Regular summer rainfall over KwaZulu-Natal and a carefully co-ordinated water release from Umgeni Water means that the brave paddlers setting out on the 2020 Non-Stop Dusi Canoe Marathon paddlers can look forward to good river conditions for the "Dusi in a Day" on Friday, 13 March.
Following on from one of the best Dusi Canoe Marathons in the past decade, the interest in paddling on the Msundusi and Mngeni Rivers has gained significant traction, however the Non-Stop Dusi has always appealed to a minority group of hardened paddlers.
The 100km race from Camps Drift to Blue Lagoon isn’t the same as the Dusi in that the rules differ quite substantially, one important factor they do share is the need for water and KNCU water liason Kevin Trodd is confident the water levels will be good.
“We will probably see around fifteen cumecs (cubic metres per second) coming out of Inanda Dam, which we co-ordinate for the Non-Stop,” Trodd said. “Along with that we have a release from Henley Dam for the event so that will make the river paddleable.
“The big difference between the Dusi and Non-Stop is that we have to release the water well in advance for Non-Stop because the water has to be in the system for the day.
“For Dusi we can release just before day one and then the water has time to filter down for day two.
“Non-Stop paddlers will get about five cumecs for this Friday but if we have a storm early in the week then that number will be higher. That is the same as every year and day one and two of the Dusi will be fine for the paddlers.
“We will try and get more but that is all dependent on the weather in the first part of this week.”
The Non-Stop Dusi follows the same route as the Dusi in that it follows the Msundusi and Mngeni Rivers from Camps Drift to Blue Lagoon however there are a number of different rules that govern the race.
Paddlers have the advantage of being able to portage large sections of the river that they are forced to paddle during the Dusi.
Should Sbonelo Khwela return and win this year’s Non-Stop he will become the first paddler to win the race on ten occasions.
Traditionally there is a large contingent of Martin Dreyer’s Change a Life Academy that competes and the academy stars have become a dominant force in the race.
The likes of Dusi top five finishers Banetse Nkhoesa and Msawenkosi Mtolo as well as Mthobisi Cele, Mpilo Zondi and Thabani Msiya have all featured strongly over the past few years.
- Gameplane Media