River Canoe Marathon Media Release
18 May 2022
: Dave Macleod
Elite stars back new Berg time incentive prizes
Paarl - The Berg River Canoe Marathon from 6 to 9 July has
introduced an innovative set of bridge time incentive prizes
designed to keep the outcome of the race in the balance until
the final stages of the tough four day race from Paarl to
At two bridges on each stage the front group of men and women
will be able to contest a cash hot-spot prize, but more
importantly these include time incentives that will be added to
their race times for all the subsequent stages.
The winner of the bridge hot spot will get a 30 second discount
on their race stage time, the second boat a twenty second
discount and the third a ten second discount. This will be
factored into their overall race times and will come into effect
from the following stage, whether these are elapsed time starts
or bunch starts.
The bold move has been under discussion for several years and
has been heartily supported by many elite racers including
eleven-times winner Hank McGregor.
“So often the race is pretty much decided by the end of the
second stage and the race becomes a bit of a procession,” said
McGregor. “These bridge prize time incentives will shake that up
and make sure that the race isn’t run until we get to Velddrif.
“So if four boats finish a stage together the time differences
won’t be fractions of a second but something not too hectic but
enough to break up the bunches,” said McGregor.
“So a paddler would be able to make up time by winning hotspots,
and will be able to start ahead of, say, a paddler who chooses
to just sit on the diamond all day.
“It will bring more excitement and spectator appeal. And make
the race more media-friendly,” he pointed out.
While the race plans to apply the time bonuses equally to the
men’s and women’s races, McGregor raised the prospect of
offering the women’s race larger time bonuses in the future.
“Often the gaps are bigger in the women’s race, so perhaps a
time bonus of a minute for every bridge hotspot would have the
same effect on the women’s race,” he suggested.
“This is all about creating a race within a race and add
excitement through the four days of the Berg,” he added.
The time incentive hot-spot was successfully trailed at the
first team Berg race in 2018.
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Canoe Marathon logo - JPeg
landscape - JPeg
Hank McGregor leads
the front bunch under the Moravia bridge and weir. McGregor has
heaped praise on the new time incentives on offer at this years
Berg River Canoe Marathon.“These
bridge prize time incentives will shake that up and make sure
that the race isn’t run until we get to Velddrif," said the
eleven times winner.
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