N3TC Drak Challenge
Jenkins wildcard for Drak
Underberg – When the field set off for the start of the KZN Mixed Doubles
champs on the uMzimkhulu River on Sunday there were a few raised eyebrows, as
triple N3TC Drak Challenge champion, Len Jenkins arrived at the start venue
of Swartberg Road bridge.
The Durban based racer had completed the 26 kilometre trip through the
fabled Valley of a Thousand Rapids that makes up the first stage of the two
day race on 21 and 22 February, and arrived beaming from ear to ear as the
racers were preparing for their outing.
As his followers have been accustomed to, the enigmatic Jenkins was
typically laid-back and non-committal.
"I was hiking in the Berg with my girlfriend,
and happened to have my K1 with me.
"When I saw that there was water in the river after the storm the night
before, I just decide to trip the top section, which was great fun," he
With an array of elite racers set to contest the 2017 N3TC Drak title, the
possibility of Jenkins joining the fray adds distinct spice to what is
always a very competitive race.
Jenkins surfaced at the recent Parklane SuperSpar Ozzie Gladwin race last
month where he raced to a competitive eighth place. "That was probably my
only paddle that month," chuckled Jenkins.
Jenkins' tripping the key top section of the river will grab the attention of
the top paddlers, who all know and understand what he brings to any race
that he enters.
He is a dogged competitor, not afraid to take extreme risks to assert
himself at the front of the race. He is a strong technical paddler which,
combined with brushing up his knowledge of the lines on the upper uMzimkhulu
at a medium/low level, will make him a force to be reckoned with on race day.
Last year Jenkins slipped unobtrusively into A batch, finished third after
the first stage, and went on to finish second overall, despite protestations
that he was grossly under trained.
Since winning almost every major title on the domestic calendar as a
youngster, Jenkins now opts to train away from the limelight and is seldom
seen at minor races and time trials. Those close to him will account for the
fact that he is still in good shape.
Last season he came blasting back into the limelight as a partner to Siseko
Ntondini, racing onto the podium at the Hansa Fish Marathon, signalling that
he is still a serious contender on the water, even if he opts to 'fly under
Pushed to commit to entering and challenging for a fourth N3TC Drak title,
Jenkins is typically evasive.
"Yah, we'll see if there is water for the race. Maybe," he adds, every edge
of mystery serving to deepen the enigmatic halo that surrounds the talented
The 2017 N3TC Drak Challenge Canoe Marathon takes place in the Southern
Drakensberg on 21 and 22 January 2017.
More information can be found at
Click to download the hi-res
The N3TC Drak Challenge 2017 Logo - JPeg
After being spotted tripping the
upper reaches of the uMzimkhulu River, Len Jenkins may well be the elite
wildcard for the N3TC Drak Challenge Canoe Marathon on 21 and 22 January
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