River race claims four canoes

Both single and tandem paddlers braved the ice cold water on Saturday, 15 July.

The Secunda Sasol Canoe Club hosted their 13th annual river race on Saturday, 15 July.

The race began at the Trichardtsfontein Dam and after one lap, the paddlers had to traverse 9km of rapidly flowing ice cold water to reach the finish line at the Syferfontein Dam.

Every year before the race, members of the canoe club prepare the course by removing debris and hazards from the river and making sure the course is safe.

Canoe club members also act as marshals along the route and are on duty at technically difficult rapids and obstacles to guide and help paddlers in need.

However, the race still proved too much for some paddlers and there were no less than four broken canoes and two withdrawals due to the cold and the technically challenging nature of the course.

Of the 36 entries, 30 paddlers completed the course successfully and there were no serious injuries.

The men’s winner, Loveday Zondi, is a respected and nationally known paddler from Soweto CC who is also a coach and mentor to many developing paddlers.

He completed the course in 1:13 and has won this race for the seventh time.

The women’s winner is Morgan Ziervogel from JCC Gauteng and Johannesburg CC, who finished in a respectable time of 1:30.

She was 15th overall.

The Secunda Sasol Canoe Club was established in 2000 for the community to become involved in this exciting sport.

Anyone interested in outdoor adventure sport, can attend try-outs for the club later in the year and there are facilities and equipment available for people interested in joining the club.


View the photo gallery here:


Willemien Aukema

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