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Heritage Day, aka Braai Day saw gale force storms wreak havoc across the Western Cape, and the winds pushed up to Gauteng. Weather watcher Mnr Goosen saw this coming and organized a downwind on the Vaal Dam. Raoul recruited 7 other TVL seamen, one wren and N’drik to drive for the motley crew of 9. When they arrived the windspeed was a steady 15 knots, gusting up to 29, and it looked like it was going to be fantastic. The crew put in the north-east with the plan being to paddle 18 km down to a south-west spot below Denysville. A lot of fun was then had – for the most part and for most of the crew, who reported speeds of over 18kph. The runs were great, with one running into the next, particularly when paddling south-east, except the plan was to go south-west, and one of the squad wasn’t quite ready for this. In the end he had several swims, so some carried on while others shepherded him home to Denysville – and they then ended up doing 20km, with a fair bit of headbanging into the wind. With the benefit of cellphones the two groups were easily collected by N’drik and then there were the expected war stories on the way home. All who went agreed it was a great way to spend a windy day, and our swimmer learnt a lot; he is now quite proficient at remounts in testing windy and choppy conditions. Well done and thank you to Raoul for organizing.

In other news, and some food for thought, while your friends and family here may be looking for an exit route, Basti is ecstatic to be able to stay in Jo’burg till the end of the year. Otherwise, it’s nearly October, which means it’s nearly Fish time – don’t forget your two-tone shirts. Please let Anja know if you need one for the Dabblers after party. That’s right – the Dabblers will be the main event on Saturday evening, while Samoa will hopefully be busy hurting England and before Ireland hammer Scotland. If you are staying home, then go check out the Canoe Polo Africa Champs at Dabs. Then its 10-in1 time, and the challenge isn’t so much about who will win, but more to see if records can still be broken. No pressure Flem Pup, but that’s at the sharp end, for others the challenge is simply to see if you can do 10-in-1. Join the lineup and you could write your name into Dabs history; or you could feed the fish… What will Basti do, what will you do? Then there’s the Lowveld Croc, the Dabs MD League and then the Dabs 4-hour enduro, so we have a full calendar for October – Enjoy!