ICF Canoe Marathon
World Championships 2017 Media Release
25 July 2017
Written by: Dave Macleod
KZN Champs a stepping stone for the World Champs
Pietermaritzburg – With a record entry for the KZN Canoe Marathon
Championships in Pietermaritzburg on the weekend, the
preparations for the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships from
4 to 10 September shifted up an important gear as the local
organising committee started fine tuning logistics for the
global showcase, now just 45 days away.
Over 280 local paddlers raced across the Junior, Under 23,
Senior and the Masters age groups, contesting the K1 titles on
the Saturday and the K2s on the Sunday, with the course and
set-up getting widespread approval from the participants and
“The atmosphere at the KZN Champs was fantastic,” said Andy
Birkett, silver medallist at last year’s World Championships.
“Often the KZN Marathon Champs is boring and slow, but this
weekend was unbelievable.
“For those that are waiting to race, the venue is so cool
because you can almost see all the action on the course, which
makes Camps Drift so unique as a marathon venue,” he added.
“Especially that last ‘hot lap’ where you can see the last turn
and the sprint for the line, it makes it so exciting for the
“The buzz around the club is really special. You can sense that
the World Champs is just around the corner,” Birkett elaborated.
“We got down to training the other day and it looked like a race
was on because there were over sixty people on the water
“And that is what we are experiencing at all the clubs across
South Africa,” he added.
“The feedback was very positive, and we feel that we are moving
in the right direction,” said organising committee chairman
“We made changes to some of the infrastructure, like the
batching and check-in process, and this was a clear improvement.
That is what we want from the KZN Champs and SA Champs – to
learn how to keep doing things better, and to use these events
as dress rehearsals for the World in September.
Botha confirmed that the next phase of the preparations had
already started when the level of the water in the Drift was
lowered and the dredging of the entire course was about to
The municipality was cleaning up the banks and grass areas
around the course, and the reconditioning of the road to the
venue was also due to get under way.
Botha confirmed that the event would have a typically
KwaZulu-Natal flavour, and was thrilled to confirm that the
award-winning Kearsney College choir would be performing at the
opening ceremony on Wednesday 6 September.
The ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships will be held at Camps
Drift in Pietermaritzburg from 8 to 10 September 2017, preceded
by the Masters Cup competition. More
information can be found at
(click to download
Click HERE to download
ICF Canoe Marathon World
Championships 2017 Logo- JPEG
“The buzz around the
club is really special," said 2016 World champs silver medallist
Andy Birkett (centre), who won the K1 title at the KZN Marathon Champs on
the weekend. "You can sense that the World Champs is just around
“The feedback was
very positive, and we feel that we are moving in the right
direction,” said 2017 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships
organising committee chairman Steve Botha.
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