SA’s top canoeing talent heads for the Marina

Marina residents can look forward to an exciting three days of sport as the Peninsula Canoe Club, in association with the Western Cape Canoe Union and Canoeing South Africa, hosts the 2021 SA Canoe Marathon Championships on Zandvlei and the Marina da Gama canals. This highly prestigious event includes a number of top canoeists from the Marina, who we’re proud to introduce below.

First, we’re grateful to Thibault Walk resident and 2021 championship contender, Rob MacLean, for providing the full details of the programme, as follows:

The championships take place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. All events will start with paddlers facing north towards the back of Table Mountain and from a line between buoys in front of Zandvlei Sports Club, where the Peninsula Canoe Club and Imperial Yacht Club are based.

Paddlers will race up the vlei turning right at four red buoys before heading north of Little Australia Island to the gap between Park Island and Wildwood Island, where the bird hide is located. Once through the gap, paddlers will turn right (south) onto the north-south canal between Park Island and Park Island residential, known as Park Island East.

They will proceed under the bridge onto Park Island and onto the water known as Tumbler’s Tack North between Park Island and Eastlake Island before turning right (west) back into Zandvlei.

Back in the vlei, they will turn left (south) and paddle down into The Serpentine, where they will turn right around the three red buoys moored there.

They will then paddle back onto the vlei heading north towards the clubhouse. Shortly before reaching the clubhouse, they will take-out on a wooden jetty moored on the vlei shore and portage approximately 60m to a second wooden jetty that is within the club premises. Here, they will put-in and proceed on with their event. This constitutes one full lap. The various age groups race different numbers of laps.

Friday’s programme
• K1 = a single-seater canoe.
• K2 = a double-seater canoe
09h30 K1 U23 Men.
09h35 K1 U23 Women
12h00 K1 Junior Boys and Girls, U18 U16 U14
14h30 K1 Men’s short course
15h00 K1 Women’s short course

Saturday’s programme
08h15 K1 Masters’ categories, Men and Women
10h00 K1 Junior Boys and Girls, U12, U10 U8
11h00 K2 Juniors Boys U18, U16 U14
14h15 K1 Senior Men and Women

Sunday’s programme
08h15 K2 Masters’ categories, Men and Women
10h45 K2 Senior Men and Women

From the results of these championships, a Canoeing South Africa marathon team will be selected to travel to Romania later this year to represent the country – pandemic permitting.

Meet the Marina contenders

It’s great to report that Marina da Gama will be represented by four canoeists during this year’s SA Canoe Marathon Championships. They are Mike Halliday, who lives in Park Island Walk, Graeme and Hannah Solomon, from Capstan Close, and Rob, a Thibault Walk resident.

Mike Halliday

They will be competing in the following categories: Mike – Masters (70 years plus); Rob – Masters (65-69 years), Graeme – Masters (40-44 years); and Hannah – Guppy class.

Graeme Solomon

Graeme is one of South Africa’s most iconic canoeists, having represented the country over a period of around 16 years in sprints and marathons in the open Senior classes as well as in the Masters’ classes. Mike and Rob have both represented the country in the Masters’ classes.

Rob MacLean

Hannah is only in her first year of competitive paddling. But with the combined credentials of her dad, Graeme, and mum Megan Kelly – who has also represented SA in the Masters’ category – she undoubtedly comes from an outstanding gene pool.

Hannah and Graeme Solomon

As Rob says: “Please support all the paddlers during their events.”