Ozzie Gladwin memorial race this weekend

2010-10-29 00:00

THE final event of the Capitol Caterers/Popes Canoe Centre Interschools Challenge for 2010, the Team Relay Enduro, takes place on Saturday at Blue Lagoon in Durban.

The 10-lap event for school teams of four gets under way at 11 am from in front of Kingfisher Canoe Club. The first lap is for K1’s only, but thereafter the teams can elect to paddle in K2’s or K1’s.

This will be followed by the final prize giving for the whole Challenge.

On Sunday, Natal Canoe Club and new Dusi sponsors The Unlimited are hosts for the first of the serious Unlimited Dusi seeding races. This is the annual Ozzie Gladwin memorial race from Albert Falls dam to Thornvale farm.

The 30 km C Class race starts from Bon Accord resort with an 8 km flatwater section on the Dam.

This is followed by a 1,5 km portage around the dam wall and back to the Umgeni river just above the Albert Falls weir and then down river to Thornvale.

A 10 cumec release confirmed by Umgeni Water is sure to make this one of the most popular events on the calendar so far.

The race is the first of the Unlimited Dusi seeding events for the 2011 race. This is used to select the first two rows of 20 boats each for the day one start of the great race on Camps Drift on February 15 next year. Paddlers take their best percentage of the winners times from the seeding races to decide the starting order and the “Ozzie” offers the early birds an opportunity to grab the worm before everyone gets fully Dusi fit.

First time sponsors for the “Ozzie” and the Dusi, The Unlimited, have come to the event with a lot of energy, including prize money in excess of R32 000 and television coverage for the race. The prizes include hot-spot awards for men and women at the Albert Falls Wier and R10 000 to the winning K1.

There will be a watering table sponsored by 100Plus at the end of the dam wall portage, along with safety boats patrolling the dam courtesy of Outdoor Marine.

Ozzie Gladwin was an early friend of the Dusi, transmitting news of the event from the valley on the old military ham-radio he had installed in his station wagon.

This was picked up by other ham-radio operators in Durban and telephoned through to the newspapers. All in an era well before cell-phones and live television.

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