(Article by Richard Arderne)
Pam Golding Properties are offering R10,000 for the first canoe or surfski to break 40 minutes for the weekly St Francis Paddling Club 10km canal time trial, held on Wednesdays at 5.30pm. As per the table, times have steadily decreased since our time-keeping started in 2011. (Prior to that, time trials were held for many years without records being kept, but since Dave & Marie Louw arrived in town, they have not missed a week in nearly five years)!
Pam Golding thought their money was safe, but Phil Smith and Clint Hempel have shown in recent weeks that the day is not far off when the 40 minute barrier will be broken. The sponsorship was initiated to promote St Francis Bay, and in particular the canals as an amazing paddling venue.
World champions Hank McGregor, Sean Rice, Jasper Mocke and Dawid Mocke, plus top national paddlers Andy Birkett, Greg Louw, Matt Bouman and Tom Schilperoort and more have all indicated that they will be here soon (possibly the Wednesday before the Fish River Marathon in early October) to see if they can take home the cash, but time is running out for them … the locals might beat them to it!
The photos are a sample of the many more taken by Dave & Marie at the start, held in all weather conditions, even the worst winter evening, almost dark at the start.