Race Information

The Fish is a two day marathon, with an AR rating from Canoeing South Africa. In order to enter this race, you need to fulfill the CSA requirements for competency and proficiency. Please refer to the Rules page for more information in this regard.

1.Race details and water levels The total distance of the marathon is 81,8 km. If you reach Prospect after 13:30 or Katkop after 15:00 you will be withdrawn from the race. GUARANTEED WATER LEVEL: 26 CUMECS!!!

The race starts at Grassridge Dam on Friday the 6 October 2017 at 07:00. The First Day ends 45,8km downstream – 1km below Knutsford Bridge. This is also the start of  Day 2 on Saturday the 7 October 2017 at 07:00, with the race ending 36 km downstream at the Sports Complex in Cradock.

2.Registration
Registration is between 14:00 & 20:00 on Thursday 5 October 2017 at the SPORTS COMPLEX PAVILION (Day 2 Finish).

3.Competitors information
The race starts on both days at 07:00. All competitors must report to the Batch Camps at Grassridge Dam and Knutsford 30 minutes before their allocated Batch starting time and before taking to the water.  Important pre-race information will be handed out at the batch camps.

Batch Camp Lists for Day 1 will be up at Registration and for Day 2  at the Sports Complex & Cradock Spa. If your correct cell number is on the CSA database you will receive an SMS with batch details and final results. Confirm your allocated check in time as latecomers go to a lower batch.

NB: WRISTBANDS in the registration packs are to be WORN THROUGHOUT THE EVENT.        You will not be allowed to paddle if you do not have your wristband ON YOUR WRIST!!!! The wristbands guarantee your participation in the race, lunch on Friday at Knutsford and entry to the Sports Complex and After Parties. An EMERGENCY and a WITHDRAWALS number is also printed on it.

EMERGENCY – 063 1363 077 . WITHDRAWALS – 078 0862 338
DO NOT use these numbers for batch enquiries!

There will be a Le Mans start at Grassridge Dam on Day 1and a Reverse start on Day 2. The seeded paddlers will be in a separate smaller batch. The K2’s starts first, then K1’s. K3’s must at all times, be considerate to smaller craft.
All late entries will be un-seeded and placed in the last batches.

The organizers reserve the right to enforce the withdrawal of any number of participants, whenever the safety or health of participants is endangered. The organizers reserve the right to disqualify, penalise with a time penalty, or apply appropriate disciplinary action against any competitor in breach of the marathon rules or who tries to improve their position in a dishonest way.

The organizers have the right to amend or add to the rules at any stage. No changes or amendments to the rules will be allowed unless approved by the chief official.

The organizers reserve the right of entry. Unless sound reasons can be given, a canoeist who disobeys any rules – whether they be specified in the brochure, on the entry form, in the pre-race notes or given at the pre-race meeting – will be disqualified.

Any appeal must be lodged with a member of the Jury, in writing within one hour of the competitor completing that specific leg of the race. R50 must accompany the protest. CSA rules will apply.

The area behind any line of buoys is NO MAN’S LAND! By entering you will be disqualified.

No competitor under the age of 14 years is allowed to compete in a K1.

Double Trouble (the chute at Collett Weir) has been constructed in the middle of the weir and will be marked with buoys. Portage option is on the RIGHT ONLY, no one is allowed to portage on the left.

Cradock Weir: Only the first 50 boats may go over the weir on either side of the corner but, if a boat lands on another boat below the weir, the boat responsible for the collision will be disqualified. The rest of the field may only pass under the safety marshal’s orders. Safety will be left to the lifesavers’ discretion with NO further discussion allowed. LIFESAVERS WILL BE AT CRADOCK WEIR THURSDAY 14:00 – 17:00 FOR PRACTICE.

CSA approved life jackets are compulsory on both days. These will be checked and if incorrect, paddlers will be prohibited from taking part. 10 litres of buoyancy (in the front AND at the back) is compulsory and will be checked. Beach balls and bottles are ONLY permissible if secured to the boat. Helmets are highly recommended for novices paddlers, especially on Day 1 at TOASTRACK. PLEASE REMEMBER TO DUCK! Organizers reserve the right to make Toastrack Bridge a compulsory portage if deemed unsafe. You will be notified before race day.

Private sponsorship: No clothing or equipment bearing logos nor products in direct conflict with the race sponsor’s market will be permitted. During TV and Media interviews, paddlers must ensure they are wearing race sponsor’s apparel.

