Information for Paddlers 2019


Ahoy there Paddler – it’s getting close to launch time!

We hope you have registering for this year’s event.

We’d love you to do the whole journey but you are also welcome to choose which ever stretch suits your fitness level, your craft and your time. Each year we evaluate the route according to feedback from paddlers. Safety and fun that are uppermost in our minds.

The journey in brief

 We launch at the Zandvlei mouth no later than 07.30. You need to be in the water by 7.30. Please wear a life jacket if you a not the world’s best champion swimmer. Do the neighbours the courtesy of keeping the noise levels down while unpacking your kayaks. We paddle with the rising sun to the top of Zandvlei for a brief break and allow the fleet to catch up.

There after we paddle, push and pull our way through the Steenberg Canal to Princess Vlei. Make sure you are wearing shoes. At Princess Vlei we take out our kayaks/crafts (between 10.00–10.30) and make our way to Sybrand Park canal next to the Rondebosch Golf Course entrance. We will have some eats and drinks available before paddle into the Black River (launch no later than 12 noon). This is a fantastic stretch of water that takes us all the way to the mouth of the Salt River – great bird watching too.

We aim to be at the final destination between 15.00 and 15.30 at the mouth of the Salt River. This is where the 4 founder members of the Paddle ended their journey on 23 May 2010. There will be some eats, spot prizes and a media event, so please stay a few moments to enjoy scene and of the course company who have made it to the end of the journey.

It’s going to be great day. Tell your Facebook friends and show them your awesome photos.


These Q&As will help you to plan for the paddle and enjoy the day (also refer to the website for any updates):

  1. What kind of ‘boat’ do I need? A river kayak is preferable – the plastic type works best if you are doing the whole journey. It needs to be dragged along some of the shallower canals and will get a little scratched and bumped. Splash covers are also necessary if you are doing the sea leg. You must be able to carry your craft sometimes over shallow sections. There is a small stretch of about 200 metres where you will need to carry your craft to the Steenberg Canal. Attach a one metre rope to the front of your kayak to pull it through some of the shallow sections. Some participants will be using ‘stand up paddling’ long boards – ideal especially in the vlei areas, sea and parts of the Black River too.
  2. What should I wear? Caps (we have a free cap for you from our sponsors which will be handed out at the Zandvlei breakfast stop), sunglasses, sunscreen, t-shirt; a buoyancy jacket (useful not only to keep you afloat, but also to lean against); gloves (not essential); shorts; sturdy shoes (avoid plastic soles as the canals are slippery); a small, light weight backpack to hold drinks bottle, lunch, cell phone, snacks (packed these in water proof containers / bags).
  3. If I am only doing part of the paddle, where do I meet the group? The website describes various entry and exit points and expected arrival and departure times. We will keep to these times published – see the document on website under 2016 Event called “Route Details”. A Twitter and Facebook link updates progress during the day (#SAPenPaddle). Please tweet….we like it.
  4. What are the risks? Waterways are polluted. If you have open wounds or develop these while doing the trip, it is best to leave the paddle and get these treated immediately. There are no special precautions other than taking a sensible approach. If you are injured during the paddle and cannot continue, then you will need to call your ‘seconder’ to assist you. Safety is our concern and we want you to avoid coming to any harm. The rule of thumb here is that we look out and after each other. No one should be left alone to paddle without being seen by other paddlers.
  5. How fit do I need to be? The actual paddle is not too strenuous. There are places where you need to get out of a canal and carry the kayaks and this can be a little tough. You need to be able to do this on your own, however everyone helps each other in the paddle and we won’t leave you behind.
  6. Starting time? We meet at the mouth of Zandvlei lagoon (Royal Road) at about 07.00 – 07.15. Unpack and take your craft to the waters edge and be ready to launch 07.30. There is no time for any introductory welcome we’ll do a little of that when we meet each other formally at the top of Zandvlei. Enjoy the beautiful sunrise and meet new people.
  7. What happens if the weather is foul? If the weather looks bad we then contact the organisers by cell phone. We will also warn you by email or news flash on Facebook, Twitter or our website. We sincerely hope that the weather will be smiling on us.
  8. What instructions do I need to give to my assistant? Seconders need to drive you and your kayak to the start. They also need to fetch you at Princess Vlei at about 10.30 and then drive you to Sybrand Park (next to the entrance of Rondebosch Golf Course) ready to launch again by 12.00. The final leg of the journey will ends at the Salt River Mouth at about 15.30 – the take out point.
  9. Can I expect fellow paddlers to help? Yes! We are all in this together and work with each other from start to finish. If paddlers find themselves struggling with the challenge, then it may be best to withdraw and call your seconder to assist you to retire. We won’t leave anyone alone, but we also can’t hold up the paddle for too long.
  10. Do we paddle as a group? We do our best to stick together – it is a campaign but of course it is also a fun one. We want a large group of paddlers on the water to present the media with photo opportunities, especially in key sections, e.g. Zandvlei, Princess Vlei, and the Black River. Help build the awareness and media opportunity.
  11. What are some of the challenges en route? Carrying crafts in a few places and dragging them along shallow canals is about a tough as it gets. It is weather dependent but we won’t attempt anything that is too challenging especially if the north westerly wind is too strong.
  12. Who is responsible for organising this event? There is an organising committee (see website), along with sponsors and partners, but the event does not fall under any single organising body. It is not owned by anyone. The responsibility for participating in the event is entirely at your own risk. You have signed an on-line indemnity form at registration.
  13. Do I need to register and what does it cost? We need you to register for the paddler so that we know who you and your contact details in case of any emergencies. There is no cost because generously sponsored by ABAX Investments and have associated partners who all make this event possible (See website sponsorship details).
  14. Who can I contact to chat further? You are welcome to contact Kevin Winter, Mobile 0839235890, a founder member of the paddle, or to Laura, the organising manager (see earlier details).

We look forward to a having you on the Peninsula Paddle 2019

Kevin Winter

(on behalf of the organising committee)

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