From 15-17 February, 11 members of the Maties Canoe Club will participate in the Dusi Canoe Marathon, a race that covers roughly 120 km between Pietermaritzburg and Durban in KwaZulu-Natal.
Among them will be brothers Alan (21) and Andrew (24) Houston and sisters Jordan (22) and Cana (19) Peek.
Both of these teams did extremely well in Umzinyathi 50 Miler race on 13 January, with the Houston brothers finishing second overall in the men's category and the Peek sisters claiming first place in the women's category.
At the N3TC Drak Challenge one week later, Alan topped off his birthday weekend by winning the U23 men's crown, while Cana finished second in the U23 women's race.
Cana is studying towards a Sport Science degree at Stellenbosch University (SU), while Jordan graduated with a BA honours degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from SU in 2017. Alan and Andrew study at IMM Graduate School in Stellenbosch, but are both members of the Maties Canoe Club.
The Peeks started paddling while at high school at Epworth in KwaZulu-Natal.
For Cana, the best part of the Maties Canoe Club is the 6-pack dam dice on Tuesdays and the friendships she's made.
Jordan describes the Maties Canoe Club as very diverse.
“Each member brings something different to the club which makes it very unique and special," she says.
“I've always loved water sports and nature. Paddling is a way I can be outdoors and see places from a different perspective. I love how being involved in this sport allows you to make friends with similar interests. Canoeing also constantly challenges you especially when racing against such a strong and talented field of paddlers around the country."
Alan describes being part of the Maties Canoe club as an awesome experience.
“The club has a friendly vibe and is super easy to join with everyone keen and willing to help. It has some of the best camaraderie I have ever experienced with exciting and fun events like the 6-pack dam dice. My love for paddling comes from the people and community itself as well as the adventure of going places rarely explored on and off the water."
Other Maties Canoe Club members who will participate in the Dusi are Mike Jamieson, Guy Musto, Brandon Macleod, Evan Knight, Holly Edmonds, Sarah Harries and Kerry-Ann Lyne.
For more information, follow the Maties Canoe Club on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or contact club chairperson Evan Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone is welcome and no previous experience is needed.