Port Al­fred hosts In­ter­city

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - SPORT - RICHARD VON WILDEMAN

PORT Al­fred will host the NFB In­ter­city Chal­lenge to­day with East London com­ing out guns blaz­ing in a bid to de­fend their run of ti­tles in re­cent years.

Nel­son Man­dela Bay, rep­re­sented by the Blue Wa­ter Ca­noe Club under a new club cap­tain and chair­man, has rein­vig­o­rated the sport lo­cally.

Hop­ing for a dif­fer­ent out­come, the club pulled off a big­gie by se­cur­ing the ser­vices of Greg Louw, who has pad­dled under his home­town of Cradock his en­tire pad­dling ca­reer.

Louw will race the 24km course in a K1 and will be hop­ing to cross the line first over­all in the tra­di­tional K2 event.

Bor­der Ca­noe Club has a strong ju­nior con­tin­gent ea­ger to strut their stuff and show the likes of Louw a thing or two.

The Bay’s hopes for the K2 ti­tle rest squarely on Luke McNish and Car­bonol­ogy Sport owner Hein van Rooyen. McNish and Van Rooyen have had a great sea­son of rac­ing to­gether and are build­ing up to­wards the Fish River Ca­noe Marathon, where the pair may pad­dle a new type of craft.

Full-on Ex­cel spread­sheet ex­perts are sourced from within club ranks to work out ex­actly where points will be scored in var­i­ous age groups and cat­e­gories. From six-year-old gup­pies to 70-year- old great grand masters, each en­try counts and makes for a unique event.

Great weather is expected af­ter the storm front that brought havoc along the East­ern Cape coast­line has now abated.

In Dur­ban last week­end, the Gara Pad­dles Dol­phin Coast Chal­lenge was held and served as the coun­try’s Dou­ble Ski Cham­pi­onships. Gara Pad­dles co-founders Hank McGregor and Lee Furby teamed up and took a hard-fought vic­tory over Luke Nis­bet and Steve Woods.

McGregor, pad­dling a Rob Welsh-de­signed dou­ble ski, teamed up with his busi­ness part­ner Furby and man­aged to pull off a stun­ning vic­tory and in turn de­fended their 2016 ti­tle.

Day one’s route had to be changed due to high surf and an out-and-back course was held from Dur­ban Un­derSea Club. Nis­bet and Woods fin­ished a close sec­ond, with Gene Prato and Bai­ley de Fon­dau­miere in third.

Ex­cite­ment lev­els are grow­ing as we speed to­wards the ICF World Marathon Cham­pi­onships hosted by South Africa. With our pad­dlers tipped to win many events, huge crowds are expected to sup­port the likes of McGregor, Bir­kett and Hart­ley as they race for glory in Septem­ber.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.