Set in Schoemanskloof, on the breathtaking Crocodile River that flows through Mpumalanga, the A-grade race runs over two days on a challenging 57 kilometre stretch from Kwena Dam to Montrose Falls.
The annual race consistently attracts a small but stellar group of paddlers. Now in its 50th year, it has developed a cult status amongst regular participants who test their skill with a thrilling combination of technically demanding rapids and challenging weirs. Boasting real Lowveld hospitality and a sense of camaraderie you are unlikely to experience anywhere else.
Claire Lindsay, Editor of SA Paddler and finisher of last year’s 2011 Lowveld Croc Marathon says, “It’s a race that will test every skill from ferry gliding, reading the river, executing sharp turns, emptying and patching your boat, to draw strokes. It will throw every obstacle at you from weirs, tight technical rapids, big drops, low level bridges and trees. And then it will spit you out, showing you exactly what skills you lack and what obstacles you are far from mastering.”
One of the toughest races in South Africa is also one of the best kept secrets on the canoeing calendar.
The race starts 10 metres above a weir where paddlers are seeded and start 30 seconds apart due to the narrowness of the river. Exciting rapids include Rapid 14 and Carisbrooke. Past winners include Ant Stott, Len Jenkins and Jacques Theron. Last year’s winner, Andy Birkett says, “I would have to say that the Lowveld Croc is definitely the best river I have ever paddled on. What a crazy cool race! Many tales have been spread about the size and difficulty of the river, which kept many paddlers including us, at bay. Although the river is tricky, it’s no trickier than any other canoe race yet it’s more fun! Last year’s race saw a small field of 100 paddlers starting - all of different skills showing the race can be enjoyed by even the fish and chips!”
The race is backed by the dedicated and super organized Lowveld Canoe Club, with a team so clearly passionate about paddling. The Croc Canoe marathon really is one of the best racing atmospheres a paddler could wish for, so be sure to put it on your Bucket List and challenge yourself – you won’t be disappointed.
The 2012 Croc Canoe Marathon will take place over a long weekend (22 & 23 September)
For more info or to enter: www.lowveldcanoe.co.za
Or contact Eric Dexon: 082 376 9795 or firstname.lastname@example.org