DECALS – Valid CSA registration numbers must be placed on both side of the front deck of the boat. Any other decals must be placed on the rear deck or on the sides behind the front point of the cockpit. Batch stickers must be placed on the front left hand deck and be clearly visible.

During the race, paddles may be exchanged but NO boats are allowed to be replaced.
No outside assistance of any kind is permitted, except in an emergency.

If you reach Prospect after 13:30 or Katkop after 15:00 you WILL BE WITHDRAWN from the race.  Anyone who withdraws from the race MUST inform an official or phone WITHDRAWALS @ 078 0862 338 and provide your name and boat number.

The winner is the competitor completing the race in the shortest total time. The Senior and Junior U/18 Classes are the only open classes. All competitors who complete the race will receive a Fish Medal at the finish. Positions 11- 50 in the Racing Class must please exchange bronze for silver medals at the Prize-giving table in the Beer Tent before 17:00. Gold medals will be presented at prize giving.

Winners of Cash Prizes must complete the revere side of the Cash Voucher and hand it in at the Prize-giving table in the Beer Tent before 17:00.  Cash prizes of paddlers not present will be donated to a local charity. No substitutes may collect on behalf of another paddler. Prize giving will take place on the riverbank at the Finish on Saturday at 14:30.

4.Safety information and regulations
HELMETS are not compulsory, but highly recommended for novice paddlers, especially on Day 1  at Toastrack.

Lifesavers will be at Cradock Weir on the Thursday before the race between 13:00 & 17:00.

5.Camping and accommodation
Free camping is available at CRADOCK SPA on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. The campsite must be vacated by 10:00 on Sunday.

ACCOMMODATION :
Marlow Agricultural School (048) 881 3121 Open from 08:00 to 12:00 weekdays only
Huis Joubert : Preparatory School  (048) 881 3163
Huis Rocklands : High School (048) 881 2784/881 2246
Huis Vertue : Primary School (048) 881 2670
Rika Dry 083 339 9324 (fishcanoeaccom@gmail.com)
Vukasebenza Shelter
Hostel style accommodation with 17 beds, 6 showers & Safe Parking
Contact: Gussie Tel. 048 8813657

Please keep vehicles locked at all times and don’t leave valuables in tents or vehicles as this creates unnecessary temptation for theft.

6.Awards – Coelacanth and Fish Medals
The Coelacanth Award is an embossed Certificate plus a decal. The yellowwood Coelacanth Award can be bought at an additional cost. Contact Michelle Marais (0832826122) or make arrangements at registration, if wanting to buy one. No awards will be posted! The Coelacanth Batch will start behind the seeded paddlers on Day 1 and is only for canoeists who have already completed 10 Fish Marathons.  BOTH paddlers in a K2 must be Coelacanths to qualify for this batch. There will be a 2nd batch if numbers warrant it.

All competitors who complete the race will receive a Fish Medal at the finish.           Positions 11 – 50 in the racing class must please exchange bronze for silver medals at the prize- giving table in the beer tent.
Gold medals will be handed out during the prize giving.

NOTE: If you are not at prize giving you will not receive your cash prize. No medals or prizes will be posted after the marathon.

7.Confirmed entries
Check the website here for the confirmed entry and acceptance list. Entries will only be processed and appear on the confirmed entry list once payment reflects on our bank statement. Please allow 2 to 3 working days for processing of your entry. Remember to use your boat number as reference. For any queries contact Michelle Marais (0832826122) weekdays from 10:00 – 17:00.

8.Merchandise
T-SHIRTS of exceptional quality are INCLUDED in the entry fee, and are for PADDLERS ONLY. Late entries are not guaranteed a T-shirt. Please INDICATE YOUR T-SHIRT SIZE on the entry form. No size indicated = no T-shirt!

Fish Merchandise will be sold at Registration.

9.Access to the river
Soutpansdrift
PLEASE NOTE that there will unfortunately, be NO ACCESS to the river above Soutpans BEFORE THURSDAY, but you will be able to trip from Soutpans to Cradock.

Tripping
THURSDAY tripping will be from 10:00 to 16:30 as normal, and entry will be through the usual gate below the dam and NOT through Norman Collett’s gate as printed on the entry form.

