N3TC Drak Challenge 2020 Media Release

 No: drak2009

16 Jan 2020

Embargo : None

Written by: Dave Macleod

Spanish ace Kiko Vega jets back for an other shot at the Drak Challenge

Underberg Spanish ace paddler Kiko Vega has confirmed plans to jet back to South Africa for the N3TC Drak Challenge in partnership with FNB after an impressive top ten debut in 2019.

The veteran blonde haired flyer is a former winner of the iconic Sella Descent in his home country, and has become fascinated by the unique calendar of river marathon races in South Africa.

He has raced onto the podium at the Berg and Fish River Canoe Marathons, but he turned heads last year when he made his debut on a very technically demanding low Mzimkhulu River and finished seventh in the Southern Drakensberg classic.

"The standard of racing is very high at the Drak," said Vega from a wintery Spain.

"The rapids are rocky and it is easy to make mistakes, and the level of racing is so high that mistakes cost a lot of time and places.

"This is one of the biggest races in South Africa and I am happy to be able to take leave to come and race the Drak Challenge again," he said.

Vega was excited to get backing from the local Euro Steel team, and suppliers Set Kayaks and Gara paddles to ease the logistics of the trip from the northern hemisphere.

At his debut event in 2019 he was bowled over by the local hospitality, as Underberg residents helped with accommodation, transport and guided him down the river to recce the technical sections of the race course, tucking in behind paddlers like Olympian Bridgitte Hartley on these training sessions.

Vega added that he was hoping for more water than the race had last year, as this would negate the local advantage and make the race far tighter.

The Asturian has recently been appointed to a senior coaching position in Spain and will return home straight after the Drak Challenge before flying back to South Africa for the Dusi Canoe Marathon at the end of February.

He follows a number of international elite paddlers who had enjoyed success at the two-day Drak Challenge.

In 2007 German ace Max Hoff became the first foreign champion of the race when he led a contingent from the German wild water training squad to success on a low Mzimkhulu River.

Respected international marathoners Adrian Boros, Jakub Adam and Anna Koziskova have all made the marks on the race.

The N3TC Drak Challenge canoe marathon takes place in Underberg on 1 and 2 February 2020. More information can be found at www.drakadventure.co.za

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Photo Caption Photographer Click to download the hi-res pic

The 2020 N3TC Drak Challenge, in partnership with FNB Logo - PNG


The FNB Drak Adventure Weekend Logo - JPeg


Spanish paddler Kiko Vega (centre) with local elite racers Alan Houston (left) and Bridgitte Hartley (right) at last year's  N3TC Drak Challenge in partnership with FNB. Vega will be back to contest the race on 1 and 2 February. Dave Macleod/
Gameplan Media

After a solid top ten finish on debut last year Spanish paddler Kiko Vega will be back for the  N3TC Drak Challenge in partnership with FNB on 1 and 2 February. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

Spanish paddler Kiko Vega in action during last year's N3TC Drak Challenge in partnership with FNB on 1 and 2 February. The Asturian will be back to race his second Drak at the beginning of February Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

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