It is with great excitement that we look forward to this year’s Berg. The effort employed to involve the communities along the Berg River Valley, shows better and better return every year.

Drakenstein Municipality will be your host in Paarl, to take ownership of all the activities around the start of the event. The Swartland Municipality and the Winelands Municipality will be involved, as you paddle along the middle portion of the race, where the river winds through the wheatfields of the beautiful Swartland. You will be surprised by the great support and encouragement from the local communities who will be at the bridges and vantage points in numbers.

The Berg River Municipality takes over on the lower section of the river, all the way to the finish in Velddrif, where dignitaries and the local community will welcome paddlers. The festivity on the last day has now grown into a major West Coast event, available to be enjoyed by seconds and spectators. The local church community will treat paddlers with great food at the prize-giving function in the local town hall, sponsored by the Eigevis Group.

The involvement of the Department of Sport, West Coast tourism, Powerade and most importantly our major sponsor, Hansa Pilsner Beer, will contribute to make the experience one of the best in river racing, in the world.

As part of building the event, a road cycle race will also be introduced on the last day, racing from Paarl to Velddrif . This is to reintroduce an event that started with the first Berg in 1962. We hope that it will grow to the same prominence of the famous event that it was in the sixties.

I will not be racing this year, but always love the challenge of a multiday marathon. There is nothing that compares with the Berg as the ultimate competitive challenge. I will be the one jealous follower of the Berg, cheering you on from the riverbanks, from Paarl to Velddrif.

Good luck to all - trust me you will need some, somewhere along your 4 day journey down to Velddrif.

Andrè Collins