Attention now turns to SA Champs

2011-03-15 00:00

THE KZN Slalom Championships were held on Sunday on the Bushman’s River Black Rock slalom course and an invitational team from the Free State was present to ensure that the standard was high. A total of 19 boats entered the race and included in this list were two U14 paddlers and one tiny U12 paddler.

With Wagendrift Dam spilling at about 20 cumecs, a challenging 11-gate course was set and racing got under way at 11 am. Each entrant was afforded three runs on the course with the best run to count. The score is a combination of the time taken in seconds plus any penalties incurred along the way: two seconds for touching a gate and 50 seconds for missing a gate.

Of the 60-odd runs recorded, only four resulted in safe, but educational, swims without any injuries, and at least six Eskimo rolls were completed successfully during racing. Special attention was given to the novices with safety support along the bank all the way down the rapid and with safety boats waiting downstream. Not many U12 paddlers can say that they managed to shoot Black Rock three times on one day by swimming it and making it successfully at least once.

The fastest time in the event, taking penalties into account, went to Success Mahlaba (U21) from the Dihlabeng Club in the Free State, narrowly beating the new KZN champion, Donovan Wewege (U18). These two have been fighting for first place in each event held this season and will surely have their sights set on the SA champs in two months’ time.

With the championship concluded, a team run was held with a team of three boats racing down the course together. They attempted to stay as close together as possible without getting in each other’s way and crossed the finish line within a few seconds of each other. Due to the congestion on the course, these runs took about 30 seconds longer to complete with the Free State team narrowly edging out the KZN team by 0,28 seconds.

The attention now moves to the SA Championships that have been moved from April 3 to May 15 due to some urgent maintenance that is needed on the supply tunnel upstream of the SA champs course on the Ash River near Bethlehem in the eastern Free State. The Free State Championships has also had to be moved form March 27 to April 16  for the same reason. — Own Correspondent.

 

KZN CHAMPS RESULTS AND THE KZN TEAM FOR SA CHAMPS

1. Donovan Wewege (U18) MAR 71,2; 2. Ian Rennie UKN 72,12; 3. Haden Jacobs UKN 73,23; 4. Guy Collier (Sub Veteran) NAT 74,76; 5 Murray Starr (U18) 104,78.

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