River Canoe Marathon Media Release
: Dave Macleod
Berg Marathon tables low river plan for 2018
Paarl - With the Western Cape still firmly in the grips of the
four year-long drought, the organisers of the 57th edition of
the annual Berg River Canoe Marathon are determined to stage
their annual classic race from 12 to 15 July, even if it
requires some lateral thought.
“We managed to stage a successful race last year, despite the
severity of the drought, and we are committed to making it
happen this July,” said race committee chair Andre Collins.
Collins said the race committee was planning a rejigged race
route that will take best advantage of the most paddleable
sections of river in very low conditions, but said they would
remain flexible right up to the race hoping for the arrival of
the annual winter rains.
The race normally covers the 240 kilometres from Paarl to the
West Coast town of Velddrif in four stages. But Collins
explained that the back-up plan involved starting downstream of
Paarl and racing the more reliable sections of the river.
Under the low water rules, the first day will be raced from
Gouda Bridge to Misverstand Dam Wall (46km); Day Two over a
shorter segment of the same stretch of water from Gouda Bridge
to Bridgetown (30km); Day Three from the normal fourth stage
start at Zoutkloof to Oordraplek (49km); and the final day
spanning the usual last stage from Zoutkloof to Velddrif (59
“While we try to hold the race over the original course from
Paarl to Velddrif every year, we have to be realistic,” said
“Under the low water plan the total paddling distance will be
less than a normal Berg, the total time spent on the water will
very similar to a marathon on a medium level river,” he said.
The 2017 race was held on the lowest river ever, with the Berg
River running at a paltry 1,61 cumecs, but still saw 75 brave
paddlers completed the race, which was won by Hungarian racer
Last weekend the race from Gouda to Train Bridge was held in
extremely low river conditions. Maties paddler Evan Knight won
the outing after running six of the 15 kilometres of the race.
Normal entries are now being taken online at
until Wednesday 27 June after which a R250 late entry penalty
The Berg River Canoe marathon
starts in Paarl on 11 July and ends at Velddrif on 14 July. More
information can be found at
(click to download
Click HERE to download
Berg River Canoe Marathon
Horizontal on white - JPeg
The low water plan for the 2018 Berg River Canoe Marathon
involves starting the last two stages from Zoutkloof.
2018 Berg River Canoe Marathon
tabled a revised low water plan for the race from 12 to 15 July
as a fall-back, should the winter rains not arrive in time.
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