River Canoe Marathon Media Release
: Dave Macleod
European heavweights enter Berg team fray
Paarl Ė European marathon stars Joep Van Bakel and British
stalwart Keith Moule have entered as a team for the Berg River
Canoe Marathon from 12 to 15 July, adding further spice to the
inaugural team competition.
Moule finished in the top ten last year despite a hefty thirty
minute penalty for swapping out a broken kayak, while Van Bakel
racked up a sixth place in 2015 when he raced the four day epic
from Paarl to the Eastern seaboard.
Moule said the new team racing format was fascinating.
"Every race I do, I try to picture the different ways that the
race might turn out, thinking of different ways I could beat
someone and trying to think how they might look to beat me,"
said Moule. "With the team format it makes it ten times harder
to work out how the race will unfold.
"We know who the strong guys are so we will need to work out how
we can out-manoeuvre them, or at least one of each pair, on the
"I have the big guy from Holland looking out for me, I think it
will be a lot more fun working together this year, instead of
working against each other," he added.
The 38 year old from Essex said that the Berg helped plug the
gap left in his high volume competition programme after the
cancellation of the Westminster Devizes to Westminster race.
"The Berg is a tough race, but it really boosts your fitness,
and everything seems easier after youíve done this race. There
have been plenty of top international athletes complete this
race and go on to achieve great results at world marathon
champs, so I donít see this race having to be a choice between
one or the other.
Moule said he was looking forward to the unknown factors of the
tight first day and the long third stage.
"There are a lot of friendships made on the third day, where
people work together and need each other to get through the day
successfully," said Moule.
Van Bakel said that he was excited to be teaming up with Moule
as they matched each otherís abilities well.
"With Keith (Moule) I think I found the perfect match to enjoy
this new format," said the 35 year old from Assendelft, 20 km
north from Amsterdam
"As a paddler most of the time ďme, myself & IĒ but this time
itís a team challenge,Ē he added.
"Itís difficult to find a buddy that has more or less the same
goal, speed and endurance as yourself. You donít want to race
with somebody significantly faster or slower.Ē
Van Bakel holds the unusual distinction of being both Dutch
Marathon and SUP champion, and says the 225km Berg will be part
of his base training for the 220km SUP-11-City race in The
He added that he was opting out of the European Marathon
Champions the weekend before the Berg to stay fresh for the
South African race, but added that the Berg is a good base for
the World Championships in September.
"Hank the Tank (McGregor) is the living legend who proved just
that!" said Van Bakel.
He said that he was looking forward to the opening two stages
but bracing himself for the longer final stages of flatwater.
"I love the first two technical days with lots of three blocks
and other challenges," he said. "But my least favourite is the
pain in my bum during day three and four!"
Entries are still being taken at www.berg.org.za.
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
Joep van Bakel (Kanocentrum Arjan Bloem) has confirmed his entry
for the 2018 Berg River Canoe
Marathon,after getting a solid sixth in the 2015 edition of the
Britain's Keith Moule (European
will partner Joep van Bakel in the 2018 Berg River Canoe Marathon.
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