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X Lakes Summer - 17 December 2012

X Lakes Summer


Race Details

MTB/Canoe Race that can be done in a 2-man Team or Solo format. Four transition points.

Date: Monday 17th December 2012

Race Blog »

T shirt to the first 50 teams or individuals

Late Registration Fee of R 100 after 10 December

Start/Finish Venue and Registration

Sunday, 16th December 2012: 2PM – 7PM (Tappas – Knysna)
Monday, 17th December 2012: 5AM – 6:15AM (Saasveld – George)

Monday, 17th December 2012: 7AM - NMMU (Saasveld) George
Lat: 33°57'29.80" S / Long: 22°31'54.02" E

Monday, 17th December 2012: 6PM – Tappas Thesen Island Knysna
Lat: 34°2'58.42" S / Long: 23°2'52.69" E

Mid-race Cut-off: Monday, 17 December 2012, 12PM (Pine Lake Marina)


X Lakes Map

Start at Saasveld

The race starts at Saasveld and boasts plenty of secure parking and is situated just outside George and is surrounded by forests. The start will be at 07h00. That means that you will have until 18h00 to complete the event and arrive at Tappas at Thesen Island.

The route will be on the old George – Knysna road (7 passes road) to Wilderness Heights from where you will drop down Whites Road to the Touw River Mouth. This section should take the average rider about 30 minutes and consists of tar and gravel road.

Paddle from Touw River Mouth to Island Lake

The paddle from the Touw River mouth to Island Lake will take about an hour for the middle of the pack. There could be a bottle neck in some parts of this section as the paddlers negotiate some of the narrower parts of the Serpentine River. It will therefore be advantageous to put a bit of effort into the first part of the paddle so as to avoid any bottlenecks. Coming out of the Serpentine and entering Island Lake you will make a sharp left to ensure you take the shortest line to the transition point at the western end of the picnic area to bikes.

The seconds (or paddlers, if you are a team) will have to be fairly well versed in loading the canoe in order to ensure they get to Pine Lake Marina before the bikes do. As the second, you must take the N2 (which will in any case be quicker as it is the shorter route).

Bike to Pine Lake Marina

This will take the leaders about 20 mins and this is the only part where there is such a short bike section which means the seconds will have to move quickly to make sure the canoes are ready for the next section. This section is gravel road. The cut off time to start this paddling leg is 12h00. This is because it is unlikely that you will finish by 18h00 if you have not started paddling by 12h00.

Paddle from Pine Lake Marina to Karatra low water bridge

This paddle section will be a similar length to the first section and will require you to paddle across Swartvlei to a buoy and then up the Karatra River. It is possible that there may be wind on Swartvlei and this can give rise to waves up to 30cm high or more. You will have to cross these waves at right angles so it will be imperative to choose your craft wisely. A K1 may not be the best choice because of the wave chop and ironically as one rounds the point of the jetty at Thesens Island severed wave chop can also be encountered. You are not allowed to substitute water craft so if you have chosen to use a K1 and you fall out at Swart Vlei you may be in for a long swim. Similarly if you choose a water craft that is too slow you may not make the cut offs. Ideal craft will be stable K1s for the experienced or surf skis.

Cycle from Karatra low water bridge to the Old Drift

This section starts with a long up hill which takes you towards Karatra which then links up with the old George – Knysna road and ends with a long down hill down Phantom Pass. In between is the not to be underestimated Homtini Pass. It is also a mixture of tar and gravel and therefore currently on this event there are no technical sections of Mountain Biking. The down hill section down the Homtini and Phantom Passes promise to be spectacular. This should take the average rider about 2 hours to ride.

Paddle from the Old Drift to Thesen Island

This is the last paddle and will take the average paddler about 70 minutes to complete. There probably will be some head winds on the day and some boat traffic which will have to be taken into account. The current may also be with or against you and this will affect your time. As noted above there could be a significant waves up to 30+ cm high as you round the jetty near the finish. These will vary in height depending on the wind, tide and other boat traffic, therefore your craft choice will be critical. Your finish time will be taken when you or your team mate cross the line in the canoe. You will then be welcome to enjoy a well earned drink and relax at Tappas restaurant.

Transition Zones

This is where you are going to need to be quick if you are looking for a good time as with all these type of events, a race can be won or lost on the speed of transition. A word of warning, any speeding of vehicles (driving at more than 15km / h) within 1 kilometer of the actual transition zone will result in immediate disqualification. Also note that the second driving the car must use the N2 and not follow the cyclists along the back road. Marshals will be placed at various points to check that no vehicles second their cyclists. All seconding must be done at the trans ion points.

Required equipment

This is not a complete list and each participant should be aware that he/she needs to plan according to his/her race-plan. The list below is compulsory and will be checked by marshals. If the participant does not have the equipment with him, he/she will be disqualified.

  1. Paddling legs
    1. Approved Personal Floating Device (PFD) that will support the individuals’ weight in the water.
    2. Waterproof Cellphone or normal Cellphone in waterproof pouch that WORKS!
    3. Fluids to drink (Camelback or container that is connected to the paddler/boat)
    4. If a K1 is used, a minimum of 10 liters of boat buoyancy
    5. Participants wrist tag with emergency numbers
    6. A whistle
    7. Warm clothes in dry bag
  2. Cycle legs
    1. Helmet
    2. Cellphone that WORKS!
    3. Participants wrist tag with emergency numbers
    4. Puncture repair kit/spare tube

Event Freebies

  • Entry includes access fee to all Sanparks areas for race team and 1 logistical team (vehicle).
  • T shirt to the first 50 teams or individuals

Contact and Information

Juan Botes – 0716787147 – juan@chaingangevents.co.za

Fax: 086 540 5815

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