Paarl — The 2019 edition of the Berg River Canoe Marathon is set to have a distinctly youthful feel to it with a number of young stars putting their hands up to take on the four day epic from Paarl to the West Coast fishing town of Velddrif from July 3-6.
While the Berg always attracts a core of hardened veterans and seasoned elite paddlers, there is a significant challenge being mounted by talented competitive paddlers aged 25 and younger.
The likes of Varsity College's Hamish Lovemore, Anders Hart, Stewart Little and Alan Houston will all be taking on the race - with Little making his Berg debut in 2019.
Lovemore will be racing in the senior category because he will be teaming up with Tyron Maher for the race, his first trip back to the Berg since 2016 where he finished fifteenth and first Under 18.
"Tyron will be back for his third Berg and it will be my second but we are really excited to give the race a good crack this year," the Varsity College/Euro Steel paddler said.
"Tyron put in a lot of base work for the Molokai Surfski Challenge where he finished fourteenth so he is in good shape at the moment.
"My main focus has been training for this weekend's SA Marathon Championships and when that is finished I'll shift my focus to the Berg."
Four days of paddling in some tough conditions is what paddlers can expect from the Berg but both Lovemore and Maher know this and being as well prepared as possible is key to success at the 240km odyssey.
"We know that the Berg is incredibly taxing on the body and it can catch you out if you aren't in the best possible shape.
"Having to worry about another paddler over the four days adds another dimension to the race and it is going to be really exciting and tactical.
"You have to look after one another the whole way and we are looking forward to another exciting Berg," Lovemore mentioned.
Normal entries are now being taken until Wednesday, June 19.