After dominating the first two days of the 2016 Dusi Canoe Marathon, Abby
Solms and Anna Kožíšková duly wrapped up their maiden victory in the race as
the focus of the final day’s racing shifted to the battle for second place on
the final day on Saturday.
Day one brought with it rain and mud, day two was about the heat, and day
three’s challenge turned out to be a driving headwind, which made for a very
difficult paddle into the finish at Blue Lagoon in Durban.
After finishing as the runner-up six times, Solms finally added the only major
river title in South Africa that was missing from her outstanding record, while
Kožíšková became the first foreign winner of the Dusi
Despite the fact that they had a more than commanding lead over the rest of the
women’s field Solms found the going difficult on the final day.
"There was such a crazy headwind on the dam, huge waves of about half-a-metre
crashing into the boat," she said.
"Some of us had to go to
the edge and empty our boats. I don't know how long it took us to get across
"Even when running Burma Road, we had the wind pushing the boat from the
side. I did hear there was going to be a strong headwind, but I didn't think it
would be that bad."
It was the first time that either Solms or Kožíšková had run the dreaded Burma
portage and it certainly required a lot of mental strength.
The pair played it safe, choosing to portage at Pumphouse Weir before the long
slog against the wind into Durban.
"It was down to our hard work, experience and preparation that we had such
a smooth race," Solms said.
"Nothing went wrong today. It was
just a hard day because of the conditions that we were faced with."
Behind the winners, the three-way battle for second place quickly become a
two-way battle for the runner-up position as Jenna Ward and Vanda Kiszli,
second overnight, were done in by illness, although they bravely pushed on to
the finish in the inhospitable conditions.
Tamika Haw and Alex Adie, Abby Solms’ twin sister, duelled it out with the
schoolgirls Cana Peek and Kyeta Purchase from the start on Inanda Dam, and it
was there, in the rough conditions, that they made a decisive move. By the
first portage at Top’s Needle, they had built up a lead of over a minute on
their younger opposition.
They maintained it over Burma Road and then increased it when they shot
"Burma was quite tough. I had never done it before, but we
managed to walk the uphills hard and then on the downhill we went as hard as we
could," Haw said.
"I looked at Pumphouse Weir this morning and because we were all so close
we decided to shoot it. It worked in our favour."
After a fantastic effort Peek and Purchase, both 17 years of age, had to settle
for third place, while Ward and Kiszli were relegated to fourth, with the
Hungarian under-23 marathon world champion requiring immediate medical
treatment after finishing.
information go to www.dusi.co.za.SUMMARY
OF RESULTS – 2016 FNB DUSI CANOE MARATHON
STAGE THREE (INANDA DAM TO BLUE LAGOON)
1.Abby Solms/Anna Kožíšková (CZE) 2:47.41 9:09.19
2.Tamika Haw/Alex Adie 2:52.25 9:42.22
3.Cana Peek/Kyeta Purchase (U18) 2:55.33 9:43.51
4.Jenna Ward/Vanda Kiszli (HUN) (U23) 3:03.56 9:50.02
5.Kelly Howe/Susan Carter-Brown 3:10.30 10:37.31
6.Jordan Peek/Kim Peek 3:23.40 11:40.05
7.Kerry Segal/Julia Trodd (U23) 3:25.25 11:45.24
8.Debra Lewis/Jessica Dicks 3:19.41 11:53.55
9.Lorna Oliver/Melissa van Rooyen 3:24.37 12:01.02
10.Donna Tutton/Hayley Nixon 3:19.00 12:03.50
1.Jenna Ward/Vanda Kiszli (HUN) 3:03.56 9:50.02
2.Kerry Segal/Julia Trodd 3:25.25 11:45.24
1.Cana Peek/Kyeta Purchase 2:55.33 9:43.51
2.Gemma Lawson/Brittany Eayrs 3:56.58 15.12.27
3.Jamie-Lee Robertson/Gina Forno 4:44.08 18.15.05