– The potential super-pair of Lance Kime and Andy Birkett have already tasted
success in the early parts of the 2016 Dusi Canoe Marathon season with Kime
clearly rejuvenated by a lengthy sabbatical from paddling.
The victory for the pair at the competitive Ozzie Gladwin Canoe Marathon set
them up as one of the crews to beat at the 2016 Pietermaritzburg to Durban
showpiece and the early rise for the pair seemed to come unexpectedly.
"We really didn’t think that we would go as well as we did at Ozzie," said
a surprised Kime.
"We are still sorting out a couple of issues but that’s
"We just couldn’t catch Hank (McGregor) and Jasper (Mocké) on the dam which we
sort of expected because they are a really strong crew.
"On the whole I think we have been going pretty well so that’s good for us
Kime’s eight month sabbatical from the sport began after the Non-Stop Dusi this
year and the break seems to have been just the tonic that the Euro Steel star
"The biggest thing that I have missed is the training and being fit," he
"When you have those endorphins running through you, you feel great so I have
got that motivation to train back which is something I think I was lacking
towards the end.
"It’s not that daily grind that it used to feel like which is great and with
the only bit of paddling I have being on a sit-on-top it is good to get back
into a proper boat and train hard."
Kime and Birkett, who have a combined seven Dusi titles
between them, have a mountain of Dusi experience and with a low Dusi expected
the decision on who was going to sit in the front of the boat not to be a
"With a low river expected I am going to sit in the front," said Kime.
"The lighter paddler should sit in the front of the boat but the driving bit
became a bit of a problem at 50 Miler recently.
"I haven’t driven that section of river in a few years so had to rely on Andy’s
backseat driving skills to get us through some of the sections."
The Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place from Camps Drift, Pietermaritzburg to Blue
Lagoon, Durban from 18-20 February 2016. More information can be found at www.dusi.co.za.