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World Champs will have ‘uniquely South African feel’

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It’s all systems go for the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships at Camps Drift, Pietermaritzburg, from 8-10 September as race chairman Steve Botha moves in with his committee to ensure that the global showcase is hosted successfully and with welcoming hospitality.

Botha takes over from Brett Austen Smith, who was responsible for securing the second edition of the marathon world title decider in South Africa, and plans to make sure the event runs smoothly and creates unforgettable memories for the athletes, their families and spectators attending the three-day spectacle.

‘Primarily we want to make sure the whole event has a uniquely South African feel,’ said Botha. ‘We have such a vibrant culture in this country and we want to show that culture to everyone at the event.’

He said plans for the athletes village and boat storage facilities to bolster the facilities at Camps Drift were at an advanced stage.

‘Now that our domestic river marathon season is winding down, we can focus all our energy on the World Champs in September,’ said Botha. ‘We have a great committee that is working flat-out, busy doing what they need to do.

‘We are on schedule now, after a little catching up and the venue is looking fantastic. There is new grass laid for the portage and it all looks of a very high standard,’ said Botha.

‘September is an awesome time of the year in Pietermaritzburg. It’s spring, but before the heavy rains, and Camps Drift will be fantastic at that time.

The week-long competition will start with the traditional Masters Cup races for Veteran and Master age group paddlers, and para-athletes, before the spotlight shifts to the junior, Under 23 and senior men and women.

‘We are really looking forward to welcoming everyone to the World Marathon Champs in September,’ he concluded.


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