Paddlers of the world unite!

Monday, 08 June 2009 03:15 | Written by  Murray Williams
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As airliners disappear, the economy crashes even deeper and car factories grind to a halt ... what respite for us all? Well, for a start, we're united in name as "Accomplished Paddlers".

And what might that mean?


The definitions are clear:
A Paddle:

  • A tool used for pushing against liquids, either as a form of propulsion in a boat or as an
    implement for mixing.
    A usually wooden implement having a blade at one end or sometimes at both ends, used
    without an oarlock to propel a canoe or small boat.

To Paddle:

  • To propel a watercraft with paddles or a paddle.
    To row slowly and gently.
    To spank or beat with a paddle, especially as a punishment.


  • Complete ... usually as the result of training; -- commonly in a good sense; as: "an accomplished
    scholar", or "an accomplished villain". 

So there we are.
Those of us liquid-pushers, spankers and villains who visit this site,, usually sow our
aqua-mayhem in the big blue.
But as mid-winter nears, whales beach themselves en masse and we're lashed by the
northwesterly squalls ... the Cape's rivers offer a safe haven.
In canoes. On the Swartland Marathon in less than two weeks time.
After all, the equipment's almost identical: same blades, same ballet pants, same Hellis, same
True "Accomplished Paddlers", after all, conquer all forms of the wet stuff.
And what better chance to oust King Hank as reigning Sovereign of both Rivers and Sea.
And remain fighting fit for the ocean paddling season to come.
The Swartland Marathon of 2009 unfolds on Saturday 13th June and Sunday 14th June 2009.
The "Mini-Berg" was parented two years ago by the strongmen of Peninsula Canoe Club, to
move their beach-side camaraderie in-land.
So we can all enjoy "The West Coast hospitality, the water, wine and wheatlands, 90kms of the
best of the Berg, runs, rapids and palmiet, the only two-day K1 event in the Cape".
In the past few weekends, the Berg has been flowing full-strength, giving paddlers fine
adventures racing down fast-flowing channels, dicing around obstacles and Kingley Holgating
their way through the occasional forest.
Interviewed recently, Graeme Solomon had this to say about the difference to surfskiing:
"Canoeing is still more technique-orientated ... there's more emphasis on the glide of the canoe,
and less power is required."
Instead, rivers demand the very best racing skills - slip-riding, bunch-racing and split-second
decision-making. Beneath snow-capped mountains, the Swartland's beautiful country landscapes,
filled with hot soup and heady red wine.
Said PCC chairman Mark Torrington: 
"This emphasis for event has always been 'the experience and enjoyment'. 
"Don't underestimate the course as you will be paddling the 'technical' part of the Berg and it is
after all 90kms over two days, however participants are sharing the experience rather than racing
and surviving as is generally the case in the Berg River Marathon later in the year. For your entry
fee, you will receive an awesome goody bag, lunch for both days and a commerative bottle of
wine on finishing. 
"The Day 1 stop over at Zonquasdrif is going to be a festival occasion with full catering for
paddlers and seconds, a bar, a live band and big screen TV to watch the rugby. "The race
organizers have also opened the race to day entrants. Enter on the morning (R 100.00 for seniors
and R 75.00 for juniors) and you can join the field for one of the days. Fantastic prizes and lucky
draws for full marathon and single day entrants. Just like the paddling around Cape Point,
paddling the forest above Herman is something you HAVE to add to your paddling CV."
Paddlers one and all, see you on the Swartland.

  • Day 1 is paddled from Skooltjie to Zonquasdrift.
  • And Day 2 follows from Zonquasdrif to Bridgetown. 
    Entries close Monday 8th June 2009 and Late Entries close Wed 10th June 2009.   
    There will be a camping site with toilet facilities (no showers) provided at Zonquasdrif. If you
    wish to camp you will need to bring your own tents and provide your own supper and breakfast. 
    Physiotherapist Cathy Chambers Physiotherapists available to massage Saturday 13th June. at
    R150 / half hour. Book now on: 021 461 2159 or email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Race Enquiries:

visit  or just - Or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.