18km of blissful paddling
Updated: Aug 6, 2019
Saturday was another picturesque day in East London, the light easterly wind of approximately 17 knotts made for a fantastic downwind race from Glen Eden to Nahoon. This is a 18km leg of blissful paddling along one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines.
The race provides East London’s paddlers with a fantastic opportunity to get some miles in their arms for local races like the Kowie, Fish and the Pete Marlin as well as the racing snakes who are preparing for surfski world championships in France in six weeks’ time.
East London is blessed to have serious depth when it comes to top competitors, we have the current World Marathon Champ and nine times winner of the Dusi, Andy Birkett, Joshua Fenn, Bevan Manson, Matthew Fenn, Zara Wood, Nicole Birkett (all are representing South Africa at worlds surfski) as well as an extremely strong masters field with the likes of Hennie Roos, Brendan Thompson, Bulla Wood and Andrew Carter. The race was an enthralling one with Joshua Fenn taking the win in the men’s category and Nicole Birkett taking the win in the ladies.
It was a close battle between the top men with Bevan Manson and Andy Birkett pushing Fenn the whole way. Nicole Birkett (2015 SA surfski and marathon winner) had a great dice with a few of the other men namely Travis Smith and Jordy Fenn who is the next rising star.
Seventeen-year-old Jade Wilson who will be representing South Africa at the Youth Olympic Games this year was the second lady home, she is paddling so well in the sea and sure is one to watch out for. In the masters’ category there was another mighty tussle with Brendon Thompson and Dylan Cloete taking the doubles honours and challenging the top single men the whole way!
The legendary Andrew Carter came home 4th, Duncan Boyd 5th and Hennie Roos 6th overall. Every paddler that participated deserves a medal, there is serious racing throughout the field whether it be in A batch or D batch.
It was a wonderful day out racing, the race organisers Jason Vanderwalt and Dale Heidtman did an excellent job!
1. Joshua Fenn
2. Bevan Manson
3. Andy Birkett
4. Andrew Carter
5. Duncan Boyd
6. Hennie Roos
7. Travis Smith
1. Nicole Birkett
2. Jade Wilson
1. Brendan Thompson and Dylan Cloete
1. Christain Callebaut and Nina Callebaut.
2. Nathan Wampach and Emma Hempel.