2023 Drak Challenge bumper staging

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After enjoying some of the best river conditions in racing history, the 29th edition of the N3TC Drak Challenge Canoe Marathon on the uMzimkhulu River through Underberg is expected to attract a huge group of enthusiastic paddlers on January 28-29, 2023.

The first post-Covid event in 2022 drew a large influx of paddlers who waited impatiently as a thunderstorm hit the area the day before the race started and left the uMzimkhulu river breaking its banks.

Fortunately, by the time the first group of paddlers arrived at the start on Saturday morning, the water level had returned to an ideal level and the large peloton was reveling in what was billed as “the best Drak of all the temperature “.

Based on this enthusiastic response, the race committee is planning another grand entry for the race, now confirmed in its traditional calendar on the last weekend of January, and part of the trio of sporting events that make up the Drak Adventure Weekend. with the Euro Steel Drak Descent mountain bike races and the Euro Steel Run The Rivers trail races.

“We had a series of low water Drak Challenges that ended with the heavy rain we had for last year’s race,” said race committee chairman Mark Willment.

The race is entirely dependent on rainfall and paddlers take advantage of their weekends to paddle the uMzimkhulu regardless of the river conditions, but there is no doubt that every paddler would want to have the water levels we have enjoyed in 2022 each year.

Willment added that the race was blessed with a number of fundamentals that resonated with paddlers and brought them back year after year.

We are passionate about positioning the race as “the best value canoeing event on the calendar”, and in these post-Covid times, recreational athletes are very budget conscious. Across all sports, we find that athletes are much more selective about the events they attend, looking for rewarding experiences that don’t break the bank. The N3TC Drak Challenge is built on a number of pillars including community involvement, our Southern Drakensberg hospitality, value for money and ensuring paddlers have the best possible two days paddling the river. while their seconds and their families enjoy the summer. weekend in the Berg.

Founded in 1994, the two-day, 63.4 kilometer two-stage race begins at Castleburn Bridge at the top of the Drakensberg Gardens Road and finishes at Early Mist Farm on the second Coleford Road.

Registration opens November 1, 2022.

More information can be found at www.drak.co.za

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