2022 Fish River Canoe Marathon Media Service  No: Fish2206

 28 Sept 2022

 Embargo: None Written by: Nick Tatham

Pre-Fish sets the tone ahead of Fish 2022

Cradock – The annual Pre-Fish once again provided paddlers with a good opportunity to re-familiarise themselves with the conditions that they can expect from the Fish River Canoe Marathon from 7-8 October.

Given the fast-flowing water and the exciting rapids, the Pre-Fish can be a good outing for paddlers who have maybe forgotten their lines through some of the major obstacles, however it also gives participants a taste of what to expect from the famous Klein Karoo hospitality.

18-time finisher of the Fish River Canoe Marathon and perennial top performer Barry Lewin took part in the Pre-Fish last weekend.

“The Pre-Fish is definitely one of my favourite events, after the actual Fish, because of the laid back atmosphere,” Lewin said.

“The dynamic of no times, no real pressure over racing and it being more of a practice event where guys just trip down the river is really cool and everyone has a ton of fun.

“The vibe at the end of the first day is epic with warthog on the spit and all the rest of the great Karoo hospitality.”

Taking on the two days in a more relaxed environment gives paddlers the chance to test their skills and Lewin believes that this year’s Pre-Fish was a proper test.

“At the Fish the locals tell me the river usually runs at about 25 CUMECS and we had just over 30 CUMECS for Pre-Fish.

“This doesn’t make the river bigger but it definitely makes it more technical in the first bit with more swirlies and eddies which make it technical.”

Lewin and a lot of the paddlers took on the revamped Double Trouble weir for the first time and for an experienced campaigner like Lewin he broke it down for those preparing for next weekend.

“At the new Double Trouble a lot of the field had issues and having such a technical obstacle right at the start of the race means you need to keep your wits about you!

“In terms of the weir itself, it’s quite hard to get away from the left-hand wall in the second section of the weir and a lot of guys have trouble trying to get away from that.

“The bottom wave looks as big as the old wave but it’s a little different in that it’s more aerated and doesn’t stop you as much but just behind it there are a number of lateral waves, eddies and swirlies that were a little bit more difficult to navigate.

“A lot of guys didn’t have issues with Double Trouble itself but more what happens below the main stopper.”

The two day Fish River Canoe Marathon will take place from Grassridge Dam to Cradock on 7-8 October 2022.

More information can be found at www.fishmarathon.org.za.


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The famous Soutpans Rapid provided paddlers with some thrills and spills once again at the Pre-Fish recently as they used the event as a final dress rehearsal ahead of the Fish River Canoe Marathon from 7-8 October. Bruce Viaene/
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