Dusi Bridge - After having to deal with a spate of frustrations and
disappointments in their 2014 bid, the crew of Pietermaritzburg star Abby Solms
and her Czech Republic partner Anna Kožíšková took firm control of the Dusi
Canoe Marathon women’s race with an imperious first stage performance on
From the gun at Camps Drift the duo were in a league of their own, quickly
pulling away from the rest of the seeded women’s crews and quickly catching up
with many of the seeded men’s crews during the tough 42km stage raced in rainy
The only blemish on their impressive performance was a slip on a portage that
left Solms with an abrasion on her leg, but it did little to slow their
“It was just about a perfect day,” enthused Kožíšková, who was crowned world
champion at last year’s world marathon championships.
“We raced at a good steady pace throughout, and made sure we had plenty of
energy at the end. It feels so good to feel strong going into the second
stage,” she added.
Solms was full of praise for her Czech friend. “It feels like a massive
however-many-horsepower engine in the back of the boat.
“She ran really well today. I felt that she was actually pushing me on the
portages,” said Solms.
The pair earned their 14 minute lead but don’t plan to ease back on their
“We are still racing our own race,” said Solms. “There is still so much that
can happen over the next two days so we will carry on racing against ourselves
and the guys around us.”
They added that they harbour a secret desire to make a statement by finishing
in the top 20 overall.
“I’m not sure if that’s ever happened in a K2 year but we really enjoy racing
where we are amongst the men and to try and get into the top twenty overall would
Solms said the early stages of the race had been difficult as they had to
battle past slower male crews, which was particularly awkward on the narrow
paths of the portages at Campbell’s Farm and Guinea Fowl.
Second overnight are the plucky Euro Steel Under-18 crew of Cana Peek and Kyeta
Purchase, on a day that saw them trade places on a regular basis with Jenna
Ward and her Hungarian partner Vanda Kiszli, and the seasoned locals Alex Adie
and Tamika Haw, who bounced back from a swim at Ernie Pearce weir right at the
While it will take a disaster of spectacular proportions to derails the
Solms/Kožíšková train, the race for the remaining podium places promises to be
Day Two of the 2016 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon is a 46km stage from Dusi
Bridge to Msinsi Resort on Inanda Dam.
For more information go to www.dusi.co.za
ONE (42KM CAMPS DRIFT TO DUSI BRIDGE)
1. Abby Solms/Anna Koziskova 3:05:04
2. Cana Peek/Kyeta Purchase (U18) 3:19:09
3. Tamika Haw/Alex Adie 3:19:40
4. Jenna Ward/Vanda Kiszli (U23) 3:21:02
5. Jane Swarbreck/Kirsten Penderis 3:35:02
6. Kelly Howe/Sue Carter-Brown 3:35:55
7. Donna Tutton/Hayley Arthur 3:36:53
8. Kerry Segal/Julia Trodd (U23) 3:50:47
9. Debbie Lewis/Jessica Dicks 4:03:57
10. Jordan Peek/Kim Peek 4:08:28
1. Jenna Ward/Vanda Kiszli 3:21:02
2. Kerry Segal/Julia Trodd 3:50:47
1. Cana Peek/Kyeta Purchase 3:19:09
2. Jamie-Lee Robertson/Gina Forno 4:48:43
3. Gemma Lawson/Brittany Eayrs 5:11:18