As paddlers eagerly turn their attention to the 2021 Fish River Canoe Marathon and entries begin to flood into race HQ, organisers of the hugely popular race are confident that their event from 8-9 October will be safe, fully compliant and enjoyable for all.
Last year’s race was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and given the responsible manner in which organisers responded to the pandemic, this year’s race will follow strict protocol throughout with participant and public safety paramount.
“We will be following all of the government’s and Canoeing South Africa’s Covid-19 protocols,” head of the Fish organising committee Roy Copeman said.
“We understand that the nature of the Fish is to be social but we also have to understand that measures are put in place to keep everyone safe and we will be adhering to all the measures that the government and health regulations require.
“There are no guarantees, but we are hoping we will be adjusted down in terms of alert levels so paddlers can enjoy their weekend with us being able to move as freely as possible.”
With the national vaccine roll-out picking up steam with the age cohorts being increased, Copeman and his committee as well as Canoeing South Africa believe that vaccination is the best way to stage a safe and enjoyable race.
“We want to encourage paddlers to take the opportunity to get vaccinated as soon as possible because we know that in order to fight this virus, we are going to have to vaccinate as many people as possible.
“Not only will the vaccine give paddlers peace of mind but it will also help organisers in managing everyone,” he added.
With all Covid-19 protocols in mind, the race committee has made the decision to downscale their operation in order to minimise the interaction of paddlers at registration.
“We are going to use the Cradock Cricket Club and the Cradock Canoe Club this year as our bases.
“Paddlers will register outside at the Cricket Club and if you are looking for a drink then the Canoe Club will be the place to go.
“Unfortunately we have to avoid large gatherings, which is why we have had to make these changes for this year’s race,” he commented.
This year’s Fish will once again double up as a national championship race with the South African K2 championship titles being decided in Cradock.