Today I managed to take the day off and go and watch the first day of the 2009 Berg River Canoe Marathon, and am I glad I did.

 

The racing up front was awesome, even though the Berg does not boast the depth it once had, when come July everybody  who paddled seriously would line up in Paarl to see who was the best ultra distance river paddler in South Africa. The front end of the field is still highly competitive, having missed the start my first glimpse was of a large bunch of 8 sprinting for the hot spot at Lady Loch bridge 15km into the race, Hank won this comfortably and Robyn Kyme had a good lead in the ladies. By the half way mark, 30km at Grensplaas it was down to 6 paddlers.

 

We then tried to watch at a few of the places on the way to Hermon(46km) but the paddlers had now caught the flood waters and the main flow was miles from the banks(not much use watching).

 

At Hermon it was down to 4 paddlers (Lance King, Hank, PW Basson & Graeme Solomon) and by the end the front three were covered by 10 seconds having dropped PW  10min from the end , with Lance winning from Graeme and Hank and PW not to far back. Tomorrow they start as they finished today, all link up and so another day of Quality racing should take place.

 

In the ladies race Robyn had got lost somewhere between Grensplaas and Hermon and lost 5 min on the new leader Lindi Harmsen who kept this to the finish…race on tomorrow.

 

Tomorrow is 46km of really nice river paddling from Zonquasdrift  to Bridge Town.Not really a town and no bridge in sight but a spectacular finish non the less!

 

I’ll keep you informed even though I will be stuck in the garage I have some spotters out!