The Induna White Water Kayaking X-fest, 24 March 2012, has past, but the unforgettable memories and long-term impact it made will stick like a flag on the North Pole. Kayaking in South Africa has left the runway and takes to the sky, a destination unknown – my guess: Mars. Although the racing was super hot, the friendship and camaraderie shown amongst all was extraordinary. Big
names in South African Kayaking came to compete, but it was a day full of surprises…
The Pro Kayakers had to negotiate three different rapids in the format of individual time trials, to determine a top 12 leader board.
Rapid 1: Jeff’s rapid. A notorious rapid, with a massive hole at the bottom with the tendency to dish out hidings to the shameful and brave alike.
Rapid 2: Lock stock and two smoking barrels. A narrow creeking rapid with a 1 m lateral drop as an entry, a powerful eddy (still standing or up-moving water) on the right that throws you off course and off balance and two holes (washing machines) ready to devour the smallest of mistakes.
Rapid 3: The infamous “Siphon falls”. A 4 m waterfall with a hole at the bottom with the words “AVOID, AVOID!” written all over it. This year the hole was forgiving…to most…
The leader board had no surprises, but this all changed when kayakers had to race 2 by 2 in an event called dual eliminator, whereby the looser falls out. This
heart throbbing, nail biting, plot thickening and fun to watch elimination, down “Lock stock and two smoking barrels”, saw some of the race favourites fall to the hands of younger, eager and more hungry racers. The final saw the top 3 fighting like wounded lions. To the roar of the crowd, the youngster Marius Gerryts kicked the two old racers out of the pride as he claimed the victory and honours. The Ladies were dominated by Tammy Muir, with no measure of luck as she swept the field clean on every occasion.
Afterwards all kayakers went to a calmer stretch of river to cheer the beginners and intermediates on as they raced, in exactly the same format, to be crowned the upcoming stars of kayaking in South Africa.
This unforgettable event will be celebrated as kayakers, young and old, will socially meet-up in rivers all across South Africa, in
search for the ultimate thrill.
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