German and South African rowers join together on Friendship Tour

ON TOUR: Rowers from Oldenburger Ruderverein Rowing Club in Germany and the Vikings Rowing Club from Johannesburg teamed up with the Cape Coastal Rowing Club from False Bay in Cape Town for their Friendship Tour that takes them along many rivers in the Eastern and Western Cape before they end their 14-day journey back in False Bay Picture: ROB KNOWLES

Rowing along iconic rivers in the Eastern and Western Cape, Germans from the Ruderverein Rowing Club and rowers from the Vikings Rowing Club from Johannesburg teamed up with the Cape Coastal Rowing Club (CCRC) from Cape Town on their Friendship Tour.

Talk of the Town met up with the rowers at Port Alfred’s Halyards Hotel last Thursday. Thato Mabelane and Anna-Marie Smith of the CCRC spoke about the team’s journey so far.

“We are currently on day five of our 14-day Friendship Tour,” said Mabelane, who is a former Rhodes University rower. “We have already rowed the Kariega River, the Bushman’s River and the Kowie River up to Horseshoe Bend.”

“We’re having a great time,” said Mabelane.

Smith agreed saying they were very happy and had enjoyed the trip so far.

“We had a great lunch at the Pig and Whistle in Bathurst,” she said. “And last night [Wednesday October 20] we were served a traditional South African meal at Mansfield, thanks to Onika and her team.”

The Friendship Tour continues at Plettenburg Bay rowing the Keurbooms River, then onto to Knysna and the Knysna Heads. A three-night’s stay at Simonstown and then back to the CCRC’s home base at the False Bay Yacht Club. The tour will end with a trip to Seal Island and Robben Island. At that point, the German contingent will leave the tour and take a trip along the Garden Route.

In total the team is travelling with three boat trailers carrying eight sea-worthy coastal rowing boats including five doubles and three quads.

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