Paddling with Martin Dreyer - with Martin Dreyer by sdsdfqw21


									  T R A I N S TAT I O N                   STDDLT
                                            AR E

                                                                                                                                                                                                       you can’t ignore paddling if you want
                                                                                                                                                                                                       to call yourself a real, hair-on-your-chest
                                                                                                                                                                                                       multisporter. it’s just part of the package.

                                                                                                                                                                                                       But paddling is a fantastic sport all on its own, with
                                                                                                                                                                                                       its own heroes, holy grails and history. South Africa
                                                                                                                                                                                                       has iconic races including the Dusi, Non-stop Dusi,
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Fish, Berg, Umko, Drak Challenge, Cape Point, Port
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Elizabeth to East London and Scottburgh to Brighton.

                                                                                                                                                                                                       So, even if you are a seasoned runner or a cyclist, a
                                                                                                                                                                                                       mountain biker or even a swimmer, can you honestly
                                                                                                                                                                                                       say you’ve tried paddling and not fallen in love with
                                                                                                                                                                                                       it? If you can’t, what are you waiting for?

                                                                                                                                                                                                       Before you get out there though, take into
                                                                                                                                                                                                       consideration these wise words from multiple Dusi
                                                                                                                                                                                                       champ Martin Dreyer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                       tell it like it is
                                                                                                                                                                                                       When you do fall out, break your boat or have a
                                                                                                                          The Duke                                                                     bad swim, it is no use blaming it on bad luck. There
                                                                                                                          He’s the Duke and you’d better not forget
                                                                                                                                                                                                       is no bad luck on the river. Disasters that befall
                                                                                                                          it. Not that the mild-mannered, even-keeled
                                                                                                                                                                                                       you are usually the result of incompetence or bad
                                                                                                                          guy called Martin Dreyer would object; it’s
                                                                                                                          just that he commands that kind of respect                                   management.
                                                                                                                          from the paddling community after winning                                    If you are paddling under Mission Bridge at Dusi and
                                                                                                                          seven K2 Dusi titles, seven Non-Stop Dusi,                                   a cow or taxi falls on you, ending your race - yes, that
                                                                                                                          and wins in the Vaal Canoe Marathon,
                                                                                                                                                                                                       is bad luck.
                                                                                                                          Breede Canoe Marathon and also the Avon
                                                                                                                          Descent in Australia.                                                        If you fall out at the top of Ernie Pearce weir or hit
                                                                                                                          But that’s not all, folks! He’s a                                            another canoe on Inanda Dam which puts an end to
                                                                                                                          multisporter of note after winning the                                       your race - that is incompetence.
                                                                                                                          prestigious (read: equivalent in Olympic
                                                                                                                          gold in multisport) Land Rover G4                                            If, while you are approaching Island Two and you
                                                                                                                          Challenge final in 2006. He’s also won                                       press hard right on your pedal and the rudder cable
                                                                                                                                                                                                       snaps and you wipe out - that is bad management,

   Start Paddling
                                                                                                                          major events in codes such as adventure
                                                                                                                          racing (Bull of Africa) and surfski paddling                                 because you really should have checked your steering
                                                                                                                          (the far-out Cape Point Challenge) so if                                     before the day’s stage.
                                                                                                                          there’s anyone we should listen to about all
                                                                                                                          sorts of paddling, it’s Martin.                                              If you decide, against all advice to bypass the
                                                                                                                          He compiled and edited this special issue                                    Ngumeni take-out and paddle down Mamba Gorge -
                                                                                                                          with his usual enthusiasm for sharing his                                    that is just plain stupidity.
                                                                                                                          knowledge and especially race tactics,                                       Of course, all of us have been (and most of us still

                 with Martin Dreyer                                                                                       which also shows in the results his squad
                                                                                                                          of Computershare Change a Life athletes
                                                                                                                          have been achieving over the past two
                                                                                                                                                                                                       are) guilty from time to time of incompetence, bad
                                                                                                                                                                                                       judgement and poor management. Simply: if we look
                                                                                                                          years. Wily old dog!                                                         for the error and admit it was our own fault, then we
                                                                                                                                                                                                       can (hopefully) avoid that error the next time. If you
                                                                                                                                                                                                       simply blame it on bad luck, there is no room for

4 4    w w w. g o m u l t i . c o . z a    L i f e ’s t o o s h o r t f o r o n e s p o r t   Vol 14.5   Nov • Dec 2010                             L i f e ’s t o o s h o r t f o r o n e s p o r t                                      w w w. g o m u l t i . c o . z a      4 5 
  T R A I N S TAT I O N                                           STDDLT
                                                                    AR E

