Robertson – After one of the most frustrating starts to the winter canoeing season thanks to the drought that has ravaged the Western Cape and left it’s rivers bitterly low, a spate of cold fronts have restored water to the Breede River system, and triggered a wave of entries for the Breede River Canoe marathon on 16 and 17 September.
Paddlers who took part in the race on the Breede on the weekend enjoyed 30 cumecs of water in the river, a marked improvement on the paltry 5 cumecs flow the for the race the week before.
The Breede organisers also point out that the waterfalls through Du Toitskloof pass are also flowing hinting that the water tables have risen and the base flow is more stable.
More rain fall is forecast for the latter part of next week, fuelling the belief in local paddling circles that the Breede Marathon might escape the drought conditions that plagued the recent Berg season.
While the early entry shows a spread of Breede faithful across the K1, K2 and K3 categories, many of the elite crews are leaving their entries to the last minute, many of them focussed wholly on the racing at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships and the Masters Cup next week.
Last weekend’s race on the Breede from Eilandia to Robertson was won by Heinrich Schloms and John de Villiers, holding off the Maties students Alan Houston and Evan Knight, with World Champs bound women’s K1 paddler Melanie van Niekerk teaming up with Scheepers Schoeman to take the last podium spot.
The weekend before, racing on a low river on the second day of the Breede Marathon route Stu MacLaren, who won last year’s Breede with Jasper Mocké, took the line honours with his partner Kenny Rice, a partnership that may well end up on the front row of the Breede Marathon start line on 16 September. Second on the occasion was the crew of Graeme Solomon and Edgar Boehm Jnr, with Schloms and de Villiers third.
This weekend the pre-Breede season shifts to the race covering the 37km first stage of the Breede Marathon from outside Robertson to Bonnievale
Normal entries close at 24h00 on Tuesday 5 September 2017.
The 2017 Breede River Canoe Marathon takes place from Robertson to Swellendam on 16 and 17 September. More information can be found at www.breedemarathon.co.za