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Picture: REUTERS/VINCENT WEST
Picture: REUTERS/VINCENT WEST

Robertson — Following hot on the heels of the successful Berg River Canoe Marathon, the team at Milnerton Canoe Club is now focused on the K2 racing season and the 2021 Breede River Canoe Marathon from Robertson to Swellendam, on September 4-5. 

Another of the events that had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, the two-day race on the Breede will fall in line with the protocols negotiated by Canoeing SA to enable the resumption of normal training and racing.

“Major events like the Dusi and recent Berg have set a great model for how canoeing multi-day races can be run, in full compliance and safely for the paddlers and the seconding person that is allowed to attend the event to support them,” said race committee head Richard Allen.

“We know we can rely on our paddlers to grasp the importance of adhering to these rules, even though the masks and lack of socialising is not the way they would choose to do a race like the Breede, but it is essential to enable us to stage this popular race, and, just as importantly, to safeguard the rest of the events on the regional and national calendar,” he added.

With a winter of good rainfall behind them, the organisers are confident there will be a lot of water in the river system for the big K2 field that always supports the race, as well as the K1 and K3 craft that take part.

The club is driving its innovative Nurture a Novice programme, which offers free entry to a Breede novice with the appropriate Canoeing SA proficiencies paddling in the back of the K2 with an experienced AR-rated paddler.

“The anticipation ahead of the Breede is remarkable,” said Allen. “Everyone missed out last year, and there is a sense that being able to get back onto the water for the two days of the Breede will not only give paddlers a chance to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Breede valley, but also provide a welcome boost of positive energy as we continue to navigate these unusual times.”

The K2 racing season started with a bang last weekend with the Eilandia to Robertson race and continues with the race covering the key lower section of the Breede marathon second stage from Drew bridge to Swellendam this weekend.

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