On Saturday the 4th of Feb 2017 the Deep South SUP crew packed the trailer and headed up the West coast to the Berg River in Velddrif for the West Coast Canoe Challenge. Most of us from down south are adrenalin junkies and tend to opt for a downwind or an open ocean paddle rather than a 10km flat water grind! The flow of the river is tidal, we were all hoping that the tide and the wind would be in our favour as we needed all the help we could get on this long grind of a paddle.

Well, EVERYTHING was against us. We were paddling against the tide and had a pretty steady headwind.  The top boys were fast off the start as usual with our first lady, Tarryn King not far behind. Dylan Frick and Tom King lead the race for the first 5km.  The 11 Cities non stop winner, Ike Frans, along with Rory Smyth were hot on their heels desperately trying to catch the top two. Not far behind the front pack we had Charles Higgins and Gary Van Rooyen with young gun Cameron Green hot on his tail. Unfortunately Cameron just couldn’t hold onto GVR and slowly started dropping back. This gave Tarryn and Murray Walters a chance to chase down Cameron.

Once Tarryn and Murray had caught Cameron the hunt was down to try and catch the very fit and fast Gary Van Rooyen. With 2km to go, the gap was closing, but Gary’s stamina allowed him to hang in there and finish 6th Overall. The leaders put on a world class performance with Dylan Frick 1st, Ike Frans 2nd, Rory Smyth 3rd and Thomas King 4th. The first lady was Tarryn King who finished 7th overall followed by the very tented Diva Monika Wohlgemuth 2nd, Alex Tripney 3rd and Lizanie Teron 4th.  Massive well done to all the ladies – that race was a toughie! Little Super Grom Cam Tripney once again took first place.

Everyone left Velddrif super stoked with a pocket of potatoes and 2 kilos of Velddrif Braai meat!

Words by Tarryn King

Gary van Rooyen & Murray Walters

Gary van Rooyen, Tarryn King and Murray Walters


Close call with the paddlers