Berg River Canoe Marathon Media Release  No: Berg1810

4 July 2018

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Written By : Dave Macleod

Full river looming for Berg paddlers

Paarl – Paddlers entered for the Berg River Canoe Marathon next week are revelling in the news that the river has been flowing at its highest level in the past five years, assuring the field of good paddling conditions forn the four day race from 12 to 15 July.

“Even if we have no more rain before the race, we will have good water for the Berg,” said race stalwart Giel van Deventer, who has completed the tough odyssey from Paarl to the West Coast more than any other athlete.

“There is more rain forecast for Tuesday – the day before the race – so we could have really good water this year.

“After four tough years of low water, we are really looking forward to this year’s race,” he added.

After the cold front hit the Western Cape this week, heavy rains sent the level of the Berg River soaring.

“The river was running at around 100 cubic metres per second (cumecs) at the start in Paarl,” said van Deventer, who works with the Department of Water Affairs managing the water in the Berg River catchment area.

“Lower down, around the Drie Heuwels weir the river flow was over 250 cumecs,” he added. The Misverstand dam has been spilling generously for over a week.

Van Deventer said that the full river had done nothing to alleviate the problem of water hyacinth on the river, and if anything had aggravated it.

“The river flowing compacts the hyacinth and makes it totally impenetrable,” he explained. “The race committee has made the right call to leave out the section at the start of the second day from Zonquasdrift to Gouda bridge,” he added.

Entries are still being taken at

The Berg River Canoe marathon starts in Paarl on 11 July and ends at Velddrif on 14 July. More information can be found at


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Berg River Canoe Marathon - Horizontal on white - JPeg  
Heavy rains have left the Berg River running at over 100 cubic metres per second at the start in Paarl. Heinrich Schloms is looking forward to the first full Berg Marathon in five years. John Hishin/
Gameplan Media
“After four tough years of low water, we are really looking forward to this year’s race,” said Giel van Deventer, aiming for his 49th Berg finishers medal. John Hishin/
Gameplan Media
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