This weekend’s gruelling 50-Miler canoeing race in Kwa-Zulu Natal saw the Soweto Canoe and Recreation Club (SCARC) paddlers and their partners pull out the stops and take home three top-20 places, putting them in the running for excellent starting places for the 2018 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon.
Adreach Team Siseko Ntondini (SCARC) and partner Sbonelo Khwela achieved 10th place, with fellow SCARCies, Zonele Nzuza and Simnikiwe Ntondini placing 13th and partners Phineas Zulu (SCARC) and Xolile Kondile placing a respectable 19th, both from the First Rand SCARC Racing Team.
As a Row-1 FNB Dusi seeding race qualifier, the 50-Miler takes place on the Dusi route with challenging rapids and running with the boat. It starts from Mission Rapid and ends at Umfula Store. Renowned for being one of the toughest races of the season, Dusi hopefuls usually tackle this race to assess their readiness for the FNB Dusi.
Ntondini and Khwela also placed 4th in the Mfula Store race, another Dusi route race, on Sunday the 14th of January.
With 11 consecutive Dusis under his belt and a second place in 2017, Dusi veteran Sbonelo Khwela has teamed up with SCARC star Siseko Ntondini, who placed 8th in the race last year. This power pair is showing great promise for this year’s race.
SCARC paddlers continue to reach new heights, and with their 2018 racing season off to a brilliant start, these three pairs are definitely on the radar to watch for possible gold medals at the FNB Dusi.
SCARC is the brainchild of ADreach CEO, Brad Fisher, himself an avid paddler. He founded the club in 2003 after noticing a serious absence of black paddlers in the sport, particularly in Gauteng.
In an effort to give back to people who could really benefit from the sport in the same way he had, Fisher worked with the Emmarentia based Dabulamanzi Canoe Club to develop a similar club in Soweto.
SCARC has produced some of the most exciting up and coming paddlers in the country.