History was made at the annual Marina 16 canoe race, held on Saturday 09th April, on Zandvlei and the canals of Marina da Gama and hosted by the local club, Peninsula Canoe Club, when not only was the first craft home a surf ski, but the second as well.


The organizers decided not to split the field into different classes – i.e. K1’s, K2’s and other craft and perhaps on the day, the strong winds which whipped up a lively chop on the vlei with running swells, was to the advantage of the longer, sit-on-top skis over the normally faster flat and lighter K1’s, especially those in the hands of paddlers of the ilk of Rice and Schilperoodt.

For more great photos go to Cape Town Sports Photography

ADT, the sponsors of this event for the past 5 years built on their earlier innovative-ness, by allowing the women’s section of the field to start 5 minutes earlier than the men, so as to give them a chance of at least the 1st Spot Prize of R1000 before the men caught them and they didn’t let the spectators down, with Robyn Kime of the Maties taking the money, closely followed by UCT’s Jackie Barnes and Melanie van Niekerk (Milnerton). On the 2nd lap, Barnes took the women’s Spot Prize of R1000, Kime having to stop to empty her canoe, the spray deck not being as effective as it could have been, whilst the Ikey took the chance of jumping onto the slips of the chasing men’s second bunch of paddlers, to get away from Kime and van Niekerk.  18 year old van Niekerk stuck to her guns and kept Kime at bay but could not reel-in Barnes.  Who must be a challenge to Kime who has ruled supreme on local waters these past 2 years that she has been studying at Stellenbosch U.

In the men’s event, it took just 500 m to separate the top 3 paddlers from the rest of the field, when in the strong South Easter wind, they made short work of the downwind dash to the 1st turning buoy at the northern end of the vlei and then turned on the power to break away in the side-on chop as they raced to enter Thibault Canal, the first of the Marina canals to be negotiated on this 3 lap event. These three – Milnerton’s Lance King, paddling a K1, Sean Rice and Tom Schilperoodt on surf skis – gave chase to the women’s field, but were unable to catch them before the Marina canals were again reached, by which time, King had been worked off the slip and it remained for Rice and Schilperoodt to battle it out to the end, Rice taking the 2nd (men’s) Hot Spot on his way to winning the overall event with Schilperoodt on his slip as they crossed the finish line.

Notwithstanding the strong wind, some 150 paddlers lined up for the ADT Marina 16, no doubt drawn by the treat of excellent prizes available for the top three paddlers in each racing category as well as the 3 Hot Spot cash prizes of R1000 each, so hat’s off and congratulations to ADT who have really come to make this an excellent event and especially so as it comes early in the season when the various categories are still trying to sort out the pecking order of paddlers.

The season continues on flat water these following 2 weeks with the  W.C.C.U. 10,000m K2 Championships being held at Peninsula Canoe Club, Zandvlei on Tuesday 12th and the W.C.C.U. 10,000m K1 Championships being held on Wednesday 20th April at Milnerton Canoe Club before the season moves to the Berg River for that part of the season.