2023 Fish River Canoe Marathon Media Service  No: Fish2303

 23 Aug 2023

 Embargo: None Written by: Nick Tatham

Fish set to host another exciting SA K2 championship

Cradock - Once again the Fish River Canoe Marathon will host the South African K2 River Championships with the country's best descending on Cradock for a shot at a national title from 6-7 October.

The fight for the national river racing titles has always captured the imagination of the country's elite paddling fraternity, and this year's Fish will again provide the ideal battle ground for some enthralling tussles.

82km of fast-flowing, technical river provides a great test of rivers skill as well as speed and fitness and makes the event the perfect trace o decide national titles. Throw in the Fish tradition of throwing up a curve ball or two every year, and the pressure of holding onto a lead or chasing the frontrunners is ramped up a notch or two.

Next week South Africa's best marathon paddlers will head to Denmark for the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships and will then have a month to recover and prepare for Fish.

The Fish has regularly hosted the SA K2 championships – including every K2-edition of the Eastern Cape classic since 2015. Over the last four editions of the SA K2 title battle, Euro Steel's Andy Birkett has dominated proceedings with three wins – two with Greg Louw and the most recent victory with Nick Notten in 2021.

On the women's front, Jenna Nisbet has won two national titles with Kyeta Purchase and Anna Kožíšková, while it was Bridgitte Hartley and Christie Mackenzie who won the most recent edition in 2021.

The national river marathon championship is never just focused on the elite paddlers, with age group titles also being crowned at the Fish in October and the racing between the junior age groups is sure to be particularly competitive.

Schools from all over the country send their best paddlers to the event to fight it out for national honours. Given the central proximity of Cradock to the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, it usually attracts the best youngsters from around South Africa.

There are numerous national titles up for grabs across all age groups and the lure of a national title brings large numbers of paddlers to Cradock for two days of exciting action, both on and off the water.

Hospitality is at the heart of what the people of Cradock do and the town embraces the paddlers for the weekend with a warmth that one can only find in the Klein Karoo.

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


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The SA River Marathon title race will be red-hot once again as the country's best eye a national K2 crown at the 2023 Fish River Canoe Marathon from 6-7 October. Bruce Viaene/
Gameplan Media

After winning in 2021, Christie Mackenzie (front) and Bridgitte Hartley (back) will be back in 2023, although with different partners, to try and win the SA K2 River Marathon title at the Fish River Canoe Marathon from 6-7 October. Bruce Viaene/
Gameplan Media
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