           Gear up
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Riverside repair
                                                                                                                         Head gear Wear a cap or hat and remember
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bare essentials for your
                                                                                                                        to tie it on to your PFD, so that you don’t lose
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    paddling race repair kit
                                                                                                                         it in the bigger rapids or “so a Valley piccanin
                                                                                                                                        doesn’t snatch it off your head,”
                                                                                                                                            quips Dreyer. Many paddlers                                                                                                                               Spare wing-nuts
                                                                                                                                             tie a handkerchief, bandana
                                                                                                                                                  or piece of cotton cloth
AS witH Any Sport, it’s important to have
                                                                                                                                         around the back of their cap to
the right equipment. But before you go out and
                                                                                                                                        protect their neck and ears from
spend your hard-earned cash on gear and apparel,                                                                                                                 sunburn.
borrow first and see how it goes on the water.
Only look at purchasing your own gear once you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Full roll of duct tape
know that you’re hooked.

Eyewear A good idea, especially on sunny days when glare

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       photo jacques marais
                                                                                                                                       PFD Personal flotation device.
off the water can cause problems. Glasses are easy to lose                                                                           Compulsory piece of kit. Don’t let
in the water, so get a watersport-specific model or fit sport                                                                        yourself get on the water without
straps to the arms so they stay on your face.                                                                                              one and don’t expect to be                                                                                                                                 Tube of adhesive to help stick
                                                                                                                                      allowed to race either. If you are                                                                                                                              duct tape onto a wet hull
                                                                                                                                       doing a lot of portaging, Dreyer
                                                                                                                                            recommends padding your
                                                                                                                                                                                       Martin Dreyer’s Change a Life academy has produced some top
                                                                                                                                         shoulders. “Sew high-density                  paddlers, such as Eric Zondi. He is the current Non-Stop Dusi
Hydration What you drink with while training is what you
                                                                                                                                          foam to your t-shirt or PFD.”                                                                                                                               Short piece of wire
                                                                                                                                                                                       Champion, finished third overall at Dusi 2010 and second at
should race with. Don’t try anything new and untested
                                                                                                                                                                                       Triple Challenge 2009
during a race just because someone famous or really
fast races well on it. Look at a two-litre Tripper system:
one-litre on the front and one-litre on the back. Drink from                                                                                                                 ABC of paddling                                                                                                          String to replace broken
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      cables, or a length of cable
the bladder at the back first. You can also use a Camelbak
hydration pack.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       and cable clamps
                                                                                                                                    Shirt Most paddlers wear vests or
                                                                                                                                 lightweight lycra short or long-sleeve
                                                                                                                                                                             you can’t just hop in a canoe and race
                                                                                                                               shirts. Either way, protect yourself from     There are three classes in canoeing: A, B and C. Just
                                                                                                                                                                the sun.     like school, you should be aiming for an A+. However,
                                                                                                                                                                             there are various tests to pass and experiences to gain.                                                                 Small screwdriver
Paddle You’re not going anywhere without one of these                                                                                                                        After completing the flatwater proficiency test you must
babies. Don’t compromise strength for lightness. “I                                                                                                                          complete at least three flatwater races, dices, trips or
use a flexible shaft which is easier on the muscles                                                                                                                          club time trials before completing the river proficiency
and tendons (carbon blades with a 40% carbon                                                                                                                                 test. Once you are CBR rated, you can enter both C and
                                                                                                                            Splash cover An essential piece of river
and 60% glass shaft). Tip for basic length - your
                                                                                                                            kit that keeps water out of the boat. Make       B class river races. But remember, you are aiming for                                                                    Small pair of pliers
fingers should just curl over the top of the
                                                                                                                             sure it’s securely fastened before getting      A+. To get an A rating you must finish six C or B class
paddle in the vertical position,” says Dreyer.
                                                                                                                                                             underway.       races. It’s strongly recommended that you do some B
                                                                                                                                                                             river races as part of the six, don’t just go for the easier
                                                                                                                                                                             C class races. After completing a minimum of three A
                                                                                                                                                                             class races, you will be eligible to enter an A+ class                                                                                                For crash test dummies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   • Resin
                                                                                                                            Shoes Wear old running shoes or racing
                                                                                                                             flats. If necessary, shape/cut the outside      A Class races Berg Marathon, Breede Marathon, Fish Marathon, Vaal                                                                                     • Catalyst
                                                                                                                               back of each shoe to fit snugly into the      Marathon, 50 Miler, Dusi Marathon, Drak Challenge and Orange River                                                                                    • Fibre-glass
                                                                                                                            ‘V’ of the hull. Make sure you can fit your      Marathon.
                                                                                                                             feet into the boat and steer (this is worth                                                                                                                                                           • Paint brush
                                                                                                                              practising). You may have to adjust your       A+ Class races Lowveld Croc Marathon, Umkomaas Marathon, Tugela                                                                                       • Empty mixing can
                                                                                                                           seat position or angle your pedals forward        Marathon, Ithala Challenge, Bushmans to Weenan Road, Hella-Hella to
                                                                                                                                slightly. A shoe with good breathability     Josephines Bridge, Josephines Bridge to Riverside.                                                                                                    • Plastic packet to put over
                                                                                                                           means quicker expulsion of water, so it will                                                                                                                                                               the repaired patch to give
                                                                                                                                                            dry quicker.                                                                                                                                                              it a smooth finish (so it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      doesn’t need sanding)