Double Trouble
ACCESS TO DOUBLE TROUBLE will be allowed via a secondary road along the road to Toastrack. This will be clearly marked. PLEASE DO NOT go beyond the hazard tape and REMEMBER TO RESPECT the property of the landowner. There is a vantage point for spectators on the river bank at the bottom of the second chute. Spectators must be vigilant and not get in the way of the contestants.

Keith’s Flyover and Toastrack
ACCESS ONLY ON THURSDAY between 10:00 & 16:30 and  FRIDAY DURING THE EVENT. THIS ACCESS IS ALLOWED UNDER STRICT CONDITIONS!  IT IS THEREFORE IMPERATIVE THAT YOU CHECK THESE RULES BEFORE GOING TO KEITH’S .  REFER TO WEBSITE AND ROAD MAP IN THE REGISTRATION PACK FOR DETAILS.

10.Race officials for the Fish

PositionNameCell number
Chief Race Official:Richard Glennie0834177460
Clerk of the Course:Charles Garth0724747181
Starter:John Oliver0825502859
Timekeeper:John Oliver0825502859
Safety Officers:Roy Copeman0834429123
Pieter Marais0832808303
Technical Officers:James Jordaan0844299944
Medical Officer:Stefan Schoeman0832631916
Race Committee:Roy Copeman0834429123
(objections)Butch Louw0827748940
Pieter Marais0832808303
Dawie du Plessis0848921853
Jury:John Oliver0825502859
(Appeals)Gavin McNish0823202611
Chris Opperman0767236565
Giel van Deventer0833004366

11.Entry fees, substitution fees and meals
Entry fee INCLUDES a T-shirt, lunch on Friday, free entry to Friday & Saturday night “Festival” for paddlers and free camping at the Cradock Spa for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, until 10:00 on Sunday morning. NO Race Packs will be posted.

ENTRY CLOSING DATE:  8 September 2017.

2017 SUBSTITUTION FEE: R50,00.

This fee applies to a paddler replacing a registered entrant, on the proviso that the replacement paddler meets all the proficiency requirements and is fully registered for the current season.

MEALS can be bought at the Sports Complex

12.Late entries
Entries close on 8 September 2017 at 17:00. All entries after this date will pay an additional R200 LATE PENALTY FEE per paddler. All late entries WILL BE PLACED IN THE LAST BATCH. Late entries are not guaranteed a T-shirt.

Please note that late entries will only be processed and appear on the confirmed entry list once payment for entry fee AND late penalty fee reflects on our bank statement. Please allow 2 to 3 working days for processing of your entry.

13.Charity Batch:
To secure a place in the limited Charity Batch paddlers will have to bid R1000 per paddler, strictly on a first come first served basis.

Proceeds will go to the Cradock Cancer Care unit and the Cradock Hospice.

Entering the Charity Batch:
1.Enter the Race, pay your Race Fee + Charity Batch Fee
2.The Charity Batch fee is per paddler, not per boat!
3.Remember to use “CHAR + boat number” as reference on your EFT.
4.When large payments are made please send Proof of Payment together with a list of boats with their paddlers’ names and respective paddler numbers to entries@fishmarathon.org.za.
5.Charity Batch Closing date is: Friday 29th September 2017 at 17:00.

14.Contacts
ENTRY INFORMATION AND ENQUIRIES :

Entries : Michelle Marais
Telephone: 083 282 6122  NB! Only for entry information, & during weekdays from 10:00-17:00
Address: “The Fish Marathon”
PO Box 423 Cradock 5880

GENERAL ENQUIRIES:
RACE SECRETARY:

Olivia Moolman
Mobile: 083 4509 340

ADMINISTRATION:
Michelle Marais
Tele/fax: 083 282 6122 NB only for entry information and weekdays from 10:00 17:00

CHAIRMAN :
Roy Copeman
Mobile: 083 442 9123
chairman@fishmarathon.org.za

 15.The route
The Marathon would not be possible without the co-operation and kindness of the irrigation farmers along the river. It is your duty as participants, seconds, spectators and canoeing enthusiasts to ensure that through your actions and behaviour, this goodwill is maintained. It is imperative that the paddlers and PARTICULARLY their seconds adhere to the rules stipulated by the landowners as this will ensure a trouble free arrangement and long standing access to Keith’s. Please respect the farmers and the marathon committee by co-operating with these requests. The inconsiderate behaviour of canoeists/seconds in previous years has resulted in many unpleasant confrontations.

FIRST DAY BY ROAD:
FOLLOW THE YELLOW AND BLACK ROAD SIGNS ALONG THE ROUTE.

