The Challenge - PE2EL Update

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ImagePaddlers have fewer than 100 days to train for the single most challenging event in the Surfski calendar: the 244km Port Elizabeth to East London "Surfski Challenge".


Changes this year include the omission of Woody Cape on the first day, and the one-way running of the race.  In the past, organisers have run sections of the course "backwards" during bad weather to give paddlers a downwind leg.  Not this year.  In addition the Sunday is being reserved as a spare day in case any of the other days has to be cancelled due to inclement weather.






(Information from the event website) 


  • Day 1 - Port Elizabeth to Cannon Rocks (80km)
  • Day 2 - Cannon Rocks - Kenton-on-Sea - Port Alfred (45km)
  • Day 3 - Port Alfred - Mpekweni - Hamburg (68km)
  • Day 4 - Hamburg - Kidds Beach - East London (51km)

The race format is as follows:

  • Day 1: Early morning start to a single leg
  • Day 2/3/4: Early morning starts, with 10-minute compulsory halfway stops

December 17 is been set aside as a spare day, in the event of late, delayed or none starts due to inclement weather.


Course Start


According to Michael Zoetmulder, the event organiser, the start will probably be at Coega Harbour, but the exact place will be determinded by the event sponsors.  The benefits of the harbour include accessibility and support for media to film the paddlers.


For more information, see the event website.

For an excellent article on training for the event, see the Red7 website


Published in Africa

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