Quote : Legendary for its exhilarating rapids! the 36km of day 1 first stage is often underestimated by paddlers, as everybody remembers the thrills of Day 2 END
The race is arguably the pinnacle race of the season – frequently in flood levels as we finish off the rainy season the mighty A+ grade Umkomaas is usually a wild white water challenge which can have paddlers quaking as they line up for the start, or trembling with anticipation and excitement depending on the water level and experience!
The scenery and towering cliff faces add to the awesome beauty and excitement of this river race where rafting is popular as well as white water paddling.
Well done to the Gauteng paddlers who completed this year’s Umkomaas and there were a good number where the winner was: The Umkomaas River! as Gautengers conceded defeat and were unable to make it through the treacherous rapids on Day 2 where the river proves who’s boss!
Janet Bartlet represented the lady paddlers of Gauteng, in a K3 with Bruce Dixon and Peter Geach, finishing 2nd K3, in 5h11, as the 7th Mixed Double. Sarah Robinson – Gauteng lady participant with Nkosi Mzolo managed to drag their damaged boat from Rapid 4/5 to 8 before accepting defeat! What an awesome river for a K3!
In the male category the Gautengers ended up being led by Alex Roberts and Michael-John Robb (Dabs) who finished in 4 hours 12 minutes as 8th K2, out of 88 boats that actually finished the challenging exciting river race!
Paul Hatfield (Natal) and Andrew Hall were the next finishers with a Gautenger in the boat (Dabs) in 4 hours 15 as first Sub Masters and 9th K2.
The 3rd Gauteng boat to cross the finish line was Wayne Jacobs with Dave Hamilton-Brown (Dabs) finished as the 12th K2 in 4 hours 20, as 3rd Sub Veterans.
There were more podium age category finishers among the Gautengers including Kevin Middleton and Sean Evans, (Dabs) 2nd Sub Masters, K2 22, in a time of 4 hours 38 minutes, as well as Bryan Slater and Graham Neate, who were the 3rd Masters, K2 53, in 5 hours 11 minutes.
The Top Three K1 Gautengers who also finished the mighty challenge, were Uwe Schmidthaus (VLC) 5th K1 in 5 hours 39, Gavin Coetzer (Dabs) 12th K1, in a time of 7 hours 19 minutes (20th SM), as well as Raoul Goosen (Dabs) who finished as 8th Sub Grand Master, K1 22…..in a time of 9 hours 52 minutes!