River Canoe Marathon Media Release
: Dave Macleod
Berg stars come to the fore at Pink Lady
Paarl – With just over a fortnight to go to the 2018 edition of
the Berg River Canoe Marathon, some of the race’s stalwarts put
their hands up at the two-day Pink Lady Canoe Marathon that
covers part of the Berg course and decided the Western Province
K1 river marathon titles for 2018.
Graeme Solomon won a needle end sprint from Paarl racer Luke
Stowman with junior Uli Hart putting in a strong showing to
claim the last step on the podium ahead of Berg regulars Ernest
van Riet and Heinrich Schloms, while Bianca Beavitt romped to an
easy win in the women’s race.
“It was a great race, but more importantly we had great water in
the river or the race ,” said Solomon, who will be teaming up
with the defending champion Adrian Boros as Team Bamboo
Warehouse for the new Berg team format race in a fortnight.
“Compared to last year when the situation was desperate, I
really think we are out of the woods in terms of water and we
can look forward to a good Berg in two weeks’ time,” said the 45
The race podium was decided in a thrilling dice to the second
stage finish at Skooltjie bridge, with Solomon being put under
severe pressure from Stowman and Hart on either side of him.
“They were taking turns at coming hard at me which made for a
really exciting end to the race,” said Solomon.
The race was characterised by solid pressure from the main
chasing bunch, which closed out the lead trios advantage on
several stages during the race.
Solomon led the early break on the first stage from Gouda to
Bridgetown, until they got lost in the notorious channels above
the headwater of the dam.
“It was my first time on that section of river this season, and
I have to admit that I made some pretty poor choices, and the
chasers closed in on us,” said Solomon.
“On the second stage from Paarl the chasers came back at us
early on, which made for really exciting racing,” he added.
He added that a successful two days racing on the Berg was the
perfect catalyst for entries to start pouring in ahead of the
normal entry deadline for the Berg Marathon on Wednesday this
In the women’s title race Beavitt showed her solid form to
completed the race twenty minutes quicker than her K2 partner
from the recent SA Marathon champs Melanie van Niekerk, with
seasoned Paarl Paarl paddler Joritha Prins earning the last step
on the women’s podium.
Normal entries are now being taken online at
until Wednesday 27 June after which a R250 late entry penalty
Summary of results
Pink Lady Drakenstein WP K1 Champs
1. Graeme Solomon 3:42:51
2. Luke Stowman 3:42:51
3. Uli Hart 3:42:53
4. Ernest van Riet 3:42:56
5. Heinrich Schloms 3:46:15
1. Bianca Beavitt 3:55:23
2. Melanie van Niekerk 4:14:58
3. Joritha Prins 4:35:52
4. Lisa Scott 4:57:55
5. Alta-Mari Du Preez 5:27:48
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
year old Graeme Solomon won the Pink Lady Drakenstein race on
the weekend, a key indicator of form ahead of the Berg River
Canoe Marathon from 12 to 15 July.
Bianca Beavitt entrenched her status as the favourite for the
Berg River Canoe Marathon women's title with a solid win at tyhe
Pink Lady Canoe Marathon on the weekend.
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