Fish number 40 on the horizon for Rory Anderson

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As the only person to paddle each edition of the Fish River Canoe Marathon, this year’s 40th anniversary will be extra special for one of the race’s pioneers, Rory Anderson.

Since the race’s inception in 1982, Anderson has been the only paddler to have made the trip to Cradock every year for one of South Africa’s most important river races.

From October 7-8, 2022, he will string together a remarkable 40 consecutive 84km fishing canoe marathons and two days of paddling from Grassridge Dam to the finish along Cradock Sports Grounds.

“It’s just amazing that nothing has stood in my way for 39 years and I hope nothing stands in my way this year and I can paddle again,” Anderson said.

Since its debut it has mixed how it attacks the two-day race, but lately the popular K3 option has been its favourite.

“A few of us bought a K3 canoe about ten years ago and it’s been the most fun, and I think of the last ten Fish I’ve done, nine have been in a K3.”

The 64-year-old Cape Town resident may not be as nimble as he once was but makes sure he’s in good enough shape to tackle the 84km run.

“I train regularly and we are a group paddling every week and in the summer I paddle more in the sea than in the river,” he commented.

“There’s a lot of action in the Fish River with the rapids that require extra work – these rapids are exhilarating and make racing so special.”

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