Roma 2012


In between arriving home from my Euro-trip and Fish, I didn’t have a chance to post anything about Marathon Worlds in Rome. So here it is:

With not a lot of time post operation to fully prepare for Marathons, I knew I was up for a hard task. The course was a little hectic, well the portage was. A very steep hill, slippery jetty’s and not enough space at the take-outs, plus 4 90 degree turns meant that there was definitely going to be some drama!


The K1 event went ok, had an interesting start with not quite being able to hear the starter, and more importantly, the kid holding my tail definitely not hearing him as he held my tail after I had already tried to take a stroke! Unfortunately I needed a great start, and playing catch up was not in my game plan. I managed to get back into a reasonable group, and stayed like that until the end. After a disqualification further ahead of me in the field, I got 9th place, my worst result at a Marathon Worlds, but one I am happy with all things considered.

The next day Robyn Kime and I lined up for the K2 event. Due to illness and injury, we actually didn’t get any time together in the boat before the event. Nelo hooked us up with an amazing Quattro K2 (as awesome as the K1 they lent me!). Again, a terrible start, and had to work hard to catch up. After a lap we were back in the mix, in the front bunch with 2 Hungarians, the Italians and another South African boat. Lots of chaos in the race, and one very sad portage saw us off the bunch, and into the chocolate medal (my 3rd now!)

Robyn had a fantastic first Marathon Worlds, getting the silver in the U23 and the chocolate medal with me in the Senior women’s.

Unfortunately both Hank and Len got disqualified, with Hank losing his bronze medal in the process. He had a brave race, and came back incredibly after his swim.

The South African team (open ages and “super-ballies”/masters) got a massive amount of medals as usual, firmly placing ourselves as a force in world marathon paddling!

Next year the event moves to Copenhagen, Denmark.

Nelo Kayaks Video on World Marathon Champs


Photo’s from World Marathon Champs


I made a Gallery of photo’s from the K1 race at Worlds, on Flickr, taken by


Here is the link  to the K2 gallery:

World Marathon Champs:2x4th “Chocolate medals”


Going into the Worlds this year, I didn’t really have any idea how I would do. 1 month before I left, I was feeling really good, and training was going pretty well. 3 weeks of surf ski racing, traveling, and training in a ski was not my ideal choice of a build up though.

I also picked up a touch of sickness, and had to go on anti-biotics the week before. Anyhow I raced my heart out, and am pretty happy with my 4th. All my portages were super, except for the last one. I really needed to get into the water first if I wanted a shot at a medal, and I got squeezed by the German girl and my nose got caught under the jetty, making it hard for me to get out fast. Anyhow, I ran hard, but didn’t really have the energy when I put in, to be able to do much damage on the last 500m. A painful 4th was my result, but funny enough, I am happy with it. Amazing how your levels of expectations change according to how things change along the way. Even with my terrible start, once I caught back up to the front bunch, I decided I really wanted a medal! Next year, Singapore!

Bridgitte and I decided last minute to hop in a double. We set up the boat (thanks to Jenna Ward for the K2, and Nelo for helping us set it up). Hopped in before the race to make sure it was perfect, then it was Ready, GO!! Front bunch, lots of tussling, hard portages and… another 4th. My body was cramping and misbehaving the last half of the race. I didn’t recover properly after the K1, as I didn’t really plan on paddling the K2, so I didn’t focus on it. I think the double day is possible, you just have to be prepared. Thanks Bridge for a great race though.

All in all, South Africa’s best ever K1 performance in the woman’s event, and 3rd best doubles behind Alexa and Donia’s silver and Nikki and my bronze.

I flew home straight to PE airport, and my mom fetched me and we drove to Cradock for the Fish River Marathon, my favourite event. To say I am tired is an understatement, and Robyn Kime and I hopped in the boat for the first time yesterday. It felt good, we haven’t had much time to prep but I am hoping Robyn’s great river skills, and youth 🙂 will get us through the 82km.

I will post more photo’s from Worlds and more news form the Fish when I get back to Plett.

Thanks for all the well wishes.

World Champions!! The Masters Event


Beth Burton-World Champ!!

World Masters Champs kicked off on Wednesday with all the K1 events. Team SA did pretty well, scooping te following medals

Gold medals from Herve De Rauville (70 plus), Roelof van Riet (60-64), Hilda Lapere (50-54) and Mary Beth Burton (55-59), a Silver medal from Antje Manfroni in the Ladies 35-39 category, and Bronze medals from TC Smit (Men’s 50-54) and Anna Clifford Arwidi (Ladies 40-44).

Antje & Anna World K2SV Champs

Thursday saw the Doubles events being raced, and we got the following:

Gold: Antje and Anna in the Sub-Vets

Silver: Rob Maclein an Andre Rabie in Masters

Bronze: Beth Burton and Jo Daneel in Vets

unfortunately Wayne Wilson had some boat admin, he was looking good for some medals:( Mark Bosch and Gustav Radloff went pretty well despite sitting skew, and hoping they try again next year.



After a very cool time in Ibiza and Formentera, I flew to Barcelona and  hired a car. My day got made when the rental guy said “It’s a Mini-Cooper”!! Yes please:)

Lost the map the rental guy gave me, but made it ok anyway. Went straight to the Lake, which is where they held the canoeing and kayaking events for the Barcelona Olympics. I found Albert, the local legend, who is paddling K2 for Spain, and he hooked me up with a Youth Hostel.

After a good rest (missed out on that these past few days) I headed out on my brand new Nelo (cool Green colour-thanks Andre). It has been 3 weeks since I last sat in a K1 and the adjustment took a while…  I found my flatwater legs soon enough, now t is time to work on some speed.

Unfortunately I picked up a bug, but have been taking antibiotics ad am now feeling a bit better. Had to take the Mini back (my heart was broken). Mark Bosch arrived on Thursday, and it was good to have a training partner. The whole SA team arrived on Saturday.

The weather has turned for the worse now though, from 35 degrees to constant rain, but at least it’s still warm. There are just a hell of a lot of flies…

Been touring around a bit, went to Girona, and Olot. Very cool old towns, pretty romantic.

That little dot is me:) In Girona

Still 4 sleeps until my race. Hope it comes fast as I have had enough of this spot now… My speed has got better in the boat and I am now ready to race. After a month of racing my ski in Europe, the best I can hope for is just to survive:)

The Legends: Roelof and Andre

Here is the race website for more info: