Locals expecting an exciting Berg

Locals expecting an exciting Berg

Paarl – As the rains continue to lash the Western Cape and bring dam levels up to 100%, the 2023 Berg River Canoe Marathon is expected to take place on a full river from 5-8 July.

As has been reported, the Berg River has hit the 100-year flood line and the organisers are working hard to make sure that this year is a race to remember for those intrepid paddlers that will take on the ultimate canoe challenge.

The Berg continues to be a race that attracts the most hardcore paddlers and remains “THE” race to do on the national paddling calendar, given its long distances and unique challenges.
2023 might provide paddlers with something different and Berg veteran René Boehm thinks that this year is definitely a year to take on the Berg.

“The river is predicted to come down quite a lot after all the rain that we have had so we are hoping it will be at around 50 cumecs for the race,” Boehm said.

“The Berg is the ultimate canoe race and it’s a bucket-list race that every paddler should do!”

Given the predicted high water level for the race, Bohm thinks that this year is a great year for those that are sitting on the fence.

“The high water level will definitely make the race more appealing, and if you haven’t done one then this year is a great year to start.

“We’ve paddled this race on every water level possible and a full river definitely makes it easier.

“You will see that on a full river the average paddlers will finish in a closer time to the winners compared to a low river,” the 38-time Berg finisher said.

Safety of paddlers is of the utmost importance for the organisers of the race, and they have put in place measures to make sure that the river is as safe as possible for paddlers over the four days of racing.

Despite the appeal of a full river, Boehm is encouraging paddlers to take advantage and enter as soon as possible.

“You must get your entry in as soon as you can because we have a special goodie bag for entrants. It’s a great sports bag with a long sleeve shirt, a cap and plenty of other goodies for those that enter early.”

This year’s race has attracted a few high-profile novices with Western Cape surfski ace Kenny Rice taking on his first Berg and 2022 Dusi Canoe Marathon champions Dave Evans also entering as a novice in 2023.