Moved portage markings lead canoeists astray in Mooi River area

2010-02-09 00:00

TAMPERING with portage markings by unknown people caused chaos at the Capitol Caterers-Popes Canoe Centre Mooi River schools’ race on Saturday when a chevron marker set up by hosts Weston Agricultural College to guide paddlers through a gate was moved to close the gate off instead, sending several leading paddlers in all age groups severely off course.

The race began at 11 am from the flats above White Rapid outside Mooi River and with the river flowing at a medium 20 cumecs there were plenty of thrills and spills at the rapid and the other three or four bigger rapids along the course down to the double causeway beyond Weston Farm.

First over the line in the U18 age group was Kearsney’s Andrew Adie, followed by Mmeli Cele from Nhlanhla High near Nagle Dam and Michael Houston from Michaelhouse. Asked why he didn’t get lost like some of the other leading boats like Blaine Berresford and Troy Harworth from Maritzburg College, Adie replied: “Homework. I have done this race before and I looked at the map at the start. I knew the tape across the gate must have been a mistake and just climbed over it.”

Lindokhule Jali from Inanda Dam took the U16 title from Mitchell Green of Michaelhouse and Mxolisi Ntuli from Mboyi School at Table Mountain. Pre-race favourites Donovan Wewege and Murray Haw had to settle for sixth and seventh places after the extended portage.

The results in the U14 and all the girls’ classes were a little more expected as their whole batch, which arrived at the portage first, almost all went equally wrong. Louis Hattingh of Maritzburg College took the U14s as expected from Michaelhouse’s Patrick Dillon with Justin Miller from Highbury in third place. Brittany Petersen led the women’s field home overall to win the U16 category from St Anne’s Kate Arnott and Epworth’s Bougin Bieldt. Jenna Starr was second over the line overall to win the U18’s from Epworth school-mate Hazel Little with Josie King from St Anne’s in the third spot. In the U14s, though, Camilla Pennefather from Epworth was home first, well clear of prerace favourite Bianca Haw.

There was a good turnout of 138 entrants for the race and the weather was sunny and hot with little wind.

The third event in the 2010 Capitol Caterers-Popes Canoe Centre Interschools Challenge is the 500-metre K1 Sprint Day at Nagle Dam on Saturday. The girls’ races will start at 9 am and the boys’ race at 11 am. All age groups, including guppys, will be catered for.

RESULTS

Girls U18: 1. Jenna Starr EPW 1:37,20; 2. Hazel Little EPW 1:46,49; 3. Josie King STA 1:50,39.

Boys U18: 1. Andrew Adie KEA 1:04,01; 2. Mmeli Cele NHL 1:04,48; 3. Andrew Houston MIC 1:04,51.

Girls U16: 1. Brittany Petersen EPW 1:35,37; 2. Kate Arnott STA 1:47,57; 3. Bougin Bieldt EPW 1:49,33.

Boys U16: 1. Lindokuhle Jali THO 1:18,01; 2. Mitchell Green MIC 1:20,29; 3. Mxolisi Ntuli MBO 1:20,57.

Girls U14: 1. Camilla Pennefather EPW 1:42,53; 2. Bianca Haw EPW 2:06,20.

Boys U14: 1. Louis Hattingh MAR 1:35,26; 2. Patrick Dillon MIC 1:36,29; 3. Justin Miller HIG 1:45,08.

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