Breede River Canoe Marathon Media Release
New women's K2 crew of Van Gysen and Mackenzie lay down a marker
Robertson - With provincial K2 titles on the line and a packed
month of major canoeing events looming, the race for the women’s
title at the Breede Rive Canoe Marathon on 7 and 8 September
will see the untested combination of experienced paddlers
Christie Mackenzie and Kim Van Gysen starting as the crew to
Mackenzie, who rose to prominence when she won the Dusi Canoe
Marathon title earlier in the year, is heading to China in
October to contest the women’s K2 title shortly after a
challenge for the title and national K2 laurels at the Hansa
Fish Marathon in Cradock three weeks before.
At both of those competitions she will be racing with Olympic
bronze medallist Bridgitte Hartley, but with Hartley away on
duty with the national sprint team at the African Championships,
Mackenzie has had to look around for another partner for the
“Kim approached me to do a dice with her and then asked if I was
keen to do the Breede with her as Bridgitte (Hartley) is away on
the Breede weekend,” said Mackenzie.
“That dice went really well and I like how determined she is in
a racing situation,” she added, saying that the responsibility
of driving the boat from the front seat will fall on Van Gysen’s
“Kim knows the river well, and though it isn’t too technical,
her knowledge of the stages mean’s she can make all the
“I am feeling really confident in her ability and determination,
so I am looking forward to the race.”
“I also haven’t sat in the back of a K2 since I was at school so
it will take a bit of getting used to,” she added.
Van Gysen finished third in the recent Bamboo Warehouse Push And
Pull Paddle three day race, and is enjoying a solid return to
The pair will have a distinct advantage over many of the other
K2 crew as they are light, and with very low water predicted for
the race, their weight advantage will count heavily in their
favour in the shallow rocky rapids and rock shelves.
“We are a light crew so if the river stays as low as it is at
the moment it might actually play into our hands,” the Euro
Steel/Varsity College racer said.
“She is a great person as well, and I got to know her a little
better on the Push And Pull Paddle weekend,” Mackenzie added.
They will not have it all their own way as the Breede attracts a
number of the region’s top women’s crews, with names like
Melanie Van Niekerk, paddling withLlundudno lifesaver Christina
Geromont, Lis Hart and Romy Findlay, Angie Austin and Jess
Pollock and Kim Rew and
Robyn van RTooyen already surfacing on the confirmed entries list.
After the Breede showdown, she will be back in the front seat of
the K2 as she prepares for the dates on the Fish River and then
the global K2 title decider in China, all while trying to juggle
her end-of-year exams in her psychology studies.
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Canoe Marathon 2019 Logo - Horizontal on white (JPeg)
Christie Mackenzie will team up
with Kim Van Gysen for the first time at the Breede Marathon on 7 and 8
Kim Van Gysen will team up
with Christie Mackenzie for the first time at the Breede Marathon on 7 and 8
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