                           When it comes to your choice of craft, endurance kayaking world record holder Ian Adamson says, “Start with the
                           fastest, most unstable boat you can paddle. In my experience this will help develop balance, a higher and more efficient
                           cadence and good paddling technique much faster than a slow, stable boat. Slow stable boats are wide, which forces
                           a very wide paddle stroke. Their stability prevents adequate balance development, and their lack of speed forces a low
                           cadence, which is inefficient and induces greater forces on the muscles, tendons and joints.”

4 6    w w w. g o m u l t i . c o . z a                              L i f e ’s t o o s h o r t f o r o n e s p o r t                                             Vol 14.5   Nov • Dec 2010                                                                                   L i f e ’s t o o s h o r t f o r o n e s p o r t                                     w w w. g o m u l t i . c o . z a      4 7 
  T R A I N S TAT I O N                                      STDDLT
                                                               AR E

                              dusi dangers
                                                                logistics Make sure that your seconds have the correct take-out info (no, not your KFC
                            By all means take advice            order) as well as emergency contacts in case they get lost or you don’t get off the river. If
                           on canoeing matters, but             you are leaving vehicles at the put-in and take-out, make double sure that you have the
                           consider the source.                 correct keys for the vehicle at take-out. Deon Breytenbach, Mohlatsi Adventures
                     Ԏ If one of the top paddlers
             says something is dangerous -
             believe them - it is dangerous.                   running with a K2
        Ԏ If a Dusi rat does not want to paddle
                                                              It is vital to practice running with a K2              In narrow pathways with corners, like going
             a specific section, for example past
                                                              with your partner. Focus on running in                 through Devil’s Cauldron at Dusi, make
             Island One, there is a reason for it.
             As a novice crew, you may be better              rhythm and not necessarily in step. The                sure the boat is on the outside shoulder.
             off portaging.                                   front paddler must remember the back                   The front paddler must move into the inside
                                                              paddler cannot see the path as well and so             of the turn, while the back person must
         Ԏ If a rat or a top paddler says a                   should warn the back paddler of obstacles,             be prepared to extend their outside arm
           section is “nothing to worry about”,
                                                              including ditches and thorn bushes.                    supporting the K2, as the boat is pulled
              get the opinion of two fish ‘n chips
              paddlers (non-hotshots) who know                                                                       away.
                                                              The paddler at the back
              the river well.                                 carries more weight,
                                                              therefore the stronger
                                                              runner with the boat
                                                              should be at the back,
                                          weather wise        especially when running
                               Check local forecasts
                                                              or walking uphill.
                               for rain. A big cloud
                               burst in the right spot        Swap shoulders when you
                               can take you from              feel discomfort - it is not
                               an easy day out to a           necessary to wait for your
                               flooding nightmare
                                                              partner nor to coordinate
in no time at all. Current river levels are very
                                                              swapping shoulders.

                                                                                                                                                                         photo jacques marais
                                                              However, rotating the
You can check various river levels on the DWAF                entire boat has to be done
website or contact the local paddling club to                 together.
make sure what is potting.
Windguru is extremely popular with surfski

