Kowie River hosts 2017 boat race

Grocott's Mail - - SPORT - By CAITLIN DE SOUZA

The an­nual Boat Race Fes­ti­val is an op­por­tu­nity for South Africa’s rowing Uni­ver­si­ties to con­quer the Kowie River in Port Al­fred.

Nine uni­ver­si­ties (Nel­son Man­dela Univer­sity, Rhodes Univer­sity, Stel­len­bosch Univer­sity, Univer­sity of Cape Town, Univer­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg, Univer­sity of Kwa-Zulu Na­tal, Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria, Univer­sity of the Western Cape and Univer­sity of Wit­wa­ter­srand), gather for the 14-16 Septem­ber fes­ti­val.

In 2016 the Univer­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg won the over­all woman's ti­tle, while the men's ti­tle was won by the Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria.

The com­peti­tors use of the early part of the year to pre­pare for the race, tak­ing to lo­cal dams and rivers to train in three di­vi­sions – A, B and C of the most durable row­ers at each univer­sity.

The races started yes­ter­day with the Heads races for A, B and C di­vi­sions. To­day sees the B di­vi­sion fi­nals, while the A di­vi­sion fi­nals take place to­mor­row.

Each di­vi­sion com­petes in sep­a­rate heats over the course of the three days, with the win­ners pro­ceed­ing to the next re­spec­tive heat be­fore reach­ing the fi­nal.

Spec­ta­tors are of­ten a wel­come and bois­ter­ous pres­ence at these events, and this year sees a two-day camp­ing fes­ti­val, as well as en­ter­tain­ment in­clud­ing Rhodes Univer­sity favourite, Good­luck. A “Re­ju­ve­na­tion Sta­tion” has also been in­cluded as a stu­dent con­ve­nience for food and other re­fresh­ments, while Chip ’n Dip, The 59 Café and Foongs will also set up stalls.

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