Rabie victorious at Swartland Canoe Marathon
In the spirit of the 2010 World Cup the Annual Swartland Canoe Marathon was started with the blast of a vuvuzela as the clock struck 10am on Saturday 19 June by the charismatic chairman of Peninsula Canoe Club, Mark Torrington, who sent 120 paddlers away from the start under perfect racing conditions: a full Berg River, sunshine and no wind.
Some extra excitement had been thrown into the mix for the seeded paddlers when Peninsula Canoe Club’s Graeme Solomon, drained after racing hard the previous weekend at the SA Marathon Championships and a week trying to shake off a cold, arrived at the start at Skooltjie bridge to register as a last minute entry. Having registered too late for seeding, he was positioned in the last row of the seeded paddlers from where he put in a terrific charge to chase after the front seeded paddlers which included race favourite Pierre Andre Rabie of the University of Stellenbosch.
Klei rapid proved to be a mix of adrenaline and swimmers, with some 40% of the field ending up giving the interior of their boats a good rinse. Oblivious to the mayhem behind him, Graeme Solomon’s herculean efforts had paid off and he was now part of the leading break-away trio with Pierre-André Rabie and Peninsula Canoe Club’s very promising Alastair Glass. Drama unfolded when the trio approached a tree-block unknown to them. Solomon put in a burst to lead the group into the block, but then got stuck, showing the two others that it might be a better tactic to do a quick portage which allowed them to then slip past.
Pierre-André Rabie then sped off, dropping Alastair Glass, who was later again caught by Solomon, who continued to put in another powerful chase to close the 1 minute and 10 second gap Rabie had opened up.
Some 6km later Solomon, having dropped Glass in the hard grind, caught Rabie and these two raced together until a tree-block about 5km before Hermon. Solomon was first to the block, hopped out his boat and was doing a seal launch off the tree, when his paddle was inadvertently caught under the front of Rabies’ boat and resulted in a swim, allowing a clean run home for Day One Winner Pierre-André Rabie.
Day Two began with a misty start at Zonquasdrift, and Alastair Glass soon found that it was his turn to encounter problems in negotiating a tree block and this effectively put paid to his hopes for a finish on the podium.
The terrific tussle at the front continued between Rabie and Solomon, and the two were racing together just after Ysterpen rapid until a well known tree-block. Solomon tried to go through the centre of it, only to get into serious trouble which very nearly destroyed his boat, while Rabie slipped through on the left to gain an unassailable five minute lead to assure his position as the overall winner of the 2010 Swartland Canoe Marathon.
1. Pierre-André Rabie (Stel)5 hours:54 Minutes:41 seconds.
2. Graeme Solomon (Peninsula) 6:01:43
3. Edgar Boehm(jnr) (Peninsula) 6:16:59
1. Jemma Hofmeyer (Peninsula) 7:10:59
2. Robyn Henderson (Peninsula) 7:27:38
3. Kirsten Penderis (US) 7:36:16
1. Graeme Solomon (Peninsula) 6:01:43
2. Greg Van Heerden (Milnerton) 6:19:00
3. Daan Du Toit (Milnerton) 6:43:03
1. Henri Van Der Merwe (Peninsula) 6:19:48
2. Ian Trautman (Peninsula) 6:24:46
3. Marius De Waal (Outshoorn) 6:43:25
1. Chris De Waal (Milnerton) 6:18:14
2. Rob Hart (Peninsula) 6:25:50
3. Dean Richards (Century City) 7:16:23
1. Ian Glass (Peninsula) 6:43;39
2. Daantjie Malan (US) 6:45:52
3. Hugo Lodder (Outshoorn) 7:18:15
1. Andre Rabie (Paarl) 7:19:26
2. Mike Monson (Peninsula) 7:26:51
3. Johan Serdyn (US) 7:33:11
1. Gerfried Nebe (Peninsula) 7:16:18
2. Giel Van Deventer (Paarl) 7:24:27
3. Peter Unite (Peninsula) 8:06:35
1. Micheal Lee Farringer (Paarl) 6:43:43
2. Luke Slowman (Paarl) 6:51:00
1. Joseph Williams(Paarl) 6:40:39
2. Marisa Pretorius (Paarl) 7:37:33
1. Pierre Andre Rabie (US)5:54:41
2. Erich Andrag (US) 8:10:24