The water levels are once again a hot topic of discussion like it has been for the last 56 years. I’d like to quote Giel van Deventer who will attempt to finish a record 48 Berg marathons this year. “The Berg, both water level and weather-wise has, always been unpredictable. For example, in 1973 which was also one of the driest winters we have ever had in the Western Cape, it started raining non-stop on Monday morning and two days later, on the Wednesday we started the race on 330 cumecs of water flow!”
We are fortunate to paddle on a more open river nowadays thanks to the efforts of paddlers such as Francis Steyn, Christo (Taxi) Kotzé, Giel van Deventer, Eric Farringer and their fellow club members who are and will be removing blockages in the river as they come across them prior to the event. This also makes it possible for the international paddlers to compete for podium finishes as we have seen in the last few Bergs.
We wish to thank all our sponsors Drankenstein. Swartland, Winelands, and Bergrivier Municipalities, the Department of Culture and Sport, Wesgro, Rola Motor Group, Eigevis, Villiera, KWV, Riebeek Cellars, Nelson Wine Estate, Pink Lady, Coke/Powerade and AC Security who help to make the event happen.
To the paddlers especially the novices: “The Berg is more than a canoeing challenge; it is a true test of guts and will.”
Thank you for your participation and enjoy the spirit of the Berg!
Chairman Berg Organizing Committee
Message from the Chairman – Western Cape Canoe Union
The adventure begins again! For the 56th time in as many years, the Western Cape Canoe Union will host the Berg River Marathon.
In these troubled times we live in, with social and political issues dominating the news, with a record drought in the Western Cape still unbroken, it is great to know that the brave men and women of South Africa will again rise to take the challenge and meet the mighty Berg River Marathon head on! If necessary we will adapt the race, as has been done previously, to accommodate water conditions and other obstacles. The difficulty and distance of the race will be consistent with past Berg River Marathons.
It has the makings of a real cracker of a race. The quality of participation will be the highest order with such world-class international competitors as Adrián Boros , Keith Moule and Petr Mojžíšek competing. The South African contingent will be well represented by the likes of Graeme Solomon, Simon van Geysen, Edgar Boehm and Heinrich Schloms. Bianca Beavitt of the Western Cape will be defending her ladies title.
Then as always, the legends continue! Jannie Mahlarbe, at 78 will again be the oldest person to compete in the Berg and Giel van Deventer will be competing in his 48th Berg. The Boehm family will be attempting to complete a 102 Bergs between the three of them!
For all of us this race is the ultimate challenge. There is nothing like it to give one the satisfaction of completing the difficult, conquering the elements and one self. The race will go on. The legend will continue. See you on the water.
Dr. Eric Farringer