Dischem Pete Marlin Media Release
23 Sept 2021
: Dave Macleod
Birketts excited to welcome paddlers to 2021 Pete Marlin
East London - With a month to go and already a record field of
surfski paddlers entered, East London paddlers are excited to
welcome the visitors from every corner of the country to the
iconic Dischem Pete Marlin weekend of races on 30 and 31
Andy Birkett, who is riding the crest of a wave after winning
the Berg and Breede river races in recent months, says the local
paddlers are training hard and eager to prove themselves against
some of the best paddlers in the country.
“There are a number of training squads in East London, and
everyone is frothing for the Pete Marlin,” said Birkett. “Our
regular squad is going well and we mix it up between ski paddles
if the conditions are good or river sessions.
“There are a bunch of other training squads, like the Ballies
and the Fattis and Monis squads, and they are all amped for the
Pete Marlin weekend,” added the Euro Steel star.
Birkett will be one of a number of singles titles contenders,
and having signed up Nick Notten as a partner, he will be a
serious contender for a possible doubles title as well.
His wife Nikki Birkett will share similar attention in the
women’s race, and has set the family up well for a successful
weekend, having entered the women‘s doubles race with new
surfski world champion Michelle Burn.
But Birkett says that won’t add any pressure to the expectations
of a hometown champion, as he says there are a number of Border
paddlers that will be in contention.
“It is very competitive! We have a great depth of paddlers
across the age groups, and with people like Josh Fenn, Luke
Swinney and Steve Woods going well at the moment, it takes some
of the pressure off us!” said Birkett.
The Birketts are looking forward to the biggest paddling event
of the year in East London and are confident that the weather
will deliver great racing conditions.
“Since I have moved to East London I have seen that there is
always a good downwind to paddle here, and we are spoilt for
options,” said Birkett.
“It is probably a combination of having missed out on a lot of
paddling events due to Covid, and the reputation that this event
has, but there is such a great buzz around amongst the Border
“It is going to be a great month, with the Fish on the 8th and
9th of October and then the Pete Marlin three weeks later. We
can’t wait,” he concluded.
More information about the event can be found at
Social media : #PeteMarlin2021
(click to download
Click HERE to download
Dischem Pete Marlin logo - square on white - JPeg
Andy Birkett and his wife Nikki Birkett are part of a group of
local surfski enthusiasts eager to welcome the record field that
has entered the Dischem Pete Marlin on 30 and 31 October. “It is
probably a combination of having missed out on a lot of paddling
events due to Covid, and the reputation that this event has, but
there is such a great buzz around amongst the Border paddlers,"
says Andy Birkett.
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