New system to help canoeists

2018-01-18 06:00

ORGANISERS of next week’s N3TC Drak Challenge have confirmed the use of an innovative scheme that will, for the first time, allow for a water-release to supplement the level of the Umzimkhuklu River on the first stage of the canoeing race.

The event, which takes place on January 20 and January 21, is heavily dependent on rainfall in the days before the popular two-day 70 km event in the foothills of the Southern Drakensberg, but the ongoing drought has left the river running low for much of the summer.

Local landowner Dave Barnett and his son Andrew, who heads up the race organising committee, have completed a ground-breaking project that has increased the capacity of their dam at Castleburn, allowing them to release a significant amount of water into the river to help get the entire field comfortably through the fabled Valley of a Thousand Rapids.

The Barnetts have added a 30-centimetre high sandbag wall to the top of the Castleburn dam spillway that will add 40 000 cubic metres of extra water, which they have made available for release into the river for the first stage.

“We will have around ten times that amount of water available for the N3TC Drak Day One,” said Andrew Barnett.

“That will allow us to release the water earlier to ensure it gets further downriver, ideally to ensure the top guys get through Black Murray rapid at the end of the Valley of a Thousand Rapids on the water release.”

“The race is well established as a K1 race, and even in low water conditions the tight technical upper reaches of the river are still manageable, but it is far more pleasant if we can get the water level up to the footings at Castleburn bridge at the start,” he added.

The N3TC Drak Challenge starts at Castleburn on Saturday, January 20, with a 24 km stage to Sinister Pool, just above the Swartberg Road Bridge. The second stage on January 21, is 36 km, finishing at Early Mist Farm close to Coleford resort.

- Supplied.


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.