Canoeing South Africa
11 Nov 2016
Written by: Kyle Gilham
National pride on the line at 2016 Vaal River Canoe Marathon
Johannesburg – This weekend’s 2016 Vaal River Canoe Marathon, which doubles
as the year’s South African K2 River Marathon Championships, will be a
fascinating affair after the deluge that hit much of Johannesburg on
Thursday and Friday this week.
While the country continues to be gripped by the ongoing drought nationally,
the recent flash floods have helped ease the phenomenon’s stranglehold
temporarily and has seen a sudden spike in river levels in Gauteng.
While thousands of commuters have been confronted by some dire situations
over the past 48 hours, the news is good for participants of Gauteng’s most
prestigious river marathon as they go in search of this year’s K2 national
honours this weekend.
“The barrage had to be opened (early) due to the amount of water already in
the barrage and the amount of water still coming down,” race organisers
confirmed on social media on Friday.
“The Vaal River (below) Parys (is) currently running at around 45 (cumecs);
good water for the weekend,” they added.
While some of the country’s top paddlers will be absent from the Vaal’s
start line this weekend due to international surfski commitments, some of
Gauteng’s finest paddling competitors as set to go head-to-head.
Fresh off his strong showing at the recent Umpetha Challenge in KZN, Euro
Steel/ADreach’s Siseko Ntondini, teaming up with experienced racer Wayne
Jacobs, will undoubtedly be a strong title contender this weekend.
Having famously raced to a podium place at last year’s Hansa Fish River
Canoe Marathon with doubles partner Len Jenkins, the Soweto Canoe and
Recreation Club (SCARC) product has been a strong performer since and will
again hope to shine on local Gauteng waters.
Ntondini will however have fellow SCARC aces Siyabonga Tyiki and Thando
Ngamlana no doubt breathing down his neck throughout the two-day, 68km clash
while KwaZulu-Natal duo, Clinton Cook and Thomas Lovemore will too be eyeing
out a podium finish or better.
The evergreen Piers Cruickshanks is another notable pre-entry however the
stellar performer is set to take on the clash in the mixed doubles category,
tackling the challenge with his wife, Shelley.
Curiously, top Gauteng paddlers Loveday Zondi, Zonele Nzuza and Alex Roberts
have all opted to tackle the contest alone rather than pair up and challenge
for this year’s K2 national title, something that may however change after
the recent rise of the Vaal River levels.
Stage one of the 2016 Vaal River Canoe Marathon starts at 08h00 on Saturday,
12 November at Cote De Val River Lifestyle Estate and will finish 37km
downstream at Smilin Thru Resort.
The action then resumes at 07h30 on Sunday, 13 November as paddlers tackle
the 30km second stage from Smilin Thru Resort to Hadeda Creek Adventures.
More information can be found at
Click to download the hi-res
Africa Logo (GIF).
Euro Steel/ADreach's Siseko
Ntondini's (back) career has seen him enjoy some fruitful K2 partnerships,
including his Hansa Fish third place pairing with Len Jenkins (front).
This weekend the Gauteng talent hopes to combine successfully with Wayne
Jacobs at the Vaal River Canoe Marathon, which doubles as the 2016 South
African K2 River Marathon Championships.
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