River Canoe Marathon Media Release
: Dave Macleod
Berg River Canoe
Marathon in wait-and-see mode
Paarl - With
exactly three months to go to the 59th edition of the Berg River
Canoe Marathon, the ultra-paddling classic is in a cautious
wait-and-see mode as the country comes to grips with the
national lockdown to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
All sporting events within the current lockdown period have
either been postponed or cancelled, and with many other events
after April 16th, including the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo
which have been moved to 2021, under a cloud of uncertainty, the
new team charged with organising and managing the Berg is
monitoring the situation on a daily basis.
The four day race, scheduled for 8 to 11 July, has been taken
over by BAHM Events, and they have planned a sweeping series of
changes and innovations to invigorate the marathon, with a view
at hosting the 60th anniversary event in 2021 in style.
“We are heavily guided by the directives from national and
provincial government, and the departments of sport involved in
the Western Cape,” said BAHM Event's Brandon Macleod.
“With three months to go before the scheduled race dates no-one
has any idea of the exact path that the COVID-19 outbreak will
take in South Africa and how long the lockdown and restrictions
on public gatherings will be in place, which makes it impossible
to take firm decisions on the 2020 Berg yet,” he added.
Rescheduling of sporting events calendars as a result of the
coronavirus clampdown is a complex matter that all national
sporting federations are wrestling with. In the case of the Berg
Marathon, the event is heavily reliant on winter rainfall to
bolster the levels of the Berg River to comfortably paddle-able
Recent years have seen the rains arrive later in the Western
Cape, truncating their river paddling season, with the river
only flowing until the beginning of September.
“The nature of the event also requires a significant amount of
advanced notice as it demands a lot of training and preparation
for an athlete to be able to complete the 240km race safely and
comfortably,” Macleod pointed out.
“This is an event with a massive legacy and history, and the
team that has been entrusted with running it is excited to
harness that heritage and add new elements that will make it
more appealing to the paddlers, their seconders, families and
spectators,” he said.
Local weather watchers point out that the Western Cape has a
regular seven-year cycle, and with 2013 being the last year of
consistently heavy rains, the region may well be in for good
rains in 2020, and with it premium paddling conditions.
More information can be found at
Social media : #Berg2019
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Berg River Canoe Marathon
Horizontal on white - JPeg
Plans for the 2020 edition of the Berg River Canoe Marathon from
8 to 11 July are being closely monitored as the national
lockdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic results in the
cancellation or postponement of many sporting events.
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