While competitive paddlers tackle the water in all sorts of weather conditions, there are many glorious, still days when Langebaan Lagoon is like a mirror, and the social paddlers take to the water, to paddle in a leisurely manner around Schaapen Island to look at the birds and the white rabbits, to paddle down to one of the restaurants for a coffee, or to adventure across the lagoon to Kraalbaai for a picnic. This must be one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Several members of LYC compete in various national surfski and kayak races around the country:
- During the summer months the focus for the racing community is on open ocean surfski paddling. A summer series is staged from October, and takes place at various beaches around the Western Cape.
- The second event in this series forms part of the Lagoon Life Water Festival and takes place here in the Langebaan Lagoon, this year the event will be on Saturday 23 October 2010. There are a number of course options and distances catering for paddlers from the novice end of the spectrum and upwards.
- The season comes to a climax with the the iconic Cape Point Challenge, a 50km long surfski race that starts in Scarborough, takes paddlers thru some of the most treacherous waters in the Cape, rounding Cape Point and finishes in Fish Hoek. This event is labelled as "The toughest one-day surfski race in the World", as part of the qualifying process, various 30-35km events are staged.
- Langebaan plays host to one of these Cape Point Qualifiers on Sunday 24 October 2010 where paddlers paddle out of the Lagoon and encounter some extremely rough water on their way to the finish at Jacob's Bay. In 2009, some 200 paddlers took part in the Saturday races and 70 brave souls completed the qualifier on the Sunday. Three of these were Langebaan locals who went on to successfully complete the Cape Point Challenge.
Winter sees the racing community taking to their K1's to challenge and compete on the various rivers of Southern Africa. Closest to home is the Berg River Canoe Marathon that sees paddlers covering the 240km from Paarl to our near neighbour, Veldrif, over 4 days. Paddlers spend up to 7 hours a day on the river and the preparation for this event requires months of hard and dedicated training, often in the cold and miserable Cape Winter weather. Four of our local paddlers have completed this race, the longest of it's kind in the world, on several occasions. There are also many shorter races that more of us take part in on rivers such as the Olifants, Breede, Orange and Fish.
A development program for previously disadvantaged kids is also run in Langebaan during the 1st, 2nd and 4th school terms. A successful equipment application to the National Lottery as well as support from local businesses kicked off this program which sees the experience and skills gained over the years of competition by our senior paddlers being taught to kids in a safe environment. The program is funded by offering paid-for tuition to all kids of the community. The lagoon is the ideal place for such a program to take place offering protected and shallow waters for the kids to learn initially water safety and then paddling technique. Those that show an interest then go on to compete in the Guppie Sprint Series. Langebaan plays host to a leg of this series in February and 70 kids from all over the Cape competed in this year's event. Several kids that have been through this program have gone on to earn medals at provincial championship races.
For more information about competitive paddling:
- Please contact Rob Meintjies at 083 635 2557 or fax 086 684 5661
- Or for social paddling please contact Gert Frohlich at 022-7720672 or 083 2979779