Mooi River flowing well for schools series race

2010-02-05 00:00

THIS weekend is very similar to last weekend in KwaZulu-Natal canoeing, with a schools series event tomorrow and an Umkomaas race on Sunday.

Weston Agricultural College are the hosts tomorrow morning for the second event in the 2010 Capitol Caterers-Popes Canoe Centre Interschools Challenge.

This is the Mooi River Race, a 15 km C-Class race on the Mooi between White Rapid, just outside the town, and the Double Causeway before Sierra Ranch.

The start is at 11 am and with the Mooi flowing at a good 20 cumecs, the race is bound to provide lots of excitement for the 130-odd paddlers expected.

At 9 am on Sunday morning, Kingfisher Canoe Club and sponsors, Bo’s Plant Hire, are hosts for their annual Hella-Hella Classic. This 35 km A-Class race begins at High-Over resort at Hella-Hella and finishes just below Josephine’s Bridge on the Richmond-Ixopo road. The course is a great warm-up for the Umkomaas Marathon in March as it is almost exactly the second-day course for the marathon and includes all the numbered rapids one to eight.

This section of the Umkomaas has, however, developed an undeserved reputation as boat and paddler breaker with the Approaches Rapid just after the start seen as the gates to canoeing Hades.

While the rapids are certainly challenging they are well within the capabilities of any crew that was prepared to take on the likes of Gum Tree, Tombi, Hippo Rocks, Little John and Five Fingers in the recent Hansa Powerade Dusi.

In an attempt to remove this stigma from this section of the Umkomaas, Kingfisher held a slide show and discussion on the rapids at their clubhouse in Durban last night, where some of the old Umko diehards offered advice on the right lines to take.

In a follow-up, the club have an inflatable trip planned for the river tomorrow morning where paddlers will be taken on a guided tour of the rapids from No. 1 to No. 8.

For more information, contact Rob Davey at 083 459 3429.

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