Splashing action expected at Canoe Combat

Shaldon Johannes
The 11th edition of the Canoe Combat is set to take place at the Walvis Bay Yacht Club on 4 March 2023.

The event, which has been taking place for 13 years and had to be cancelled for two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic, serves as an fundraiser for Walvis Bay Gymnasium school.

"It all started in 2010 when it was then known as the Dragon Boat Racing event. There was unfortunately an accident on the highway outside of Windhoek and all the boats were destroyed. We had to make a plan overnight and new arrangements had to be made and this is how it transformed into the Canoe Combat," explained Xvarius Smit, one of the organisers.

The proceedings will start at 07:00 with the draw being conducted. The races will follow as from 07:30. The cost per team is N$3000.00 and each team can choose a theme for the day. "Although it is a competition, it is also a fun event for the public. Teams are not required to bring their own canoes, we provide the canoes. Each team must consist of eight people of which two must be women."

A refreshing and competitive spirit is always evident between the various teams with the day marked by good sportsmanship and loads of laughter. The fiercely contested rowing competition produce some frantic paddling while colliding, capsizing canoes and splashing rowers have the crowd and supporters enthusiastically cheering the teams on from the shoreline.

The Dream Team from Seawork won the event, which saw twenty eight teams competing, last year. Team Weskus Vasbyters of the Desert 4x4 Club followed in second with team Local Disappointments from Skeleton Coast Launches finishing in the third place. Team Sail Mates of Securitas was named the best dressed team, Team Namcor and team Namdock shared the best spirit award.

Refreshments such as pancakes, hamburgers, chips and cool drinks as well as arts and crafts, will be available from a variety of stalls throughout the day. There will also be games for children.