The level of the Breede River, as can be monitored here is sadly low, similar to the conditions that we faced at the Breede Marathon last year.
The race organising committee is considering all it’s options, particularly as the race will decide the WCCU K2 and SA K3 titles, and other paddlers are relying on the race for Hansa Fish training and qualifier points.
“We respect that every single paddler who has entered is looking forward to this annual paddle through the Breede Valley, and we want to make this as enjoyable a race as possible,” said race committee head Richard Allen.
“Given that we had similar conditions last year, we can can take stock of our learning from that race, and the responses of the paddlers involved,” he added.
While Allen said the final decision on the race format will be take closer to the event, at this stage there is no significant rain forecast before the marathon.
“The Robertson to Bonnievale section is not a pleasant paddling/portaging experience if the river is under 8 cumecs, and there is a risk of damaging equipment. That is why the upcoming PCC race was cancelled.
“The Bonnievale to Kam’bati is a bit more forgiving and can be managed if you have an adventurous spirit and a good eye for good lines,” he added.
Allen said that likely option at this stage was a shortened stage on the lower section into Kam’bati, and added that in an extreme situation, the race may be decided over one day.
The race committee has agreed to keep entries open at the normal entry fee, until midnight on Wednesday 4 September, but that all entries after the original normal entry closing date of 24 August would not be eligible for a race garment.
“Even with the very low levels that we experienced last year, we were struck by how positive the paddlers’ attitudes were, and their ability to make the most of the less-that-ideal river conditions,” said Allen.
“The show must go on, and we will do everything we can to make the most of the Breede this year,” he added.