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.



Featured blog of the week – Lili – “Dam shame” video

Sam Ward, founder of the adventure kayak company “Love it Live it,” has made a video about the Bujagali Dam project, Uganda. Its not a protest film – it more a homage to the white water there, and a record of the fun times and the rapids which are soon to be lost. Check out the “Love it Live it” blog. Here is their video:

Jenny’s first Swaziland update

Greetings England!
I am having a manic time here in Swaziland. On our second day we were
invited to join the king in celebrating 100 years of scouting!!! Saw him
danced with him and then ate with him. WOW were on the radio and TV!!

Digging and cooking, cooking and Digging on site developing nicely we are
building a volleyball court and a meeting building. Oh and the safari was

Looking to see ya soon!!! JEN

For details of the project, see previous post:



King King of Swaziland website

Swazi scoutsSwaziland Scouts Website

Madagascar – inspirational report

Many of you lucc folk know Chris Smith (Manchester), if only because he’s pushed you in at polo. Or beaten you at BUSA WWR. But what you may not know is that in 2006 Chris traveled to Madagascar to explore white water there, along with a team from “the poly“. Chris was supported in his trip by the Winston Memorial Trust / Mike Jones Award. He’s recently finished his report of the trip, and it makes for some inspirational reading.

More details on Chris’s blog site “the white bits

(Clicky click for pdf of report)



What is the Winston Memorial Trust?

Its a fund for financing travel in all kinds of areas, including new exploration and adventure travel.

What’s the Mike Jones Award?

Mike Jones was the doctor who was the leader of the Dudh Kosi Everest river expedition (1970s). This award was set up in his memory and is specifically for new challenges in kayaking or canoeing. Previous awardees include Paul Grogan, author of the Babushka book: https://luckyblog.wordpress.com/2007/05/09/babushka-book-review/

Jenny L – Tyne Bridge jump – Swaziland appeal

Here’s a picture of Jenny Lees abseiling off Tyne bridge. Fool. Here are pictures of her friends in Tyneside and in Swaziland – all of them are scouts involved in an annual summer programme of works, to both improve clinic infrastructure and provide sports facilities and activities to young people living with HIV Aids in the Hhohho district of Swaziland.

Jenny and coJenny Lees checking her harness

International ScoutsCampingSunny day

Please read on to learn about the work they will be doing at the scoutcamp this summer. At the moment, the scouts are busy fund-raising (hence the close encounter with the river Tyne) – big thanks to all those who have sponsored Jenny!

How to donate:

If you would like to donate money towards clinic improvements, that would be great , please write a cheque to 19th Newcastle Scout Group and mark the back of the cheque Swaziland and send it to: Jenny Lees, 7 Tintern Court, Perton, Wolverhampton, WV6 7XG. Please indicate whether you are a UK tax payer, as tax we reclaim can make your money go further. Alternatively, you can give money to Helen H, and she will pass it on. Any donation large or small will help, thanks.

Gathering water for cementSiftingJenny, put your back in to it

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Morocco Trip Pics

Sue and I have just got back from Morocco trip with WaterByNature. Here are some pics, xx Helen

Riads are nice places to stay, Marakesh is very busy, Sue is drinking mint tea for a change.

RiadMarakeshMint Tea

The Ahensal River runs into Bin-el-Ouidane lake. Our trip put in at Cathedral Rock, and took four days to reach the lake. We met some spanish paddlers (the only other paddlers we saw) and they were doing it in two days, but we were happy taking longer – our trip was called “Mellow Morocco”, after all 🙂 The river above this section has been run and is somewhat harder?

 Bin-el-Ouidane LakeCathedral RockAhansalahansal river

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