The race starts on the east bank of Grassridge Dam (1) at 07:00. Allow 1 ½ hours for travelling, preparation and checking in. To get to Toastrack Bridge (4) in time, seconds should leave straight after the start. Please note that the road is on private property and is a ONE WAY road to Toastrack (4) and Keith’s Flyover (5) crossing over Keith’s Bridge and following the left bank of the river, exiting at Soutpans Bridge. This road has speed bumps and is accessible to BAKKIES and 4×4’s ONLY – NO TRAILERS.   PLEASE USE DESIGNATED PARKING AND DO NOT PARK ON OR NEXT TO THE BRIDGE. This road will only be open on THURSDAY between 10:00 & 16:30 and on FRIDAY  DURING THE EVENT. Access to Double Trouble will be clearly marked on the road to Toastrack.

Permission was granted on the proviso that people using the road would adhere to the following conditions:

  1. ONLY ONE WAY TRAFFIC IS ALLOWED – ONCE YOU GO TO TOASTRACK, YOU MUST CARRY ON TO SOUTPANS BRIDGE.
  2. Spectators at Double Trouble are NOT TO GO beyond the hazard tape and are to respect the property of the farmer.
  3. NO VEHICLES MAY STOP ON BRIDGES.
  4. NO SPECTATORS TO STAND ON KEITH’S BRIDGE AND NO VEHICLES TO STOP ON  THE BRIDGE. Canoeists portaging Keith’s will be crossing the flow of traffic at the bridge.
  5. DO NOT LITTER & DO NOT DRIVE OVER THE LANDS, ANYONE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE WILL BE HELD LIABLE.
  6. USE OF ROAD IS AT YOUR OWN RISK, THE FARMERS & MARATHON COMMITTEE & SPONSORS HAVE TOTAL INDEMNITY FROM ANY CLAIMS.
  7. SHOULD THERE BE HEAVY RAIN, THE ROAD WILL BE CLOSED.

The continued use of this road is dependent on adherence to the above.

At Soutpans Bridge (10) there is an exciting series of rapids. The leading boats should be there about 1hour & 45 minutes after the start. A Parking area has been made here, so NO PARKING ON THE MAIN ROAD WITHIN 50m of Soutpans Bridge. PLEASE DO NOT crowd Soutpans Bridge – this is a safety hazard. If requested by officials to move, please do so.  Continue by following the signs to Katkop Weir (11), but please don’t park where the paddlers portage. Glen Alpha (12) is next and then the Finish (13), 1 km below Knutsford Bridge where refreshments and food can be bought. The road running parallel to the railway track at the end of Day 1 is a one way road going south!
NB: Please follow the arrows to the designated parking area at the KNUTSFORD FINISH. You will be directed to parking at the main entrance gate.

SECOND DAY BY ROAD:
FOLLOW THE YELLOW AND BLACK ROAD SIGNS ALONG THE ROUTE
.
The race starts at 07:00. Allow 1¼ hours for travelling, preparation and checking in.

After the start at Knutsford, seconds must take the ONE WAY road parallel to the railway line to Baroda Chute (14), Reveille Bridge (15) or Baroda Bridge (16).   Baroda Chute and Reveille Bridge are close to the start, so, if going there, leave well before the start.  Baroda Chute is a new addition to the race and promises excellent viewing for spectators.

To get to Longacre Bridge (17), cross over  Baroda Bridge and follow the signs. Longacre Bridge  offers a great vantage point with an elevated view both up and downstream.   Continue in the direction of Cradock, following the signs to Marlow Chute (20). Follow the Hofmeyr tar road towards Cradock to get to Cradock Weir (21). The speed limit on the tar road is 60km/h. The bridge at Cradock Weir will be closed to traffic, but is a good vantage point for spectators. Ensure that you park well off the tar road. Continue with the main road into Cradock to the Finish at the Sports Complex.
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17.Entry fee for non paddlers at the Sport Complex:
Gate Fees during the day:
Friday Afternoon from 16:00: R20
Saturday Afternoon from 16:00 : R20
PLEASE DO NOT pay the entry fee for vagrants, this creates a security problem.

KEEP VEHICLES LOCKED AT ALL TIMES. DON’T LEAVE VALUABLES IN TENTS AND VEHICLES AS THIS CREATES UNNECESSARY TEMPTATION FOR THEFT.

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