Midway through the Ultra Paddle

Midway through the Ultra Paddle

The Ultra-Paddle has kicked off in Overwhelming Fashion!

In just over 10 days of the Ultra-Paddle shaping into life, the response and feedback from paddlers around the world has been remarkable.

Ranging from the lochs of Scotland, to the Persian Gulf in Dubai, across sunny Australia and down the canals in the UK, through the cold Cape winter waters and through the lakes of Canada, the Ultra-Paddle has taken the world by storm in the midst of a time when global community is so sought after.

Conjured up as an alternative to the Berg River Canoe Marathon and a means to raise funds for Canoeing South Africa’s Hunger Relief Programme, the Ultra-Paddle has seen paddlers worldwide taking on the respective challenges, grinding towards either a Gold, Silver or Bronze certificate – with distances starting at a cumulative 50km, a cumulative 240km and the grand achievement of 240km in only four days.

Some noteworthy mentions so far, in the early stages of the Ultra-Paddle, include the Gold distance of 240km being completed in TWO days, in the journey of a source to sea trip in Mississippi by John Wellens. This phenomenal achievement is unbelievable and such a fantastic piece of history in the Ultra-Paddle. The bar is now set for the fastest individual to complete the 240km, and is open to challengers…

The amazing Vojtěch Mareš  completing his 240km in a C1!!! What a machine.

A further piece of exciting activity during the Ultra-Paddle was the appearance of the greatest paddler of this generation, Hank McGregor, making the trip down to the Berg River in the Western Cape, to do his Ultra-Paddle along the traditional Berg route.

Hank took to the water in Paarl and set off on the first day of the Ultra-Paddle to complete the 240km voyage to the West Coast town of Velddrif – a route he is well familiar with from years of racing the Berg.

Hank thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the chance to clock up some miles after the lockdown, and relished the opportunity to paddler with some grateful paddlers who tried to keep up with the champ. You can have a look back at Hank’s Ultra-Paddle experience on the Berg Canoe Marathon’s social media pages and see the sights, sounds and the memories of races of the past.

It is very important to note that entries for the Ultra-Paddle are open for the whole month of July, and you still have the chance to get involved and be a part of this amazing phenomenon taking the paddling world by storm. Enter at the Berg website at berg.org.za and grind through the miles to claim your certificate.

Take on the challenge, it is a brilliant initiative for a great cause!