Surfski paddlers celebrate Freedom Day with Prescient Freedom Paddle Robben Island race 

 February 28, 2024

CAPE TOWN – The countdown has begun and entries are now open for the much-anticipated 2024 Prescient Freedom Paddle, an exhilarating 27-kilometre ocean-racing event set to take place on April 27, commemorating Freedom Day in South Africa.

With the iconic Robben Island as its backdrop, this annual event marks its seventh consecutive year, and the symbolic course marking the anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic election has propelled it to become one of the nation’s premier paddling events.

“Freedom Day holds immense significance for our country, and we are privileged to celebrate it in such close proximity to Robben Island, a prominent symbol of South Africa’s struggle for freedom,” says Robin Tindall, one of the event organisers.

The ocean paddling and rowing event is open to all human-powered paddle crafts that are seaworthy enough to complete the course, and for many of the competitors, the opportunity to paddle to, and around, Robben Island is a unique way to celebrate Freedom Day.

Entrants will have the option of two different distances on April 27. The majority of the field will tackle the full 27km route, which takes all competitors from the Oceana Power Boat Club, around Robben Island and back to the start.

“There cannot be a better way for an ocean paddler to honour democracy in South Africa than with a journey around the iconic Robben Island on Freedom Day, the day that symbolises our transition to democracy,” commented Tindall.

The additional shorter 10km route, introduced in 2023, is sanctioned by Lifesaving SA and caters for those paddlers and lifeguards who are not confident enough for the long, open-water route around Robben Island to test their open ocean skills. The course begins from the main start/finish at Oceana but takes paddlers west past Mouille Point and Green Point, then southwest along the coastline to a turning buoy off Sea Point, before returning to the start/finish area.

Always seeking to raise the bar, the event organisers, together with title sponsor, Prescient, and other long-term sponsors, have continued to make the event accessible to a wide variety of ocean paddle crafts. Incorporating a short course into our event and welcoming participants from diverse human-powered paddle crafts align with our objective of involving a wider paddling community in this iconic event,” Tindall explains.

“We are proud to continue our title partnership with the Prescient Freedom Paddle for the fifth year running. As part of this year’s event, Prescient is focusing on education around financial freedom and the impact our decisions have on our future.,” said Willie Venter, Chief Executive Officer at Prescient.

“As a global financial services business, Prescient is committed to growing and protecting investors’ assets. Ultimately, our brand is about partnerships, which has underpinned every aspect of our business since our beginnings over 25 years ago.
Continuing our partnership with the event reinforces our core values that align with the resilience and team comradery required for competitive paddling. As with investing, success comes from putting in the hard work, being consistent and thinking about the long-term.” says Venter.

To enter, visit the entry page of the race website. The entry process offers different phases with significant discounts for early registrations. Phase 1, with an entry fee of R800 per paddler, opened on February 1st. The first R200 price increase will occur on March 1st. All short course entries are R250 per person. Entries will close on April 14.

For more information, please visit http://freedompaddle.co.za.

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