Entries are open for the 72km Drak Challenge Canoe Marathon in the southern Drakensberg on January 21 and 22.
The race attracts around 1 000 paddlers to the Underberg area in the middle of the summer rainfall season.
The event has maintained its loyal following as paddlers have realised that the steep, rocky reaches of the river covered by the two-day race are perfectly manageable, even in low conditions.
Unlike 2015, the region’s water table enjoyed the benefits of winter snowfall, as well as the unseasonal winter storms that rocked the region in July, allowing the Mzimkhulu to show quick rises to the river level once the first of the summer rainstorms fell.
“We have learnt some vital lessons from 2015 and 2016,” said race committee head Andrew Barnett.
“The popular view used to be that the race couldn’t be held below the foundation level at Castleburn bridge at the start of day one.
“However we have taken the decision to race the race ‘from the top’ twice in the last two years at this low level, and the paddlers have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.”