The Swartland incorporates the significant rapids of the Berg, shootable weirs, palmiet runs and occasional tree blocks. It provides an honest test of both individual boat-handling skills and bunch riding.
This “B+” grade race has grown to become a very popular fixture for paddlers wishing to do a challenging multi-day K1 event, and in 2013 will double as the South African K1 River Marathon Championships.
Designed to take in the best of the Berg River, the Swartland starts at Skooltjie Bridge (Google maps: Skooltjie; GPS: -33.590917, 18.951700), just north of Wellington, with registration at 8:30 am and the paddlers then departing in seeded batches from 10:00 am. Day 1 ends 39 kms downstream at Zonquasdrift (Google maps: Zonquasdrift; GPS: -33.341944, 18.978889), 10km northeast of the town of Riebeek Kasteel. Day 2 starts from 8:30am for the top paddlers on elapsed time, and from 9:00am for the remaining paddlers (in batches) and covers 46 kms from Zonquasdrift to the finish at Bridgetown (Google maps: Bridgetown; GPS: -33.104884,18.840192). Bridgetown is about 17km east of Moreesburg, just before where the river begins to widen to form the Misverstand Dam.
Start: Elapsed time for elite paddlers from 8:30am; remaining paddlers in seeded batches from 9:00 am
Finish: Bridgetown (Google maps: Bridgetown; GPS: -33.104884,18.840192)
Prize giving: 3:00pm
Staying with its theme “where people are friendly and paddling is fun”, the race will again provide the best of Swartland hospitality. Paddlers can look forward to the end of each day’s paddling, where the people of the Riebeek Valley will provide paddlers with a hearty lunch.