Canoeing South Africa
10 Apr 2018
Written by: Don Wewege
2018 SA Canoe Polo Championships breaks records
Knysna - The 2018 edition of the South African Canoe Polo Championships
proved to be a record breaking championship for canoe polo in South Africa,
hosted for the first time in Knysna, by the Knysna Yacht Club, over the
Easter weekend from the 31 March to 1 April.
The entire Knysna community contributed to the event and the Waterfront was
abuzz with activity from the Thursday before the event! On Friday the
Inaugural Dragon Boat Tug of War was held and was an instant crowd hit.
The brutal event which would last a matter of seconds would pit two teams of
4 against each other in a Tug-of-War format to achieve dominance. After a
gruelling series of pool and knock out events, “Bob The Builder” took the
title in an epic final against “Caltex”.
As the sun rose over Knysna on Saturday morning, the organising committee
were already in the final stages of setting up the pitches and scoring
systems before the games. The event also marked the first time that the
Canoe Polo Live polo scoring system developed by Wedge Development was used
to run the national championships. The athletes, spectators and organisers
were able to track all the games and results live over the internet during
the weekend, a first for SA Canoe Polo.
The event had four divisions with a record 16 teams competing with over 90
players taking part across the different divisions. The sheer number of
teams meant that the pool games went on till late on Saturday night and on
into Sunday morning.
After the pool games, the teams all played in a number of knock out events
to determine who would be competing for the title of South African Champion.
In the U21 Men’s and Ladies division, the Western Cape U21 Men had reined
supreme, as did the Gauteng U21 ladies in the U21 ladies division.
The Knysna U16 boys were also on top form going into the knock-outs having
won all their pool games.
The open division, which had seven teams (another record) was less clear cut
with Western Cape A in the lead but the scrap for second was fearsome with
just goal difference separating Gauteng A and Knysna A (playing as Western
These two teams faced off in the semi-final in one of the tightest games of
the tournament, with Gauteng eventually emerging victorious to take the next
final spot with Western Cape A.
Once all the knock-out and semi-final games were complete, the finals began.
The standard of canoe polo has rapidly risen over the last few years with a
consistent growth and a large number of junior players hinting at a very
positive future for the sport.
The u16 division showed that with an outstanding level of competition over
the entire weekend. The Knysna u16 boys finished the tournament victorious
over the Gauteng Dragons and Knysna U16 Girls in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Gauteng Barracudas finished in 4th.
The Gauteng U21 ladies have a large number of girls in the national ladies
squad that is touring to Belgium later this year and that showed with a
comprehensive win of both the Ladies division as well as the U21 Ladies
division. The KZN ladies finished in second ahead of the Western Cape Ladies
while in the U21 Ladies division, the Knysna U16 girls showed they are a
force to be reckoned with for the future, finishing second ahead of the KZN
U21 Ladies in third.
The Western Cape U21 Men was the top team of the U21 division the whole
weekend, despite only playing with 4 team members for the entire tournament!
In second was the KZN U21 mixed team and in third the Gauteng ladies.
In the open division, Western Cape A achieved their province’s first ever
national championships win taking a 3-2 win over Gauteng A in the final.
Knysna A took the last place on the podium, followed by KZN, Cape Town,
Knysna Barbarians and the Zimmerframes.
Three more canoe polo events will be held this year, with the Durban
International up next from the 12th-13th May. The Knysna Oyster Festival
Polo Tournament will be held from the 14th -15th July after which the
national men’s and ladies development sides will travel to Belgium to take
part in 2 tournaments.
The final Canoe Polo tournament for the year will be the Vikings Cup, held
in Johannesburg from the 13th-14th October.
Should you wish to get involved in Canoe Polo, these are the respective
people to contact:
CSA Polo Chairman and Gauteng representative: Chris De
KZN Polo Chairwoman: Laurel Oettle
Knysna Polo Club Chairman: Nelson das Fontes
Cape Town Polo Club Chairman: Iain Clarke
More information can be found at
Click to download the hi-res
Africa Logo (GIF).
The competition was fierce as
the Western Cape dominated the majority of divisions at the recent South
African Canoe Polo Championships hosted by the Knysna Yacht Club.
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