni (SOW) were 3 third finishers in 1:38,  as first Under 18 junior team, and the first K1’s were Loveday Zondi (VIC) in 1:42, followed closely with seconds to spare by Sibusiso Chwayi (SOW) (first K1 Under 18) while Richard Cele (VIC) was the 3rd finisher within seconds of the first K1…. a close exciting race indeed.

Kobus Filmalter (WAT) was the winning Veteren in 1:44, as 5th K1, followed by Theo Smit (CEN) in 1:47 as first Grand master, while Peter Chissano (JCC) was the first Under 23 finisher in 1:48.  The first Master was next seconds later – Mark Handley (VIC) and Brian Longley (Dabs)  still in the 1:48 group was the first finishing Great Grand Master….. a bunch of epic legendary paddlers with long histories of fame both local and in most cases international too, with a strong competitive streak.

The winning Sub Master was Andre Zandbergh (Wat) in 1:56 and Sean Van Pletzen the Under 16 finisher in 2:01 deserves a mention as 17th K1 finisher  bringing to the report the last winning age category finisher!

Well done all!  Well done VLC for the training opportunity and hospitality!

Jennie Dallas

for GCU PR

082 857 857 1