Pam Golding Properties Canals Winter ChallengeThe 10th annual holding of this popular paddling race will be on Sunday 24 July at 10am. The start and finish will be at Quaysyde Restaurant, Seaglades Drive, where breakfast, coffee and lunch can be enjoyed while watching the paddling. The entry fee is R70 per paddler.

The race has been sponsored since inception by Pam Golding Properties, who have become synonymous with paddling in St Francis.

Because the race is held on the sheltered canals, it will go ahead in any weather conditions, and compliments the other paddling races hosted by St Francis Paddling Club during the year, namely the Pam Golding Properties King of the Kromme, held at Easter each year, and numerous surfski races we hold on the sea, most notably the Investec Sporty Anderson Surfski Challenge, held each year on 28 December.

Canal residents are asked to encourage paddlers coming past their houses, and if on their boats, to give way to the racing paddlers.

Lifejackets are not required, and beginners are welcome to enter the shorter 10km course. Even if they don’t finish, it might be the start of a long love affair with paddling!

It is a doubles race, with the prizes only for doubles, but singles are very welcome, as are K3’s.

As usual, Carbonology, the PE-based surfski manufacturer have sponsored a lucky draw, a Carbonology split paddle and cover, with a retail value of R2500.

The main event is the 20km long course, with a prizes as follows: 1st 2 x R750 plus trophy, 2nd R500 x 2, 3rd R250 x 2. The balance of the prizes are as follows for both the 20km and 10km race: 1st mixed double, 1st ladies double, 1st local double, 1st over 50’s double, 1st U18 double: a bottle of wine for each paddler.

Last year the race was won by the top combination in the Eastern Cape, national paddler Greg Louw, with stalwart Rob Welsh. In 2nd place were Clint Hempel and Phil Smith, and in 3rd place Richard von Wildemann and Richard Arderne.

2015-winners-Greg Louw and Rob Welsh with Richard-Arderne

2015 winners Greg Louw and Rob Welsh with Richard-Arderne