Big guns all set for Umkomaas

2008-02-02 00:00

What will the water levels be? The question on all the minds of the 220 paddlers descending into the Umkomaas Valley this morning for the start of the two-day Kingfisher Canoe Club’s 2008 Umkomaas Marathon.

As the most extreme race for long-distance racing kayaks on the continent, the Umko always attracts the country’s best big water paddlers and 2008 is no exception. Lining up at Hella Hella for day one will be among others Deon Bruss and Len Jenkins, Sven Bruss and Hank McGregor, Shaun Biggs and Grant van der Walt, Piers Cruikshanks and Jacques Theron and Daryl and Brett Bartho.

Bruss and Jenkins look like the favourites having a convincing win over Bruss and McGregor last Sunday on the Day section from Hella Hella to Josephines Bridge. The race starts at 10 am today from Highover resort just below the Hella Bridge. Day one is 32 km long and includes the very challenging Numbered Rapid section with it’s eight plus grade three and four rapids eager to thin the field before the easier 10 km section below number eight to Josephine’s Bridge. Day two starts bright and early at 6.30 am from Josephine’s and covers the magnificently scenic section through the sandstone canyon down to Riverside Store some 35 km away. The camp and the venue for the prizegiving this afternoon is as usual the Richmond Country Club.

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