15-17 February 2024

Umpetha Challenge postponed to December after heavy rains

Following heavy rains in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday evening which caused the dredging equipment at Camps Drift to wash down river, the Clanfin Umpetha Challenge scheduled for this Sunday has been postponed until early December.

Organisers of the event are unsure as to the time it will take to remove the machinery from the river so they have taken the decision to postpone the event until they can host it on its original route from Camps Drift to the Bishopstowe Hall.

“We had the option of moving the event this weekend, however it is one of the most important Dusi seeding races and we felt it needed to take place on its original course,” race organiser Dean Oellermann said.

“The decision has been taken that the Umpetha Challenge will take place on 3 December and thanks to everyone who helped in revising the date so swiftly.

“It’s an unfortunate situation; however the race has become such an important part of the build-up to the Dusi that it needs to take place in its best form.”

The KwaZulu-Natal Canoe Club are hosting their annual boat auction on Sunday morning which was also a factor in them postponing the race as an alternate venue for the race would mean an afternoon race which wasn’t a popular option.

“We had prepared well and were excited to host the first Dusi seeding race this weekend but these are developments that are out of our control and we hope that people understand the reasons behind the postponement.

“It’s going to be an exciting edition of the Clanfin Umpetha Challenge at the beginning of December and we cannot wait to host paddlers,” Oellermann added.