As a very strong field of paddlers assembles for the 2018 Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon, Spanish ace Kiko Vega has added his name to the impressive elite field that will start in A batch at Grassridge dam on Friday 5 October.
The blond former winner of the fabled Sella Descent has raced the Fish twice before, in addition to strong challenges at the Berg River Canoe Marathon, and says he will return to the Eastern Cape in the Euro Steel colours wiser to the demands of the race.
“It will be my third Fish and I think I already have the minimum amount of experience to try to perform well,” said Vega from his hometown in Asturias.
“I have special enthusiasm for the type of competition I experience in South Africa, and because the Fish is the South African K1 championship this year, it will be very difficult, but I like that.” He said.
Last year Vega partnered Siseko Ntondini to a storming sixth place finish in the K2 championship event, and is looking to substantially improve the 13th place finished he bagged on his maiden Fish in 2016.
Through a friendship that he has struck up with Johannesburg based Dabulamanzi Canoe Club paddler Brian Longley, Vega has been able to arrange his race entry, sponsorship and the backing of Set Kayaks for the race.
“I paddled the South African made Set Savage in the recent Sella Descent and it behaved perfectly,” he said.
Vega added that racing river marathons in South Africa excited him because the standard of competition was arguably the highest in the world at the moment.
“At this moment I think the level of kayaking in South Africa is the best, and that makes it more interesting for the competition and the public,” Vega noted.
“My goal is definitely to be competitive at the 2018 Fish,” he added.
He said that he was hoping to forge a stronger bond between the iconic event and the major events in Europe.
“Eurosteel is helping to unite European sports culture and the Sella Descent in particular with the kayak culture in South Africa,” said Vega.