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Youth Day Gold Panning Challenge

Frieda Paton

The Mac Mac Finland Gold Panning Challenge was held at the site of the Mac Mac Gold Panning Club in celebration of Youth Day on June 16th.  This also serves as one of three practices before the South African team head off to the International Gold Panning Championships in Finland at the end of July.

The competition was organized by the SA Gold Panning Association (SAGPA) especially to give the new up-and-coming juniors a chance to improve their skills and times before facing international competition.  “The skilled and experienced juniors, who previously brought medals back from the world championships, have now all moved up into the adult category,” explained Sherry Goodwin, Chairman of SAGPA.

Transport from Pilgrim’s Rest was provided for those juniors who will be going to Finland and three other juniors as well.  SAGPA also treated them to lunch.

Competitors were divided into one of two teams for the day – a Finland team and a Mac Mac team. The latter was made up of those panners who are staying behind.

The top twelve panners, based on times throughout the day irrespective of age category, were selected to compete in a final team event.  The Mac-Mac team beat the Finland team – so it seems there’s still a lot of talent unable to make it to the international competition.

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