The Knysna Lagoon Challenge, which is the Knysna Canoe Club's contribution to the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, was held on Sunday, July 8. Although it was sunny the Westerly wind blew a gale and combined with a strong outgoing tide made for tough but exciting canoe racing.
Several events were held, all starting and finishing at the Knysna Yacht Club. In addition to the standard canoe races, two stand-up paddling races were held, and the kids were catered for in the guppie 2km race. The canoe races consisted of a 10km fun race and a 22km race.
Both races followed a two lap course from the yacht club through Thesen Islands where an exciting portage section confronted the paddlers, back to the yacht club and into and through the waterfront and then finishing in front of the yacht club.
The longer race also took the paddlers past Leisure Isle into The Heads before they headed to the portage at Thesen Islands.
The 22km canoe race also incorporated the canoeing discipline of the Big 5 event, but the cold and rough conditions depleted the field somewhat.
Results were as follows:
1. Nick Notten and Kirsten Gelderblom (Peninsula Canoe Club) 2. Rob and Cajsa Meintjies from Langebaan 3. John Elliot and Andre Groenewald.
22km race (men)
1. Kyle Friedenstein and Bevan Manson (Border Canoe Club) 2. Sean Rice (Varsity College) 3. Craig Flanagan and Dominic Notten (Peninsula Canoe Club).
22km race (ladies)
1. Alexa Cole and Eloise Horne (Peninsula Canoe Club) 2. Michèle Eray and Michaela Beers (Knysna Canoe Club) 3. Kirsten Flanagan and Amy Hare (Peninsula Canoe Club).