World's top Masters compete at Camps Drift | SASCOC - SASCOC

World’s top Masters compete at Camps Drift


Camps Drift will bask in the global canoeing spotlight next week as the week-long marathon canoeing showcase gets under way on Monday with the Masters Cup racing that traditionally precedes the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships every year.

The opportunity to be a part of the event has spawned a huge entry of South African veteran and masters age group paddlers, making up around 80% of the just over 200 K1s that will be racing across the full range of age groups on Monday.

The focus shifts to K2 racing on Tuesday, where an equally well-supported entry of over 140 K2 crews will contest the age group honours on the Camps Drift waters.

With the local contingent made up of two official South African team members and dozens of individual entries, they’ll come up against paddlers from 17 other nations in the Masters Cup competition, many of them former medallists at previous editions of the world championships, who still enjoy the competition and cameraderie of international competition.

The racing will follow the same format as the World Championships proper, but in the cases of the other age groups, the participants will be spared having to run the 100-metre long portage at the end of each lap.

The racing will rekindle many decades-old canoeing rivalries, and is sure to be highly competitive.

Multiple Masters Cup title holder Lee McGregor has opted to race in an age group 15 years younger than his actual age group, to be able to take on a particularly competitive group of paddlers entered for the 50-54 year old category, including his choice opponent Oscar Chalupsky, the local surfski racer now based in Portugal, and who has cheekily entered as a Portuguese team member.

The programme also includes separate races for para-athletes and C-boats, or Canadian style canoes in which the paddler kneels rather than sits.

Race organisers are delighted with the size and quality of the entries for the Masters Cup, saying that they match the entries at any other previous edition of the age-group marathon paddling spectacles.

The week-long marathon racing showcase was also meant to double as the African Championships in the various age categories, but the lack of any African entries outside of the huge South African entry has forced them to shelve that element of the championships, despite efforts to fund the travel and training of paddlers from emerging African marathon-paddling countries.

Picture of Pietermaritzburg locals Marion Young (left) and Kim Peek, who will be battling for medals in the Masters Cup races courtesy of Dave MacLeod

Masters Cup programme
Monday 4 September
1 8:30am K1 Men 65-69
2 8:35 K1 Men 70 +
3 8:40 C1 Men 35-59
4 10:30 K1 Women 35-39
5 10:30 K1 Women 40-44
6 10:30 K1 Women 45-49
7 10:35 K1 Men 55 -59
8 10:40 K1 Men 60-64
9 10:45 K1 Women 50-54
10 10:45 K1 Women 55-59
11 10:45 K1 Women 60-64
12 14:00 K1 Men 35-39
13 14:02 K1 Men 40 -44
14 14:04 K1 Men 45-49
15 14:06 K1 Men 50-54

Tuesday 5 September
16 8:00am K2 Men 65-69
17 8:00 K2 Men 70 +
18 8:05 C2 Men All
19 8:10 K1 PARA All
20 10:30 K2 Women 35-39
21 10:30 K2 Women 40-44
22 10:30 K2 Women 45-49
23 10:35 K2 Men 55 -59
24 10:40 K2 Men 60-64
25 10:45 K2 Women 50-54
26 10:45 K2 Women 55-59
27 10:45 K2 Women 60-64
28 13:30 K2 Men 35-39
29 13:35 K2 Men 45-49
30 13:40 K2 Men 40 -44
31 13:45 K2 Men 50-54
32 16:00 K2 Mixed 35-65

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