This year’s SA Canoe Marathon Championships took place under classic Cape autumn skies over three days, starting last Friday and finishing on Sunday. The perfect weather combined with the high water levels on Zandvlei made for outstanding racing conditions.
According to Rob MacLean, one of the Marina residents who took part in the event: “Everyone stepped up to the mark. It was a world-class event in which world-class performances were turned in. Take, for example, the Senior Men’s K1 and K2 events, which involved no fewer than five current or former world champions. Or the women’s senior races, which featured an Olympic bronze medallist as well as a former U23 world champion.
“In the Masters’ category, there were multiple former world Masters’ champions. So, even though the baalies might be a bit longer in the tooth, so to speak, the competition among them was also of the highest standard.”
As for the Marina competitors, Graeme Solomon won gold in his K1 Masters’ category; Mike Halliday took silver in his Masters’ K2 category and came fifth in the K1 Masters’ category. Rob won gold in his Masters K1 category and bronze in the K2 categories. Battleridge resident Ommond Sivertsen was a top 10 finisher in his K1 Masters’ category while Hannah Solomon, Graeme’s daughter, finished fourth in the girls’ K1 Guppy category.
(For background: Masters’ categories are divided into five-year groupings starting at 35-39 years then 40-44 years all the way up to 70 plus years.)
As for latest sewerage spill, Rob says: “Because it occurred downstream from the main vlei and the Serpentine, where the southern-most turning buoys were, it had no impact on the competition nor on the competitors.”
Meanwhile, please join us in congratulating everyone who made this such a memorable sporting event!
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.
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 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.
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.
As Rob says: “Please support all the paddlers during their events.”
Following the success of our first-ever quiz and dinner night at the Marina Pub & Bistro in Eastlake Shopping Centre, we’re pleased to announce that Jamie and her team will be hosting our next quiz and dinner night on Monday 29 March, starting at 7.00 pm.
A respectable total of 15 teams took part in our inaugural Marina da Gama quiz. Through ticket sales and donations, we managed to raise R860 towards the South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind.
Competition for the winning places was tough – but not as tough as quizmaster Andy Rumbelow’s questions. Just one example: “Which movie character always wore the same coat in every film?” – Lassie.
In the end, Marina da Gama resident Sue Custer’s team, The Usual Suspects, pipped Valerie Benson’s team, The Four Musketeers, to first place by just half a point. Their prizes were sponsored by Marina Pub & Bistro and local Marina da Gama business owners.
If you and your teammates are up for another quiz, then please contact the Marina Pub & Bistro on 061 283 3182 to book your place.
We’ll update you with more information about the prizes and menu options closer to the date. For now, be aware that masks and social distancing are – once again – non-negotiable.