Slalom champ to tackle Dusi

2013-11-29 00:00

WHITEWATER canoeist Brandon Orpwood has been making inroads in his sport and is now hoping to tackle something different, next year’s Dusi Canoe Marathon.

The 16-year-old Grade 10 Maritzburg College boy began whitewater kayaking when he was 10, and from that age, he was hooked and it reeled him in.

Last year, as he was preparing to train at Camps Drift, he saw a friend of his in a K1 slalom kayak and he decided to give it a go.

“I wasn’t sure about K1 at first, but when I saw that the boat was similar to a whitewater boat, I tried it out and I liked that it was competitive,” Brandon said.

Brandon has just returned from competing at the 2013 Confederation of African Canoeing Slalom Championships in Kenya when he came second in the Men’s Canoe K1 Whitewater sprint, and third in the Men’s Canoe K1 Slalom.

“I was pleased with how I did, considering everything that had gone wrong.”

On the way to Kenya, Brandon’s boat somehow did not make it out of O.R. Tambo International Airport, and he had to make do with a borrowed canoe. “We had to make a plan. The boat wasn’t the greatest, but I tried to make do with what I had, and hoped for the best.”

Asked if he thought he could have done any better had his boat arrived, Brandon laughed, saying he really doesn’t know what would have happened due to the nature of the sport.

Next year, he said he would try his hand at South Africa’s ultimate paddling event, the Dusi Canoe Marathon.

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