Adventure Sport

Kime ready for Berg hat-trick

2011-07-04 15:27
Robyn Kime (File)
Cape Town - As she sets her sights on a hat-trick of victories in the Windhoek Berg River canoe marathon, Maties student Robyn Kime knows this will be by far the most competitive women's race she has been involved in and is relishing the prospect of the fierce tussle for the title.

The final year engineering student has not been able to dedicate as much time as she would have liked to her training thanks to her study commitments, but now that she has completed her exams she has returned to her home in Pietermaritzburg to prepare for the race in warmer weather.

"It's going to be a very different Berg for the women this year, for a number of reasons," says Kime. "The winner's prizemoney is equal to the men's winner, which is very important and a trend that other major races follow."

"The women's rules have changed and we will basically start in a batch together every day, which is going to make the racing very tight. The first two days will be critical because any lead you pick up there can be banked and you just need to stay with the bunch to preserve that."

She is itching to race against the powerful Plett based Olympian Michéle Eray, who beat her in the Swartland marathon last month that covers a third of the Windhoek Berg course.

"Mich (Eray) might be stronger than me in flatwater speed but maybe I have an edge in the swirly water and in the trees, so it is going to be a great race."

"If I do manage to get a gap on her on the first day or two she will try and drop me when the race gets into the long sections of flatwater," she adds. "I just have to be able to hang onto her slip."

Kime stepped in to fill the void left by the departure of Abbey Miedema to Canada and quickly established herself as the female pacesetter in the Berg since settling into life as a Stellenbosch student four years ago.

With her degree almost complete, Kime is contemplating a masters year, which will allow her to keep up her paddling commitments, and retain her mark on the Berg.

Since Cheronne Botes won the first women's Berg title in 1978, six women have won three or more titles. Kime will be keen to make her name the seventh on that list this year.

The Berg River Canoe Marathon takes place from 13 to 16 July 2011, preceded by a time trial on 12 July.

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