Pietermaritzburg - This past weekend saw a number of Dusi Canoe
Marathon hopefuls come to the fore as a big two days of qualifying saw a
surprise appearance from Andy Birkett to win the 50 Miler while Christie
Mackenzie showed her class to win both the 50 Miler and Mfula to eNanda races.
With just a month to go until the iconic race from Pietermaritzburg to Durban A
Batch is starting to take shape and the usual Dusi suspects begin to find their
For Birkett it was going to be the only chance for him to qualify
for Dusi so he needed a good performance.
Saturday's 50 Miler was a tight affair with Birkett only just beating team-mate Thulani Mbanjwa while this year's most low key Dusi hopeful
Sbonelo Khwela finished in third place.
Stew Little and Carl Folscher made up fourth and fifth.
2019 Dusi women's favourite Christie Mackenzie showed why she will be
difficult to beat as she dominated on her way to victory by over seven and a
half minutes over Jenna Ward. The ace will be a difficult person to beat in a
Former Dusi K2 podium finisher Tamika Haw ended in third place and if she
continues this form she will be knocking on the podium door at the Dusi.
Sunday's Mfula to eNanda race took the through the paddlers through the second
half of day two and it was here that Stew Little tasted success.
The paddler managed to beat
Sbonelo Khwela in an end sprint.
Nqobile Makhanya was the third boat home followed by the Houston bothers Alan
in fourth and Andrew in fifth.
Mackenzie once again sounded the alarm when she won her second race in as many days,
however Sunday's win wasn't as convincing as she only pipped Jenna Ward by four
Tamika Haw once again rounded out the top three a further 13 seconds behind
Amy Peckett picked up her second fourth place finish of the weekend while Tracey
Oellermann finished fifth.