Paddling for a Cause at the Prescient Freedom Paddle 

 March 13, 2024

This year’s Prescient Freedom Paddle is calling on the paddling community to ‘Paddle for a Cause’. Each year we paddle for Freedom, this year we will be paddling for a number of causes, ‘Paddling for Turtles’, with the Turtle Conservation Centre at the Two Oceans Aquarium, ‘Paddling for Smiles’, with Operation Smile South Africa and ‘Paddling for Table Mountain National Park’ with SANParks Honorary Rangers.

We extend our heartfelt thanks for your support. Each stroke you make can make a world of difference.


Turtles as a species symbolize strength, resilience, and perseverance, in the face of all the challenges they endure in crossing oceans. Each year, paddlers of the Prescient Freedom Paddle take on the seas with the same spirit.

As paddlers, we form part of humanity’s ‘eyes on the ocean’. Protecting our playground is our responsibility. At this year’s Prescient Freedom Paddle, we’re focusing on life below the ocean, and one species in particular – turtles.

In the wild, only one or two out of every 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings survive to adulthood. Pollution, climate change, and other hazards caused by human activity are all taking their toll.

The Turtle Conservation Centre at the Two Oceans Aquarium is doing remarkable work to protect turtles, through their rescue, rehabilitation, and release programs. Not only has the Turtle Conservation Centre made a noteworthy contribution to the growing global knowledge base of turtle rehabilitation and treatment plans, but 85% of the Centre’s turtles are released after rehabilitation. As the Prescient Freedom Paddle organizers, we are eager and grateful to be able to support this impactful initiative.

This year’s race garments feature artwork of a turtle painted by surf ski paddler, passionate nature lover, and fluid art artist, Vanessa Mayhew. Vanessa is a leading expert in all things abstract and fluid art-related, with over 20 years of experience as an artist and art teacher. Vanessa produces one-of-a-kind artworks, and we are grateful to be able to use Vanessa’s art to remind the paddling community and beyond, that it is our responsibility to protect our oceans.

Co-adopt a turtle hatchling: www.aquarium.co.za/foundation/support/adopt-a-turtle

Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation Logo






Paddle for smiles, paddle for freedom, paddle for a future where every child can smile with confidence.

Operation Smile is a charity close to the hearts of the Freedom Paddle and race organizer, Richard Kohler. The charity has been the driving force behind Richard’s extraordinary feats. As an ambassador for Operation Smile, Richard became the first person to paddle a kayak solo along the entire South African coastline and the first to complete a solo, unsupported, 7,000km kayak journey across the Southern Atlantic Ocean to Salvador, Brazil. These adventures have raised funds for hundreds of life-altering surgeries for children and young adults born with cleft lip, cleft palate, and other facial deformities.

There are still countless lives to touch, and this year we invite all paddlers and supporters of the Prescient Freedom Paddle to join us in our “Paddling for Smiles” campaign. Each 45-minute surgery costs approximately R5,500 and has the power to transform a child’s life forever.

Join the ‘Paddling for Smiles’ Fundraiser: https://operationsmile.org.za/campaign/paddling-for-smiles/

Operation Smile South Africa






SANParks Honorary Rangers remind us that each one of us has a role to play in protecting the beauty and diversity of the Cape, and more specifically, the marine protected area of Table Mountain National Park, backdrop for the Prescient Freedom Paddle.

As the official SANParks volunteer organization, the members of the SANParks Honorary Rangers are passionately committed to conserving our natural heritage. With 2000 members across South Africa, the SANParks Honorary Rangers of  the Table Mountain Region give freely of their time and resources to ensure that Table Mountain National Park remains a wonder for generations to come.

Table Mountain National Park includes a vast Marine Protected Area along its shores and islands – including the iconic Robben Island. Supporting a rich diversity of marine life, it is home to  whales, dolphins, kelp forests, seabirds, reef fish and many more. It also offers protection to threatened species, such as abalone, African penguins, West Coast rock lobster and white sharks.

Support the SANParks Honorary Rangers in their efforts to conserve Table Mountain National Park: https://www.sanparksvolunteers.org/events/prescient-freedom-paddle-paddle-for-a-cause/

SANParks Honorary Rangers Logo

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