Canoeing South Africa Media Release

 No: CSA 2313

27 Aug 2023

 Embargo : None

Written by: Tim Whitfield

Masters aim to show SA World Champs team the way

Vejen, Denmark -- A seven-man team of South Africa's "masters" canoeists will be hoping to lay the foundation on Monday and Tuesday for a big medal haul at this week's Canoe Marathon World Championships in Vejen, Denmark.

The ICF Masters Canoe Canoe Marathon World Championships on Monday and Tuesday is a traditional curtain raiser for the elite World Championships, which continue at the same venue on Thursday.

A small South African team of masters paddlers, ranging in age from 43 to 77, will be hoping to start the medal collection in their events early in the week, and then be at the race venue to watch the senior, U18 and U23 compatriots add to the medal haul on Thursday to Sunday.

The seven-man Masters team are scheduled to be racing in nine races -- three K2s (doubles) events and six K1 (singles). They will however not be able to match the haul of the big 2022 team which brought him no less than 15 medals -- including five gold medals -- from Ponte de Lima, Portugal.

One of the first paddlers in action will be the Canoeing South Africa Secretary General, Colin Simpkins, who is the only masters paddler taking part this year that earned a medal in 2022. The K2 bronze medal winner from 2022 will be joining Chris Visser on the start line in the opening event of the regatta, the 65-69 age group K1 race.

They will be followed closely by the oldest member of the team, 77-year-old Claude Graham in the singles event for the 75+ age group. Graham will be looking to go at least one place better than 2022 where he ended fourth in the same event.

Also in action on the opening day in K1s will be Ernest van Riet (45-49), Waldo van der Linde (40-44), and Pieter Engelbrecht (50-54).

The second day of action on Tuesday will see Simpkins and Visser teaming up for the 65-69 K2 event, while Van Riet and Van der Linde will pair up in the 40-44 K2 and Matthew Ballenden will join Engelbrecht for the 50-54 doubles event.

The elite team, which takes to the water to race on Thursday, includes men's world K1 defending champion Andy Birkett, as well as other 2022 medalists Hamish Lovemore, Ulvard Hart, Christie Mackenzie and Saskia Hockly, who won medals in the senior, U23 and junior races which make up the second part of the World Championships.

For more information go to


NOTE TO EDITORS: Senior, U23 and junior preview will be distributed on Wednesday for elite races.

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Canoeing South African Secretary General, Colin Simpkins, will be hoping to start the SA team's medal haul in the first event of the ICF Masters Canoe Marathon World Championships.
Canoeing South Africa

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