Dusi Canoe Marathon

Main family celebrate 50 years

2015-02-16 12:39
Brian Hutchinson finishes the 1965 Dusi Canoe Marathon (Supplied/Gameplan Media)

Pietermaritzburg - When 15-year-old Hannah Main sets off on her first Dusi Canoe Marathon on Thursday morning she will not only be one of the youngest Dusi competitors, but it will also be unique in that it is half a century since her grandfather did the iconic three day race from Pietermaritzburg to Durban.

Highway schoolgirl Main will be paddling her first Dusi with her father Steve, marking the 50th anniversary since her grandfather Brian Hutchinson and his partner Malcolm Moor lined up with the 26 other pairs of competitors on the start line of the 1965 Dusi Canoe Marathon.

Hutchinson completed the race with Malcolm Moor in an approximate time of 18 hours, paddling in the old style canvas canoes. That race was won by Don Cobbledick and Charlie Mason in a K2.

For the father and daughter combination starting this year's race has set the 1965 winning race time of 13 hours 34 minutes and 47 seconds as one of their goals.

“Hannah and I have been training hard for the last two years," said Steve Main, who is also one of the teachers in charge of canoeing at Kearsney College.

"We have put in many hours of training together and we are fully prepared. Through this we have got to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We have had our moments in the boat, however we don’t take it too seriously.

"It is an absolute privilege to paddle my 15th Dusi with my daughter and I am sure other father/daughter combinations will share similar experiences,” said Steve Main.

They will race in the Father/Child competition, alongside regular Dusi contender Abby Adie, who is paddling with her father Graham as well as the Mixed Doubles competition, which will include the powerful crews of world champion Hank McGregor and his wife Pippa, and former Dusi champ Jason Graham paddling with Tamaryn Graham.

An increasing number of schoolgirls are taking part in major races, a consequence of the thriving canoe programmes in operation at many KZN schools, where parents are often co-opted to paddle with their children.

The 64th edition of the Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to Blue Lagoon in Durban from Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 February 2015. More information can be found at www.dusi.co.za

Read more on:    dusi canoe marathon  |  canoeing

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