There will be a new challenge for paddlers at the Fish River Canoe Marathon in Cradock on October 7 and 8.
Work has been done on the construction of a chute down the Baroda Weir, 500 metres after the start of the second and final stage.
This will offer a new challenge and another exciting spectator point on the final stage.
The brainchild of new race committee chairman Roy Copeman, the massive Fish chute allows paddlers the chance to shoot the five-metre high drop for the first time, down a tried and tested design of steps built within a diamond-shaped chute, before dropping into a rapid below the weir.
The new chute was tested by members of the Fish River Canoe Club, who gave it a unanimous thumbs-up.
“The weir works really well and is a lot of fun. When you get to the bottom of the chute there is a strong flow of water coming in from the right, which picks your boat up and pushes it left.
“Then you get dropped over a rocky ledge, which is where the biggest stopper wave is,” said Greg Louw, a Cradock local and K2 winner of the Fish with Andy Birkett last year.
The race has always attracted a big field because it offers guaranteed water released from Grassridge Dam, which makes the 82km of flowing water, exciting rapids and weirs a favourite on the canoeing calendar.