Fish River Canoe Marathon

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The Fish River Canoe Marathon is a two-day event taking place on the Fish River in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. It covers a total distance of 81.8 kilometres (50.8 mi), from Grassridge Dam southward to Cradock. The two other notable South African canoe marathons are the Dusi Canoe Marathon and the Berg River Canoe Marathon.[1]


The Fish River marathon first took place in 1982 with 77 competitors. It was the brainchild of Cape paddler Dave Alexander and a local Department of Water Affairs engineer, Knut Olav "KO" Bang.[2] By 2000 competitor numbers had grown to a record 1564, placing the race among the world's five biggest canoe marathons.[3]

The K-3, developed in South Africa, is a recent addition to the sprint kayak class which previously consisted of the K1, K2 and K4. The K3 is particularly well suited to the Fish River with a relatively rock-free river bed and easily negotiable weirs. Demonstrating this in 2009, Matt Bouman, Herman Chalupsky and Andrew Birkett paddled their K3 to a 5h 9m finish, coming in just outside the top 10 overall.[4]

The 2011 overall winners were Hank McGregor/Grant van der Walt with a time of 4:40.38 for the 2-day event.[5]

External links[edit]


Year Class Winner Time Country
2011 K2 McGregor/ Van Der Walt 4:40:38  South Africa
2010 K2 McGregor/ Van Der Walt 4:43:26  South Africa
2009 K1S Len Jenkins 4:51:16  South Africa
2008 K2 Lucas Mthalane 5:55:59  South Africa
2007 K1 Len Jenkins 4:57:39  South Africa
2006 K1 Scott Johnson 5:43:15  South Africa
2005 K1 Len Jenkins 4:59:27  South Africa
2004 K1 Maynard Scott 5:27:34  South Africa
2003 K1 Len Jenkins 5:04:31  South Africa
2002 K2 Willis Russell 5:17:28  South Africa
2001 K1 Len Jenkins 5:00:22  South Africa
2000 K1 Eben Mocke 5:47:03  South Africa