Explore Madagascar with Riaan Manser and Andy Watts


Words: De Kock Communications

He loves challenges says ex-cricketer and master distiller of Three Ships Whisky Andy Watts, so when the opportunity presented itself to go on an extraordinary journey with adventurer Riaan Manser he didn’t hesitate for a moment but headed for the nearest beach to start honing his kayaking skills.

Courtesy of: De Kock Communications

Andy and Riaan intend kayaking among the whales off the coast of Madagascar in August. And here’s the big news: One lucky Three Ships consumer and his or her partner will join them in this once-in-a-lifetime experience by entering the competition in-store when purchasing a bottle of Three Ships Whisky. The prize includes flights, accommodation, all meals, kayak equipment and the memorable kayaking experience.

Riaan is no stranger to Madagascar. In July 2009 he achieved world first when he circumnavigated the island in a kayak, alone and unaided. “The journey of 5000 km which took eleven months, was extremely demanding, both physically and mentally,” says Riaan. “I had to overcome not only extreme loneliness but had to face treacherous conditions such as cyclones, pounding surf, an unrelenting sun and up to ten hours of rowing.

“However, I also had incredible encounters with marine life – from humpback whales breaching meters away to giant leatherback turtles gliding alongside. I even had my kayak rammed by sharks! I really look forward to sharing this adventure with Andy and the winner of the competition. It won’t be as extreme but certainly an experience that many would like to add to their bucket list.”

Riaan and Andy are kindred spirits. Both push the boundaries in their individual fields, with ground-breaking results. Riaan has achieved many world firsts as an adventurer while Andy has created many firsts for the South African whisky industry such as winning the title World’s Best Blended Whisky for the Three Ships Premium Select 5 Year Old at the 2012 World Whisky Awards.

Currently Andy is receiving some helpful tips from Riaan as he prepares for the upcoming expedition, dividing his time between mountain biking, his first love, and kayaking on the dam at the James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington, home to Three Ships. Apart from the kayaking, Andy also looks forward in pairing his whiskies to especially a few laokes, the quintessential rice dishes of Malagasy cuisine.

By visiting the Three Ships website and facebook page, fans can learn more about the expedition as well as Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world and home to a diverse landscape of rainforests and beaches, and a rare collection of animal and plant species.

To stand the chance of joining Riaan and Andy on this memorable trip, fans need to purchase a bottle of Three Ships whisky and follow the entry requirements found on the bottle. Entries close on 31 May and the winner will be announced on 15 June. For more information about the competition visit www.threeshipswhisky.co.za