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Newsletter 2015/08/11

MILNERTON CANOE CLUB 11 August 2015
Evening,

CLUB STUFF
Time trials as usual: 18:15 on Wednesday

  • 4  Weeks to BREEDE 
  • 5 Weeks to World Marathon Champs
  • 8 Weeks to World Surfski Champs 
  • 9 Weeks to FISH

Milnerton Canoe Club – 40th Celebration

You are invited to attend and celebrate our 40th anniversary with canoeists and administrators who, over this 40-year period, have contributed towards establishing Milnerton Canoe Club in the canoeing world, both nationally and internationally.

When: Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, 18h30-19h00
Dress: Casual

Please RSVP to Chris at: mcc.40th@gmail.com

DREW SWELLENDAM

Race report by Kevin Goodspeed

Ever thought about tackling Breede in a K3?

That’s exactly what we decided to do this year. Of course it did have something to do with the fact that Breede is SA K3 this year. So with boat, partner and engine secured, it was off to the river to test the combo and the driving skills. Now I have to add that I’ve only ever been down a river in the back of a K3, and it was an absolute blast. A very different dynamic to paddling a K2, but boy, does it add a new dynamic to river racing. I have to admit, listening to the more experienced K3 drivers, I was well aware that steering a K3 is a tad trickier than steering a K2. I had in my mind the sight of a wounded buffalo charging through the bush flattening everything in its path. Except the buffalo was a bright blue canoe with 3 holes in it filled with 3 suckers that would be crashing through these bushes with very little direction or steering. Nervous much??????

Anyway, arriving at Drew bridge, we were blessed with a very nice medium to high river level. A great level for racing or cruising. We were going to be doing the latter, our intention to just get the feel of the boat and see how the combo would work. Off the start line and just before the first tricky right turn, Craig commented that we had never been so far up the field down the first straight. I jokingly said that it was probably because the field was so small. But as we progressed down the river we found ourselves in the company of some well-established paddling combinations and I realized that we were actually not doing too badly. Especially considering the fact that none of us had done any paddling since Breede 2014.

Cruising down the river at an average speed of nearly 15km/h we quickly got to the channels above waterfall rapid. After some consultation in the boat……actually it was more an attempt at consultation. I have to digress to explain, you see, as the driver I make the initial call as to where we are going, I then shout to the back to get agreement or not and then based on the response make the call. But in a K3, often the paddler in the back doesn’t even hear what you have to say and our newly nominated engine in the middle still had to earn his navigation stripes, so his opinion didn’t count. Anyway, back to the decisions above waterfall, the call went to the back: left or right? The answer was “straight”, which confused me a bit as I had never taken a straight line in the approaches to waterfall. Some mumbling from the engine room got ignored and left I went. After all, I am in control of the pedals, so obviously I have the final say. While everybody else went right (and some staying right) we cruised through the left channels and executed a perfect drop and paddle way through waterfall rapid. From here on we were cruising, braving sneaks normally not on and catching faster paddlers ahead of us. It was irrelevant that we couldn’t stay with them, just satisfying that we could outsmart them.

There were many nervous moments going into tighter channels usually easily negotiated in a K2, some even avoided by the K2’s, but the K3 was styling. The red bridge passed in a Gu fuelled flash and next up was the Swellendam weir. I swear I had every intention of taking the left channel below the weir, believing the K3 was simply too cumbersome to negotiate the narrow and twisty thorn tree lined right channel. But after acing the drop and pinning the wave train in the middle, we were on a roll and there was so much testosterone in the boat Ross had to work over time to pump it out of the boat. So into the tight right channel the brave K3 went, avoiding all the thorns and coming out the other side unscathed.

Now only the N2 bridge, the final rapids and the pool leading to the finish was ahead of us. Nearly there! The combination of back seat steering, some internal combustion fuelled energy from the middle and confident lines from the front cemented a solid paddle for the first time K3 paddlers.

What an absolute jol. The long drive out to Swellendam was worth every kilometre. My advice to any paddler out there, if you can get your hands on a K3, get it and enter Breede and the SA K3 river champs. You won’t regret it.

SAK3 Breede River Marathon

Breede entries are OPEN – http://breedemarathon.co.za/
We are looking for SWEEPS for Breede – Please contact ikin2r@gmail.com

Orca Marathon Series – Race 1

This Sunday: 16th August 2015 – starting 8am
It’s somewhere between 15 – 20km, weed and course dependent.

A GLANCE AT WHAT’S UP NEXT IN WCCU RACES:

15 August – Weizerdrift
22 August – Alfies Robertson
29 August – Robertson Bonnievale
2 September 2015 – 40th Celebration of Milnerton Canoe Club
5-6 September 2015 – Breede River Marathon & SAK3

FIND US ONLINE

Milnerton Canoe Club

Western Cape Canoe Union

A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever. (Jackie Joyner-Kersee)

That’s IT
Lisa Scott