     Surfski vs K1
     on flatwater
       Mart’s theory

   In theory a surfskI should                            it out). Some argue that on a rolling start a            As a novice it would be a more pleasant
   be faster because It has a                            surfski holds its own.                                   experience training on flatwater with a
                                                                                                                  surfski. If you fall out, you merely have to roll
   longer water-lIne. K1s are built                      If the ‘flatwater’ is rough, a surfski begins to
                                                                                                                  it upright and climb back in. The paddler sits
   to a spec length which is limited to 5.2m.            outperform a K1, because it’s now operating
                                                                                                                  on top of a surfski (it is sealed to stop water
   However surfskis operate in rough conditions          in conditions it was built for. This is especially
                                                                                                                  getting inside). With a K1, you sit inside,
   and so can’t be too skinny (unstable). They           the case if the K1 has an overstern rudder
                                                                                                                  making it necessary to swim to the side to
   also need volume in the design, especially            which kicks up on small swells and steering
                                                                                                                  empty if it capsizes and fills with water.
   the front half to elevate it over waves and           becomes almost non-existent, making the
   stop the nose diving on runs.                         boat track in one direction.                             However, the bonus of sitting inside a K1 is
                                                                                                                  that when it’s cold you can wear a splash
   Although a K1 is shorter, due to it being             Take note - A smaller paddler would most
                                                                                                                  cover, making you toasty warm from the
   skinny as hell, it is faster.                         likely be faster in a K1, whereas a huge bloke
                                                                                                                  chest down. Even in the worst weather you
                                                         would be better off in a surfski. Dusi winner
   From a standing start a K1 is faster (a                                                                        only need to wear a pair of paddling pants.
                                                         ant stott says, “The heavier paddlers tend
   surfski’s footwells take in water at rest -                                                                    On a surfski, you are a lot more exposed.
                                                         to be faster in a surfski because the extra
   adding weight until forward motion sucks
                                                         length accommodates their weight better.”

4 8    w w w. g o m u l t i . c o . z a                        L i f e ’s t o o s h o r t f o r o n e s p o r t                                               Vol 14.5
  T R A I N S TAT I O N                                                  STDDLT
                                                                           AR E
                                                                          PA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The safest places for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             newbies to start paddling

                                          Martin Dreyer’s                                                                                                                                                   Youngsters getting ready to hit the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Also: Emmarentia Dam (Dabulamanzi

                     10 rules of paddling
                                                                                                                                                                                                            water at Milnerton Canoe Club
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Western Cape
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Milnerton Canoe Club, Cape Town. The                         Canoe Club), Rietvlei Dam (Centurion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Milnerton Lagoon on the Diep River is                        Canoe Club)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  reasonably shallow and you can paddle close
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  to the sides. Large sections of the sides have
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Stella Canoe Club, Durban. Paddle in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  a gradual bank or are shallow. Care should
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Durban harbour away from commercial
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  be taken as the lagoon is tidal. Access to the
                                           1 Lean into the obstacle. Always lean into                     6 Be decisive. Even the wrong decision is                                                                                                                                                            traffic. It’s well protected against the wind,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  lagoon is open to the public, free of charge.

                                                                                                                                                                                       photo lisa scott
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               there are no strong currents and it’s not
                                           the rock, tree, other paddler or whatever it is                better than no decision. If you have decided                                                                                            GPS: 33°52’52.73”S 18°29’22.33”E
                                           you are about to hit. If you don’t, your canoe                 on a channel or route, stick to it. If it is the                                                                                                                                                     tide-dependent. There’s always deep water
                                           could be knocked out from underneath you.                      wrong choice, make the best of that choice                                                                                              Also: Seekoeivlei in Lakeside (Peninsula                     to paddle in. Traffic on Maydon Wharf has
                                                                                                          rather than cutting across midway, and end                                                                                              Canoe Club), V&A Waterfront canal,                           diminished significantly, says the club’s
                                           2 Don’t shoot unknown weirs. Check                             up wrapping your boat around a rock through                                                                                             Tyger Waterfront and Doordekraal Dam                         Neels Meyer.
                                           them out from the bank first.
                                                                                                          indecision.                                                                                                                             (New Balance Tygervalley Canoe Club),                        GPS: 29º53’57.31”S 31º00’28.36”E
                                           3 Never brace upstream. When you find                                                                                                                                                                  Keurbooms Lagoon in Plettenberg Bay
                                                                                                          7 Don’t take unnecessary risks. There is                                                                                                                                                             Also: Blue Lagoon (Durban), Natal Canoe
                                           yourself sideways to the flow of the river, a
                                                                                                          absolutely no shame in saying, “that’s bigger                                                                                           Gauteng                                                      Club (Pietermaritzburg), Zululand Kayak
                                           paddle in the water on the upstream side will
                                                                                                          than me” and stopping or portaging. Don’t                                                                                               Florida Lake Canoe Club, Johannesburg.                       Club (Richards Bay)
                                           pull you over.                                                                                                                                                                                         The lake’s circumference is only 1.6km, so
                                                                                                          rely on the race organisers to stop you before
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Eastern Cape
                                           4                                                              danger strikes.                                                                                                                         six laps gives you a 10km workout. You
                                                Stay upstream when swimming.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Blue Water Canoe Club, Port Elizabeth.
                                           Never be on the downstream side of your                                                                                                                                                                are never too far from the banks of the lake
                                                                                                          8 Be prepared. Only you can ensure that                                                                                                                                                              The calm waters of the North End Lake
                                           boat. If the boat hits a tree or rock, you could                                                                                                                                                       in case of a swim or you need to recover.
                                                                                                          you are physically prepared and know that                                                                                                                                                            adjacent to the new soccer stadium provide a
                                           get pinned between them.                                                                                                                                                                               Hot showers in the clubhouse are an added
                                                                                                          your equipment is going to hold out.                                                                                                                                                                 safe place to learn the basics.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  attraction for learners, especially in winter
                                           5 Never stop paddling. When in trouble,                                                                                                                                                                                                                             GPS: 33°56’19.35”S 25°35’47.13”E
                                                                                                          9 If in doubt, check it out. If you are                                                          PE’s North End Lake provides a safe    or evenings.
                                           paddle like hell. You can hesitate for a second
                                                                                                          unsure of the obstacle ahead, rather portage.                                                    haven to learn the basics              GPS: 26°10’43”S 27°54’15”E                                   Also: Nahoon River (Border Canoe Club)
                                           in calm water before the start of the rapid in
                                                                                                          Also, never paddle alone or without a PFD.
                                           order to scout out the best line, but once in
                                           the rapid, keep paddling. Remember, you can                    10. Hug the corner. In a fast-flowing
                                           only steer when you are moving faster than                     river, you run the risk of being swept into
                                           the water.                                                     trees or the bank if you’re on the outside of a
                                                                                                          corner. This applies especially if you cannot
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thule has solutions that save your energy for
                                                                                                          see around the corner - here it’s best to                                                   when it’s really needed. In the battle against
                                                                                                          paddle in the slower moving water. The inside                                                                the elements.
                                                                                                          allows room to manoeuvre.

