Kempton paddler takes position in a surf-ski race

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Many paddlers like to come down to the coast to participate in surf ski races in the ocean.

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That changed when the Dabulamanzi Canoe Club proverbially brought the ocean to Gauteng several years ago and started running their surf-ski race.

Held April 2 at the Emmarentia Dam, it featured paddlers from Kempton Park Benoni and Boksburg.
Jennie Dallas, public relations and media liaison officer for the Gauteng Canoeing Union, said the High-Altitude Surf Ski

The breed has become popular since its inception.

Dallas said attendees compete on stand-up paddleboards as well as surf-ski boats meant for offshore paddling, while organizers have organized powerboats or jet skis to cruise around the dam to make waves.

“The event is always great fun,” Dallas said.

Benoni resident Michael Stewart (front) competing in the Dabulamanzi Canoe Club high altitude surf ski race on April 2.

Chris Rowe, a Kempton Park-based paddler who trains at Homestead Dam with the Ekurhuleni Kayak Club, enjoyed his time in the waves.

Likewise, Boksburg’s Val Kupferberg and his son James did the same.

Also at the event were Michael Stewart and his son Liam de Benoni, who recently broke a 23-year record as a winning father-son team at Dusi, while Liam finished second in the Umkomaas River Challenge.

The distances that paddlers could participate in included a 10km event, a 7km stand-up paddle race and a fun 3km stand-up paddle social event.

“It was not an official race so race times were not recorded,” Dallas said.

She noted that the 10km event was enjoyed by many active paddlers.

Benoni resident Liam Stewart (third from right) who finished second in the Umkomaas River Challenge paddling at Emmantia Dam.
Boksburg’s Val Kupferberg and his son, James, paddling together.

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