Pomeroy-Ward proves the Prescient Freedom Paddle is about more than just the World Champions 

 April 11, 2023

In its relatively short history, the Prescient Freedom Paddle has become one of South Africa’s major paddling races, attracting the elite of South African surfski paddling, but the iconic race around Robben Island also has a little brother that has created a fanatical following from outside the hardcore “racing” community.

The so-called “Long Course” is the well-known predominantly surfski event around the famous Island that has always boasted a healthy sprinkling of World Championship medallists among the entrants. However, what the “Short Course” event along the Cape Town coastline might lack in superstars, it more than makes up for in variety of craft and good old South African “gees”.

One of the paddlers who clearly loves that atmosphere and will be tackling the short course race on April 27 will be enthusiastic kayak tour guide and canoe polo coach Terrence Pomeroy-Ward from Cape Town.

As the Long Course racers head out for their 27km race from Oceana Power Boat Club to Robben Island and back, the 10km Short Coarse competitors will hug the shoreline and travel west past Mouille Point and Green Point, to a turning buoy just off Sea Point, before returning back to the start/finish area.

The decision a few years ago to open up the event to “all human-powered craft” has meant stand-up paddleboards, ocean skulls and lifesaving rescue boats contribute to a varied flotilla of paddle craft, and among those will be Pomeroy-Ward in his sea kayak.

The accredited tour guide with the National Department of Tourism is an enthusiastic member of the Cape Town paddling community and is known for his kayak adventure tours on the Western Cape coastline.

“The Freedom paddle puts on such a good event that in the past few years I have encouraged a group of clients that paddle with me in my adventure kayak touring business to take part,” said Pomeroy-Ward.

“Some of them have enjoyed the event so much that they have now even bought their own kayaks and entered the event. For me, as a guide, it is important that they can see what else can be done with paddling, and they can see how much fun it is to take part in an event like this.

“And of course I just love this event so much. It is obviously an iconic event with the paddle around Robben Island which is steeped in South Africa history – and we cannot forget that history goes back even further than the recent history and its famous political prisoners.

“But beyond the historical significance of circumnavigating Robben Island, the reason I love the Prescient Freedom Paddle is because of the “gees” and atmosphere around the day. The organisers have done such an amazing job of getting stand up paddlers, row-boat crews and so many other paddlers to be part of the event that we all can now have so much fun on the day.”

Pomeroy-Ward also has his sights set on another trip across the ocean as he aims to raise funds to travel to Ireland to assist his junior athletes representing South Africa, at the World Canoe Polo Championships.

Pomeroy-Ward has coached the Peninsula Canoe Club’s canoe polo team for the past three years and some of his U18 squad have been selected to represent South Africa at the Junior International Canoe Polo Championships and Training Camp in Belfast, Ireland in July 2023.

According to the BackaBuddy page, which has been started to raise funds so Coach Pomeroy-Ward can accompany the Peninsula juniors to the Irish event, he “needs to raise his own funds to assist with equipment that needs upgrading, flights, visas, accommodation and transport to the tournament” because there is little funding available from the federation or government to assist athletes or coaches.

The BackaBuddy page can be seen at www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/terrence-pomeroy-ward-5509018264401672650

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