Prescient Freedom Paddle, the annual 27-kilometre ocean-racing event on April 27 that celebrates South Africa’s Freedom Day with a paddle around the iconic Robben Island.

After five editions of the Freedom Day event, it has become the ocean paddling and rowing communities’ annual celebration of South Africa’s freedom and democracy.

The event is open to all human-powered paddle craft 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 special way to celebrate the anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections.

“We are super excited to have opened entries for the sixth annual Prescient Freedom Paddle,” said one of the event organisers, Robin Tindall. “The event has grown so much in five short years and we are always so excited to be able to provide the paddling community with a chance to celebrate Freedom Day with such a spectacular paddle.

“We believe there cannot be many better ways for an ocean paddler to honour democracy in South Africa than with a journey around the iconic Robben Island on Freedom Day.

“We are also pleased to have been able to open the event up the different types of craft and the success of that plan, as well as the shorter event, means we have been able to include a lot more people in an event that is part of an important celebration for our country,” added Tindall.

“We are proud to continue our partnership with the Prescient Freedom Paddle for the fourth year running,” said Willie Venter, Chief Executive Officer at Prescient.

“Prescient is ultimately about partnerships. From our cohesive teams to our strong relationships with our clients, we are known for our commitment to trust, transparency and always working together to achieve shared goals.

“Continuing our partnership with the event reinforces our core values that align with the resilience and team comradery required for competitive paddling.”

The recent decision to open up the event to all human-powered paddle craft means traditional surf-skis will once again be joined by stand-up paddle boarders, prone paddlers, ocean sculls and ocean kayaks, making the event significantly more inclusive to a wide variety of ocean paddlers.

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.

A shorter, 10km event is an ideal introduction to ocean paddling for entrants who are not confident enough to take on the open-water crossing to the world-famous island. From the start, also at the Oceana Power Boat Club, the Short Course route takes paddlers west past Mouille Point and Green Point, and then south west along the coast line to a turning buoy just off Sea Point, before returning on the same route back to the start/finish area.

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