Velddrif - Last year’s champion and runner-up Team Bamboo Warehouse’s
Adrian Boros and Graeme Solomon made history when they became the first team to
win the Berg River Canoe Marathon in Velddrif on Saturday.
It was a day of records for 45-year-old Solomon who ended an incredible 17-year
drought to win the race for a second time while also becoming the oldest person
to win the event since Nollie Meiring won the four day odyssey at the age of
The pair lived up comfortably to their pre-race favourites tag as they spent
the first two days establishing a healthy 11 minute lead going into the
final stage on Saturday which they won ahead of Joep van Bakel and Keith Moule.
The day’s racing was a formality with just stage honours the only realistic
shot at glory for any of the chasing teams, however Solomon and Boros had other
plans and powered home to their third stage win out of four.
“When I won in 2001 I thought it was going to be the first of many!” Bamboo
Warehouse’s Solomon said.
“That wasn’t the case and then it was a long time
coming second, third, fourth and fifth and sixth; all sorts of positions other
than the one that I wanted.
“It’s awesome that I can finally come back and repeat the process and win
The unknown of the team format wasn’t daunting for Solomon who spent four days
in 2017 getting to know Boros’ strengths and weaknesses.
“We raced last year like a pair but we were fighting against each other back
“As competitors you learn what your opposition is good at so we went into this
year’s race with a good idea of how strong we both were.
“It was a good combination because what I lack on top end speed he provides,
and what he lacks in river knowledge I provide so it was a great team,” Solomon
Boros had his first taste of the Berg River Canoe Marathon in 2016 where he had
the likes of Hank McGregor and finished third in that showdown and then went
two places better in 2016 where he beat Solomon to the title.
To back that up with another win in 2018 along with Solomon is an impressive
achievement for the Hungarian marathon ace.
“It was awesome to defend my title this year and to do it was Graeme was also
incredible,” Boros said.
“He taught me a lot about the river and led me through a lot of the tricky
sections but I made up for it pulling on the flat sections so we made a good
“It is a crazy race that is for sure but I would love to be back here next year
to defend my title!”
Moule and Van Bakel spent the majority of the final three days playing catch up
and due to some errors the gap grew in size to the leaders which ended the race
as a contest, however they hung in well to finish in a solid second place.
“We came into the race as probably the second favourites so the race unfolded
like we were expecting,” Moule mentioned.
“We were definitely hoping to put the front guys under a bit more pressure
because the closer you can keep on their tails the more pressure you put on
them and hopefully the more mistakes they make.
“Unfortunately that plan went out the window on the second day after we made
those mistakes towards the end of the stage. We kind of handed the race to them
“They had the buffer and just told us that we had to make the pace and we made
the best of it on day three which took a bit out of us.
“Then again today they held all the cards and are really strong,” he added.
The age group titles were never in doubt throughout with Change a Life
Capensis’ Mthobisi Cele and Mpilo Zondi taking home the Under 23 crown while
the impressive dup of Melvino Klaase and Angelo Smith won the junior title,
finishing eleventh overall.
The mixed team title fell to Lisa Scott and Kevin Bouwer, as they gratefully
stepped into the space left by the demise of the Crispin Thompson\Bianca
Beavitt combination when Thompson withdrew on the third stage, leaving Beavitt
to soldier on alone as a solo paddler.
information can be found at www.berg.org.za
SUMMARY OF RESULTS - Berg River Canoe Marathon Stage 4
1. Graeme Solomon/Adrian Boros (Team Bamboo Warehouse) 4:20:30 16:57:18
2. Keith Moule/Joep van Bakel 4:20:38 17:07:40
3. Gavin White/Bartho Visser 4:29:10 17:40:53
4. Anders Hart/Jermaine Pietersen 4:30:14 17:43:38
5. Greg van Heerden/Anthony Wostenholm 4:29:09 17:56:42
6. Daan du Toit/Gert van Deventer 4:33:10 17:59:21
7. John de Villiers/Heinrich Schloms 4:33:05 18:02:17
8. Mthobisi Cele/Mpilo Zondi (U23) (Capensis) 4:38:08 18:20:40
9. Chris de Waal/Roy Clegg 4:39:35 18:22:27
10. Loveday Zondi/Richard Cele 4:43:54 18:40:52
1. Mthobisi Cele/Mpilo Zondi (Capensis) 4:38:08 18:20:40
1. Melvino Klaase/Angelo Smith 5:00:15 19:13:19
1. Kevin Bouwer/Lisa Scott