Kime wins first river race

2009-07-28 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal river racing season got off to a good start on Sunday with a very well supported novices’ race on the upper Umgeni River. Umzinyathi Canoe Club (UMZ) were hosts for the first of the two Alexander Caruth races from Albert Falls Weir to the old Baynes Drift Bridge.

This popular 16 km stretch of the upper Umgeni has been the starting point in the river racing careers of many of KZN’s paddlers and Sunday was no exception. Nearly 280 paddlers took part, with almost 50% of them being B or C-rated paddlers earning one of the six proficiency or experience points required for the big events like the Hansa Powerade Fish and Dusi later in the season. The good weather and gentle conditio­ns (the Umgeni was flowin­g at five cumecs) meant that all but two of the 191 boats that started the race completed the course.

At the competitive end, the race was promoted as a K1 event and first over the line was junior Lance Kime from St Charles College paddlin­g in Natal Canoe Club (NCC) colours. He was followed home by NCC club-mate Trevor Hellens with Kingfisher’s Clinton Bullard in third spot. Abie Adie, also from NCC, won the women’s race from Kingfisher Canoe Club’s Angelique Mulder, who just manage­d to hold off the winning junior, Jenna Starr from Epworth and NCC.

The UMZ race organising team, headed by Neville Palmer and their sponsors, Alexander Caruth, USN, Caffe Pronto, Silic Logistics, Primi Polo and LMV Switchgear, had a number of new prizes up for grabs. NCC, with 41 entrants, won the R1 000 prize for the club with the most paddlers entered and Epworth claimed the R500 for the school in the same position with 22 entrants.

The Albert Falls weir, only about a metre in height, but positioned just 200 metres from the start of the race, always produces some spectacular thrills and spills. So, Primi Polo had weir wipe-out prizes on offer for the best “performance” on the day. Lawrence Blackbeard and Timoth­y Baker took this with a performance clearly inspired by the famous Inspector Clouseau.

The guppy race from Gum Trees to the finish had three real guppy entrants, as well as the Lake brothers, Michael and Sim­on, in a K2 several sizes too big for them. Dan Dillon won the true guppy race from Sarah MacLoed and Case­y Cawood.

UMZ put a lot of effort into the event, setting a high standard for the rest of the one-day race organisers this season.



1. Lance Kime (U18) STC-NAT 1:15,56; 2. Trevor Hellens NAT 1:17,40; 3. Clinton Bullard KIN 1:21,14.

Women : 1. Abie Adie (U21) NAT 1:22,52; 2. Angelique Mulder KIN 1:30,20; 3. Jenna Starr (U18) EPW-NAT 1:30,21.

U14s: Tyrone Pontes KNG-AMA 1:29,43; Jordan Peek EPW 1:56,28.

U16s: Blaine Berresford MAR 1:21,40; Caitlin Millar EPW 1:39,54.

U21 man: Chris Birkett UKN 1:21,32.

First SV: Patrick Addis NAT 1:43,57; Claudine Lee NAT 1:48,48.

First V: Graham Willson FEZ 1:31,12; Fiona Macrimmon NAT 1:42,57.

First SM: Richard Starr NAT 1:29,53; Sue Annandale NAT 1:55,20.

First M: Marc Lynn NAT 1:28,07; Lorna Holmes UMZ 1:44,19.

First SGM: Nigel Briggs NAT 1:22,44.

First GM: Geoff Caruth CRU 1:40,44.

First K2: Jay Jenkins and Steve Botha NAT 1:15,56.

First mixed double: Kelly Howe and Konrad Karcz UKN-KSK 1:25,52.

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