Dusi Canoe Marathon

Hello, just back from South Africa, very nice.

Right now one of the top news stories on the TV and newspapers there is the upcoming 58th Dusi Canoe Marathon, which starts on Thursday.

The Dusi runs from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, 125km, 3days, 1,500 participants (!) in all manner of craft.

As well as various rapids, weirs and portages, hazards include: e-coli, water hyacinths, and crocodiles.

In 2008, Michael Mbanjwa became the first black person to win the Dusi, competing in the K2 class together with teammate and 7 times champion Martin Dreyer. This year, Mbanjwa is entering the K1 event, while Dreyer is putting his energies into a new project to get local villagers involved in kayaking – over the last 3 months, he has been working with a group of herdsmen who live alongside the Dusi, providing training, equipment and backup so that they can enter the race down their local river.

What is really noticable is the sheer amount of media coverage this canoe race generates in SA – the race hadn’t even started yet, and there were already full page features in the national newspapers, interviews with past winners on the TV, together with highlights of previous years, i.e. fibreglass K2s getting kerunched on the rapids, and paddler profiles and speculation about who will win in the Sports pages. The routemap is  printed on cans of beer and bottles of  pop. Nice to see kayaking in the news.



One Response

  1. Canoes offer plenty of opportunity for friends and families to spend times together in the great outdoors. This outdoor recreation is exciting as it takes you from creeks and river banks which is exciting and great fun. Canoeing gives you a chance to watch the wild animals closely while you are gliding by in the river.

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