Ready, set, paddle

Paddlers dressed in brightly coloured clothes.


EMMARENTIA – Dabulamanzi Canoe Club presented it’s annual Gauteng High Altitude SurfSki Championships to an excited audience on 4 February.

Canoes were prepped and paddles were in hand, ready to take to the dam in the hope of coming out a winner. The event, which spans 10km, had paddlers race to complete 10 laps around the dam. If that was not hard enough speedboats raced around the dam to create waves to further challenge the paddlers.

This year’s winners were pairs Dave Hamilton-Brown and Wayne Jacobs who were followed by former world champion Hank McGregor and his wife Pippa.

Paddlers rest after an epic championships.


Paddlers had to complete 10 laps around the dam.


Hoards of paddlers from the Dabulamanzi Canoe Club participate in the annual surfski championships.


Hank and Pippa McGregor, the runners-up in the Gauteng High Altitude Surfski Championships.


Emmarentia dam, the venue for the annual surfski championships.


Emile Theunissen has his paddle ready to do his best.


Paddlers of various skills levels competed in the event.


There about 160 boats on the water at this years championships.


Brad Breetzke and Iain Hume – ready and dressed in their best.


A variety of canoes are used on the day.


Mixed doubles partners also competed in the event.


Canoeists paddle to complete a 10km race.


Paddlers competed as single or doubles.


Paddlers compete in the annual Gauteng High Altitude SurfSki Championships.


Liam Stewart and Chris Rowe from East Rand Kayak, two of the participants in the annual High Altitude Surfski Championships at Dabulamanzi Canoe Club.


Clive Evans and Tony Lightfoot, ready to compete in the event.


A speed boat sprays water onto the paddlers.


A speed boat adds an element of challenge to the event.


Camels at Emmarentia Dam to entertain the families who attended the surfski championships.


Paddlers dressed in brightly coloured clothes.


The hotly anticipated championships had paddlers of all ages with varied levels of skill participating in the unique challenge. Committee member of the club and co-organiser for the event, Steve Jourdan said there were 160 boats on the water this year, which to him was unheard of. He explained that the championships came about almost six years ago when the need to have one in Gauteng arose.

Jourdan said this is the largest surfski championships in the world.

“It is an opportunity for everyone who loves surfski paddling to do it right here, at Emmarentia dam, which is just absolutely amazing.”

He added that to prepare for the event, paddlers have to participate in various forms of paddling. Most of the paddlers had recently competed in the Dusi marathon.

“Doing all the different disciplines of the sport gets you prepared for the championships.”

Winners for the event were:

1st – Wayne Jacobs and Dave Hamilton-Brown

2nd – Hank and Pippa McGregor

3rd – Andy Birkett and Colin Wilson

4th – Jasper Mocke.


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Neo Phashe

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