17 January 2017

Hi Drak Paddler!

What a memorable Drak!
There is something remarkable about paddlers that choose to do the Drak. Despite the lowest level of the uMzimkhuku River in the race’s 25 year history, the vibe and atmosphere at the race was awesome. Thank you!!

We hope you enjoyed the hospitality, race organisation and the value for money we strive for in the First Ascent race garment, the straps to every finisher, and the camp chairs to the top 100 K1 Centurions.

From the race committee, a big thank you to Con and his team at N3TC for their ongoing support. They understand the ethos of this event, and their ability to extend their support into our community is really appreciated.

Thanks too to FNB, who’s support made the stunning FNB Drak Music Experience possible. It brought the mountain bikers, trail runners and paddlers together for an evening of stunning music, and has taken the whole weekend experience to another level.

Well done to our champions. The dice between Andy Birkett and Hank McGregor was thrilling, and the return of Robyn Owen to the Drak ensured that the women’s race was just as exciting. Well done to Jenna Ward for realising a ten year old dream of winning the Drak.


Our new team competition was “won” by Mo Patel and Mike Vacy-Lyle, who exemplified what this new non-competitive format is all about.

Full respect to Tjaard Coetzee for becoming the 2018 recipient of the Alick Rennie Fellowship Award, for shelving his race to help Russell Solomon, trapped in his wrapped K1, helping him fix it to enable him to get to the finish!

Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, in collaboration with the organising committee of the N3TC Drak Challenge, are conducting an impact assessment of the event in order to determine its economic value for, not only the province, but also for Underberg and surrounding areas. The survey will also determine a number of other key aspects of the race, for example – how many people from outside of area attended the race and how long they stayed in the area for. This information, along with other key findings, will essentially assist in the growth of the event through increased support from the local government and other sponsors. We will be extremely grateful if you would take a couple of minutes to complete the questionnaire on line.

Complete the questionnaire here

Check out the race videos on the website here and the race galleries for Day One and Day Two by photographer Antony Grote.

The table of Drak Trouts has been updated – see here. Well done to our four new Super Trouts for finishing their 20th Draks – Bart Fokkens, Glen Hilliar, Greg Hitchins and Gavin Tarr. If you spot any discrepancies, please email media@drak.co.za

Any lost and found issues? Did you lose something over the weekend or pick up an item of lost property? drop us a note at info@drak.co.za and watch the web page here.

Remember to keep an eye on our Facebook page, Twitter feed and our Instagram account.

Good luck to all the paddlers doing the FNB Dusi. See you all in Underberg soon!