Nicky Irvine wants to make a difference on her milestone Fish
Cradock – The upcoming Fish River Canoe Marathon will be a massive
occasion for Nicky Irvine Floros as she sets out to become the first
female paddler to complete 20 consecutive races, and she plans to use
the milestone opportunity to raise R20 000 for The Cows charity drive.
The 34 year old biokineticist from Hilton was one of the first to grasp
the opportunity when The Cows, normally involved in cycling, road
running and swimming, decided to launch a Paddling Herd at the 2017
“I first encountered The Cows while riding the 947 Cycle Challenge and
was just amazed by their spirit ,” said Irvine.
“Then, when I read about The Cows forming a Herd for the Fish on the
race website, there was no hesitation. This gave us a fantastic reason
as a family to go to the Fish this year.
“Having a family of our own makes the work that CHOC does even more
real, so getting involved in a fundraiser for CHOC was an easy decision
to make,” she added.
Their two daughters, Lulu (4) and Georgia (2), are no strangers to the
Fish, as they have been part of the race in a number of unusual ways.
“Both of them have already done a Fish because I paddled with both of
them while I was pregnant!” said Irvine.
“We have made special Cow suit onesies for both of them and they will
both be doing their duty with collection cans.”
Irvine did her first Fish as a 14 year old, paddling with Alice
Rawlinson, and remembers the trip vividly.
“Alice’s dad Dave got us into this massive Accord, and we tripped quite
a bit of the river. He banned us from shooting Keith’s Flyover, but we
just bombed down the middle of all the other big rapids because we
didn’t know any better.
“The race sponsors dished out these bright yellow hats. I recall our
seconds saying we were so easy to spot on the river because of the
bright hats and the loud chatter that was always going on in our boat!”
She tried hard to coax Rawlinson back from overseas to paddle with her
on her milestone twentieth consecutive Fish, but she couldn’t make the
trip, so she turned to her husband Nick with the plan for a special
“The response to our Cow Fish plans has been amazing. We have already
raised R14 000 and we will keep it up hoping to try and get to R20 000
by the end of the year via our GivenGain account.
“What has amazed me is how aware everyone is of the work that CHOC does
when you approach them, which makes getting donations so much easier.
Her husband Nick Floros, perhaps best known as the mountain bike trail
builder for the Rio Olympic Games, the prospect is a little daunting.
“Gee, I wish I could have done a bit more training,” he said frankly. “I
know it is going to hurt a bit but it will all be worthwhile,” he said.
Without entering into a debate on control issues, he conceded that he
was sitting in the back seat of the boat to keep the peace.
“Nicks will be driving boat, because she thinks she is the better
driver,” he ventured bravely. “Personally I think it is more about
weight distribution than driving ability!”
Their boat of choice was repaired at the last minute, after having badly
damaged the nose of their K2 in last year’s Fish.
“It was so bad that the whole nose had to come off a new nose was put
on,” he said. “So we might take our time to get back to full confidence
on things like Double Trouble,” he added.
Nicky says that the trip to Cradock will be special for their family.
“Time is short. We really want to make the most of the time we have
together. If what we achieve over this year’s Fish will allow another
person to enjoy another laugh with their family, then it will have been
a good deed,” She concluded.
You can support Nicky via her GivenGain
The 2017 Fish River Canoe Marathon takes place from Grassridge Dam to
Cradock Sports Complex on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 October. More information
can be found at
Event: 2017 Fish River Canoe
Championships: 2017 South Africa K2 Marathon Championships
Date: 6 & 7 October 2017
Venue: Cradock, Eastern Cape
Stages: Day One - Grassridge Dam to below Knutsford Bridge (48km)
Day Two -
Below Knutsford Bridge to Cradock Sports Complex (36km)
Social Media: #Fish2017