Sports Coming of age Jessop eyes top Karkloof spot Karkloof – Having occupied every spot from fourth to second at the Sappi Karkloof Trail Festival over the past three years, young Julian Jessop’s eyes are firmly set on claiming that elusive 60km Marathon win when he and some of South Africa’s MTB elite set off from the Karkloof Country Club on Sunday, 28 May. The dice for the 2016 title was between Jessop and Brendon Davids, however the latter was too strong for the youngster who had to settle for the runner-up position over the 60km marathon route that takes riders through some breath-taking single track. “The route follows a cross country format and the descents are really cool which makes the climbing all worth it in the end. “It is renowned for its single track and with my cross country background I think that it plays into my hands quite nicely. I hope that I can use my knowledge of the course to my advantage during the race.” The Concept Cyclery Ballito/Cadence Nutrition star expects there to be another strong field at the Karkloof marathon in 2017, but with such a busy schedule on his plate, which included university exams, he hopes he doesn’t run out of steam before Karkloof. “It is one of the biggest one-day races in the country so I expect there to be a really top-class field there as always. “I rode the KAP sani2c recently, and am following that with the South African MTB Marathon Championships the following weekend and Karkloof after that I 40 Kzn Lifestyle Magazine • Issue 27 “I am definitely going out to try and win the marathon at Karkloof,” a determined Jessop said. hope that I have enough left in the tank! “I was injured the weekend before sani2c but with the help of the team at the Prime Human Performance Institute I was able to take part and now I am in the middle of a really tough bit of racing,” the youngster mentioned. Jessop’s recent performance at the three-day sani2c from the Southern Drakensberg to Scottburgh with partner Andrew Hill has boosted his confidence as he was able to compete with Having some of the best riders in the country in telling conditions. “To be able to finish fifth at the sani2c was a real positive for me because I now know that I can compete with the best, even in such tough, muddy conditions. “Even after my injury I was able to ride well with Andrew and I am really happy with how the three days went for me and for us as a team,” he added. The weekend before the Karkloof Classic Trail Festival is the South African MTB “ lost out to Brendon Davids in 2016, Concept Cyclery Ballito/Cadence Nutrition's Julain Jessop is hoping that he can claim that top podium spot at the 2017 Sappi Karkloof Trail Festival's 60km MTB Marathon on Sunday, 28 May. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media Marathon championships in Pietermaritzburg, and once again Jessop hopes that he can push for a top result. “I would love to get into the top five at the national championships, but I am racing in the elite category so it is going to be difficult. “A top five would be incredible but I will also be happy with a top 10 finish. “It has been a really busy few weeks for me and so if I can do well at the national champs and then continue that form into Karkloof, I would be really stoked.” The 2017 Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival takes place at the Karkloof Country Club on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 May 2017.
2017 Berg River Canoe Marathon - Diary Note The Berg River Canoe Marathon from 12 to 15 July takes the paddlers from Paarl, through the Winelands into the Swartland and down to the Cape West Coast. John Hishin/ Gameplan Media Entries have opened for the 56th edition of the Berg River Canoe Marathon, which takes place from Wednesday 12 July to Saturday 15 July 2017, preceded by the seeding time trial in Paarl on Tuesday 11 July. The race, widely recognised as one of the toughest ultra-distance marathon canoeing events in the world, covers 240km over four stages from Paarl, heading north-west to Velddrif, taking the athletes and their support crews through the Winelands, the Swartland and then down to the Cape West Coast. Last year the race attracted another strong field of international competitors, with Hungarian K2 world champ Adrian Boros finishing third, Czech Republic paddler Petr Mojžíšek sixth, Aussie Brendon Rice seventh and his compatriot Josh Kippin eighth. Boros has already entered for this year, and several more internationals are expected to follow suit. Entries for the 2017 Berg River Canoe Marathon can be made online at http:// berg.org.za/?page_id=662 The Berg River Canoe marathon starts in Paarl on 12 July and ends at Velddrif on 15 July. More information can be found at www.berg. org.za Health Sports All systems GO for ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships It's all systems go for the 2017 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships at Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg in September, says chairman of the organising committee Steve Botha. Dave Macleod/ Gameplan Media Pietermaritzburg – It’s all systems go for the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships at Camps Drift from 8 to 10 September 2017 as race chairman Steve Botha moves in with his committee to ensure the global showcase is hosted successfully and with the intended warm hospitality. Botha takes over from Brett Austen Smith who was responsible for securing the second edition of the marathon world title decider in South Africa, and plans to make sure the event runs smoothly and creates unforgettable memories for the athletes, their families and spectators attending the three-day spectacle. “Primarily we want to make sure the whole event has a uniquely South African feel,” said Botha. “We have such a vibrant culture in this country and we want to show that culture to everyone at the event. He said plans for the athletes village and boat storage facilities that will supplement the facilities at Camps Drift were in an advanced stage. “Now that our domestic river marathon season is winding down, we can focus all our energy on the World Champs in September,” said Botha. “We have a great committee that is working flat-out, busy doing what they need to do. “We are on schedule now, after a little catching up and the venue is looking fantastic. There is new grass laid for the portage and it all looks of a very high standard,” said Botha. “September is an awesome time of the year in Pietermaritzburg. It is Spring but before the heavy rains, and Camps Drift will be fantastic at that time. The week long competition will start with the traditional Masters Cup races for Veteran and Master age group paddlers and paraathletes, before the spotlight shifts to the junior, Under 23 and senior men and women. “We are really looking forward to welcoming everyone to the World Marathon Champs in September,” he concluded. The ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships will be held at Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg from 8 to 10 September 2017, preceded by the Masters Cup competition. More information can be found at www.wmc2017. co.za. Kzn Lifestyle Magazine • Issue 27 41