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This weekend’s race was beyond our borders, on the other side of the Boerewors Curtain, there in Centurion, by Rietvlei Dam. It was damn cold, overcast, windy and not overly pleasant, but 45 boats still lined up at the start. As expected Wayne and Brad took the win. They then did an extra 2 laps (6km) and still finished before half the field. Luke and Bruno had a DNP (didn’t pitch/didn’t paddle); they had some excuse about exams. Sarah, Elandrie and Clive did the short course rather than the full thing; they claimed they had steering problems. Alex and MJ had a DNF; their excuse was that after just 10 minutes of paddling they had a 10 minute swim and said they were cold. We believe them, but do need to say well done to the U14’s Kyle and Sicelo; they swam at the start, got back in their boat and finished their race. Ryno die main ou was very proud of his boys.

It was good to see the Mr Rodda back at a race for the first time in a few years; all his training is clearly paying dividends. The surprise of the day was seeing the arrival of Waldi at a race; we don’t think he has done one since he won the Dusi back in 1991.
He did the full distance on his own, in a surf ski, wrapped up like a mummy; although you won’t see his name in the results as he was paddling ‘under-cover’.

As always the fare at CCC was fine. They handed out long sleeve T shirts and nougat to the early entrants, steaming soup and rolls were served on finishing, and then it seemed like almost every second person won a prize; Karen (with a K) was well pleased that the ladies were properly recognised. Beyond all the category winners there were then another 20 lucky draw prizes so we had guys like Gavin and Grant smiling broadly after winning wine and beer. Well done and thank you to the Centurion people and all who helped stage a great event in those cold conditions.

In the evening we had a fundraiser at our clubhouse for those Racing Beyond Our Borders. On arrival there was a golf game, if you could chip a plastic ball into the back of Brad’s boat you could win a prize; the Erwee’s really looked like they knew what they were doing, which might explain why we haven’t seen them on the water lately. Steve then played MC, recognising and awarding our Dabs national paddlers, and then the Dabblers (Flem Pup, Schalk, Brendan (of Springbok Nude Girl fame) and Marky Mark) got going. MJ was like the Pied Piper and at first it was him and the kids squeaking some tackie, then the old people, Steve, Callie and Caren joined in, and then the party really got going. Later on there was an auction, some thought Taff’s Saudi Dollars would take it, but Henry walked away with the win. Thank you to all who supported the event and to those who made donations, in particular NCS Resins and AdReach, close to R100 000 was raised in the end; fantastic! Well done to E3 and her committee for organising the event. Thank you to Dumi and Suki for keeping us all refreshed, and thank you to Patrick and Thomas for their safekeeping services. Please remember they are helping us and also need our support.

It must have been a good party because the sun was shining on Sunday morning but there were only about 20 boats at TT, after which Peter held a river safety session in the clubhouse house as a build up for the newbies and ladies doing the Tugela 20’s.
Good one Geachie. It was also a good weekend for Clint Cook who was also beyond our borders busy winning the Olifants, and lots of oranges.

Staying with the theme of ‘beyond our borders’ (and the cold), here’s some paddling news we thought worth sharing. Quinton Miller, a Cape Town paddler just spent 5 weeks paddling some 700km’s solo from Isafordjur in the North West Fjords to Neskaupstadur in the North East Fjords of Iceland. Check it out on Google Maps or his Strava feed. Quinton said it was: “A great trip but some challenging wind and cold conditions.” And to think some of us thought it was cold and hard at Rietvlei.

Also beyond our borders (and beyond far), a 23 year old with type 1 diabetes, Dougal Glaisher recently completed a trip around the UK in a record time of 40 days. Paddling solo and camping most nights on beaches, he started North East of London, went South around the bottom of Mud Island then up the Irish Coast, before going around Scotland and then back down the East Coast. In total he paddled over 3200km, averaging 80km a day. Maybe someone should invite him to do the PE2EL, or if he likes beer and wants a fun option, the Turtle Tour, where adventure is guaranteed.

And finally, if you want to watch a bit of fun paddling playboat stuff somewhere in the States, check this out: https://www.facebook.com/watch?v=783076026555975