  Dusi wate
                                                   ring tips                                                                                                                                              Dusi time...
ArouND DuSI tImE, the Valley of a
Thousand Hills can be very hot and humid.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Hydroglide 873                                Kayak Carrier 873
Temperatures can reach the high 30s and                             Simply whip it out and replace with a full one
even low 40s when you’re going through                              with iced juice.
Devil’s Cauldron. It is extremely important to                      Be self-sufficient as far as drinks are                        Drink one litre of carbohydrate liquid within
drink enough during the race - roughly 700ml                        concerned. You must always have enough                         30 minutes of finishing each stage for quicker
per hour.                                                           water with you in case you miss your seconds.                  recovery. Beer isn’t a bad choice, but recovery
Unlike Cape-based paddling, in the Dusi you                                                                                        drinks have more nutrients in them to reload
                                                                    Drink regularly. Sip some water on the way
actually need to carry your drinking system on                                                                                     important glycogen stores and electrolytes
                                                                    to the start off the day’s stage and then drink
your body - and not in the boat - because of                                                                                       lost during exertion.
                                                                    throughout the day. It is important to drink                                                                                                                                                                    Hull-a-port 837                              Roof Rack
all the portaging.                                                  before you get thirsty, by that stage it is too                The water in the Dusi is dirty and has been
Start each stage with a full two litres. Drink at                   late and the heat and humidity will take its toll.             known to cause Dusi Guts. Spit out the first
all the watering stations - this will be sufficient                 There is no excuse for being dehydrated.                       sip of water when starting to drink to purge
to see you through the day. If it is really                                                                                        your pipe, especially if it has been dragging in
                                                                    Make sure your carbohydrate solution is not
hot, fill up your drinking system at the later                                                                                     the water.
                                                                    too strong. You want about it at about 5%.
watering stations. A two-litre fridge bottle is                     The ready-mixed USN Active provides a 7%                       Keep your mouth closed when going through
an easy option to refill or when you meet your                      carbo solution, so dilute that a bit.                          rapids to avoid swallowing the Dusi water.
                                                                    Make sure you wash down your energy                                                                                                                                                                             Multi Purpose Holder 855                      Quickdraw 838
                                                                    sachets with sufficient water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     To find a dealer go to or call 0861 184853
5 0    w w w. g o m u l t i . c o . z a                                     L i f e ’s t o o s h o r t f o r o n e s p o r t                                                Vol 14.5                      Nov • Dec 2010                                  L i f e ’s t o o s h o r t f o r o n e s p o r t                               w w w. g o m u l t i . c o . z a      5 1 

To top