Pietermaritzburg - The race for the women’s 2015 Dusi Canoe Marathon title
underwent a total make-over when pre-race favourite Abby Adie confirmed she
will not be competing for the overall spoils at this year’s contest, but will
instead paddle socially with her father, Graham, in the mixed doubles category.
Adie has been runner-up to Robyn Kime at the Dusi for the past five years and
with the latter having already been ruled out of this year’s action due to her
current international travels, many believed this was the year for Adie to
finally break her Dusi title duck.
2014 unquestionably belonged to Adie as she dominated the South African river
and flatwater marathon scene, winning the N3TC Drak Challenge, Non Stop Dusi,
STIHL Umkomaas River Canoe Marathon, Berg River Canoe Marathon and Hansa Fish
River Canoe Marathon in the process
The 25-year-old also went on to compete at the ICF Canoe Marathon World
Championships in Oklahoma City, USA as well as clinch victory in the iconic
Sella Descent in Spain.
This frantic race schedule has however left Adie drained and desperate for a
break from competition, something she feels a social Dusi will give her.
“I have just come off a very busy year of competing and am feeling mentally and
physically exhausted!” explains Adie. “This year I unfortunately have just not
felt the hunger to race that I usually get.”
“I was hoping for a second wind of motivation to come just after Christmas but
it didn't come and so instead I have decided to do a social Dusi with my
father,” she added.
The decision was not one that Adie took lightly however the young star is
confident she has made the right call and is looking forward to the opportunity
this year’s family orientated adventure from Pietermaritzburg to Durban
“For the past 10 years my dad has been on the river banks seconding and
supporting me and I am really looking forward to paddling with him as a nice
change this year!
“My training wasn’t as intense as normal over November and December and I
wasn’t in the same shape usual but I gave Drak a go and managed to get the win,
which was great.
“Dusi is a very different race though!
While Adie’s decision won’t see her run of second place finishes come to an end
just yet, her and Kime’s absence – together with that of elite women Jen Theron
(pregnant), Jenna Ward, Bianca Haw (focusing on the Cape Epic) as well as
Adie’s twin sister Alex (shoulder injury) – has opened the doorway for another
multiple runner-up to challenge for a maiden Dusi victory.
Adie’s fellow NCC High Performance Programme athlete and three time Dusi
bridesmaid Laura O’Donoghue recently returned to the sharp end of the sport
after a lengthy absence and is eager to make her last competitive outing a
O’Donoghue will however have to overcome the experienced Hilary Bruss (CPS
Seedlings), co- NCC High Performance Programme member Brittany Petersen, the
in-form Peek sisters Jordan and Cana as well as 2014 K2 podium finisher Tamika
For Adie, her and he dad’s presence in the mixed doubles category won’t be the
only ‘elite and family’ combination after four time Dusi winner Ant Stott
(Pope’s Canoe Centre/Matelec) recently confirmed he will take part in this
year’s Dusi with his mom, Beth, while five time Marathon World Champion Hank McGregor
(Team Jeep/Kayak Centre) will be competing with his wife, Pippa.
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