Durban – A
flawless three days of racing from Andy Birkett and Lance Kime resulted in a
combined eighth Dusi Canoe Marathon crown for the pair as Birkett
registered his sixth and Kime his second title at Blue Lagoon in Durban on
Having built up a healthy eight and a half minute lead going into the final day
the Euro Steel pair had the title at their mercy following two sublime days of
paddling, but getting to the finish on the final day was a slog despite the
absence of an immediate challenger.
"You forget that everyone is tired on the final day," Birkett said after
"Everyone is racing on tired bodies because the racing on day one
and day two is really tough.
"You push it to the limit on those first two days which means that you need
to keep your momentum on day three and try and not let the pace dip for too
With the current drought being a dominant topic in the build-up to the race the
lack of time spent on the river was a problem for the paddlers, but the
weather gods dished up a variety of conditions over the three days.
"Conditions wise, I think we got the opposite to what we actually
expected. In the build-up we didn't have much of a chance to get on the river
and trip a lot but the bit of decent water on day one made things easier than
we were expecting," said Birkett.
expecting a super low, super-hot conditions on day one but we got the opposite
but then we got the opposite of that on day two."
With the winners clocking up a 10 minute winning margin the most interesting
aspect of the men’s race was the battle for second.
The contest ebbed and flowed through the majority of the final day with Hank
McGregor and Jasper Mocké making a navigational error that gave Sbonelo Khwela
and Banetse Nkhoesa a sniff that made the race much more interesting.
"We took it easy on the downhill of Burma Road and didn't want to twist an
ankle or anything but when we got to the bottom I think I had a lapse of
concentration and took a wrong path when Sbonelo and Banetse went past us," McGregor said.
"After the put-in
we knew that we had to break their mojo and when we passed them we realised
that we knew how tired we were because we didn’t pass them as quickly as we
thought which just showed how strong they were."
Khwela and Nkhoesa’s trump card on day three was always going to be the
notorious Burma Road portage and it proved to be just that for the Euro
Steel/Red Bull duo, however it was always going to be a difficult task for the
pair to hold off the former marathon world champions.
"We knew that we had to catch Hank and Jasper before Burma because if
they had an advantage on the other side it they could make up time so when we
put in first we tried to go as hard as we could to try and hold them off but
they caught us easily," Khwela said.
we got to Pump House they got past us and I said to Banetse that we were going
to have to settle for third place."
Veteran Len Jenkins wound back the clock as he and Ad Reach/Euro Steel partner
Siseko Ntondini produced the third fastest time of the final day to pull
themselves from ninth overall overnight to a fifth place finish.
With a podium position in their grasp the Under 23 pair of Andrew and Alan
Houston were struck down with the younger of the two, Alan, going down with a
bug overnight which meant that they relinquished their podium spot but ended in
The Under 18 prize went to Mphilo Zondi and Mark Keeling who decimated the rest
of the junior field to win by over 18 minutes over Emanuel Zaloumis and Hamish
more information go to www.dusi.co.za.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – 2016 FNB DUSI CANOE MARATHON
STAGE THREE (INANDA DAM TO BLUE LAGOON)
1.Andy Birkett/Lance Kime 2:19.15 7:52.09
2.Hank McGregor/Jasper Mocké 2:21.52
3.Sbonelo Khwela/Banetse Nkhoesa 2:19.15 8:03.02
4.Alan Houston/Andrew Houston (U23) 2:27.08 8:10.15
5.Len Jenkins/Siseko Ntondini 2:20.32 8:16.18
6.Murray Starr/Owen Gandar 2:20.36 8:16.22
7.Carl Folscher/Ant Stott 2:23.52 8:16.29
8.Shaun Rubenstein/Thulani Mbanjwa 2:32.22 8:25.02
9.Greg Louw/Adrian Boros (HUN) 2:25.24 8:32.08
10.Mmeli Cele/Khumbulani Nzimande (U23) 2:30.04 8:33.13
11.Jacques Theron/Piers Cruickshanks 2:33.19 8:37.34
12.Kwanda Mhlophe/Loveday Zondi 2:30.32 8:37.38
13.Murray Haw/James Speed (U23) 2:31.50 8:40.17
14.Lucas Mthalane/Sipho Canhan 2:33.40 8:45.38
15.Siyabonga Tyiki/Thando Ngamlana (U23) 2:39.23 8:48.46
16.Mzamo Zondi/Siyanda Gwamande 2:36.47 8:48.46
17.Mthobisi Cele/Nhlahla Cele 2:35.51 8:54.55
18.Shaun Griffin/Brandon Orpwood 2:37.58 8:58.17
19.Richard Cele/Mfaniseni Nyambose 2:37.30 8:59.17
20.Stuart Maclaren/Brandon van der Walt 2:39.07 9:00.48
1.Alan Houston/Andrew Houston 2:27.08 8:10.15
2.Mmeli Cele/Khumbulani Nzimande 2:30.04 8:33.13
3.Murray Haw/James Speed 2:31.50 8:40.17
1.Mpilo Zondi/Mark Keeling 2:48.32 9:37.11
2.Emanuel Zaloumis/Hamish Lovemore 2:51.46 9:56.01
3.Lethokuhle Luthuli/Mongezi Thusi 2:49.41 9:58.32
1.Warren Yoko/Craig Pitt 3:10.39 11:32.45