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Young paddlers showcase their skills

The next leg of the Gauteng Canoe Union (GCU) School League’s race series was held at Germiston Lake last Sunday. Kamiliah Hank (from the Florida Canoe Club) competes in the girls’ u-16 race, which she won.

Victoria Lake Canoe Club (VLC) were thrilled to host the next leg of the Gauteng Canoe Union (GCU) School League’s race series last Sunday at Germiston Lake.

The series, made up of approximately eight races, runs in line with the school calendar.

Last Sunday’s event allowed the young paddlers a chance to hone their skills in preparation for the upcoming Provincial and National Marathon Championships taking place in June.

The event also earned the paddlers, who came from across Gauteng and the Free State, not only individual points, but points towards their school and club league standings.

“Many of the Gauteng canoe clubs support the GCU School League by allowing us to run events at their clubs,” explained Jodie Ellinor-Dreyer, GCU School League convenor.

“School league races at VLC are very popular as the facility has lots of space for the many spectators, the paddling routes are clearly marked and the hot chocolate from the clubhouse restaurant is a winner.”

Ellinor-Dreyer was thrilled with the turnout at the event.

“We had 96 paddlers competing in the races from u-8s to u-18s,” Ellinor-Dreyer said.

“The weather conditions were really kind to us even though the wind and surface currents caused a few hiccups.

“However, the crew from NSRI Station 27 (National Sea Rescue Institute) and St John Ambulance were our trusty water support and kept everyone safe.

“All paddlers who capsized got back into their boats and finished their races with sheer guts and determination to earn points for their schools and clubs.”

Paddlers raced laps around a 2km lap route in several different distance categories.

Distances:

• K1 paddlers in the age categories u-14, u-16 and u-18 raced 10km.

• K1 guppy paddlers in the age categories u-8, u-10 and u-12 raced 2km, 4km and 6km, respectively.

• K2 paddlers in the age categories u-8, u-10, u-12, u-14, u-16 and u-18 raced 4km (this was introduced to the school league this year and is a growing discipline).

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Results in the K1 events:

• Joshua Friedricksen won the boys’ u-8 division and An-che Greyling the girls’ division.

• Aiden Smits won the boys’ u-10 division and Atle Mapanhga the girls’ division.

• Jess Webber won the boys’ u-12 division and Jennifer Edwards the girls’ division.

• Luke Salmon won the boys’ u-14 division and Ameerah Hank the girls’ division.

Ameerah Hank (from the Florida Canoe Club) won the girls’ u-14 race at the Gauteng Canoe Union (GCU) School League’s race series last Sunday.

• Finlay Leask won the boys’ u-16 division and Kamiliah Hank the girls’ division.

• Benjamin Mntonitshi won the boys’ u-18 division and Joanna Ciolkosz the girls’ division.

Benjamin Mntonitshi (from SCARC Canoe Club) won the boys’ u-18 division at the Gauteng Canoe Union (GCU) School League’s race series last Sunday.

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Results in the K2 events:

• Christian Hofmeyer and Jess Webber won the boys’ u-12 division.

• Luke Salmon and Sean van der Westhuizen won the boys’ u-14 division and Ameerah Hank and Jennifer Stuart the girls’ division.

Sean van der Westhuizen (from Centurion Canoe Club) was among the young paddlers to compete at the Gauteng Canoe Union (GCU) School League’s race series last Sunday. He later won the K2 u-14 division with partner Luke Salmon.

• Bert Matruje and Siyamthanda Qumbelo won the boys’ u-16 division and Kamiliah Hank and Helen Jansen van Vuuren the girls’ division.

• Nkosingphile Ntombela and Nosinathi Ntombela won the boys’ u-18 division.

The next GCU school league race will take place on July 28 at Ekurhuleni Kayak Club at Homestead Dam in Benoni.

The last race of the 2019 race series will also be held at Ekurhuleni Kayak Club at Homestead Dam on September 28.

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