9 March 2023 View online

Hi {name},

I did the non stop Umko on Saturday.

70 kms on a medium to full river with not one step of portaging.

A cool, cloudy day, with speeds of 12 - 14 kph without taking a stroke in anger.

22 boats, with the majority of them having come down from Gauteng.

In stark contrast, the die hards who are attempting the Non-Stop Dusi tomorrow will be looking at a very different scenario.

Around 40kms longer. A cloudless sky. A gazillion kms of portaging and a very low river.

To add insult to injury, they will be arriving at Blue (well maybe not so blue) Lagoon against an incoming spring tide and a headwind.

Around 2pm tomorrow, I will be very grateful to be sitting in an office chair behind my desk, with the fan on.

It is ironic that the actual Dusi, held less than a month ago, took place in almost flood conditions.

Those in the Durban area, with a few hours to spare would do well to take a deck chair down to KCC and cheer for the very tired heroes who will be limping home.

The next big one after the non stop is the actual Umko, in two weeks' time.

The river was flowing at an ideal 1.5 metres on the weekend with clean cool water.

Most of the rapids were no worse than everyone experienced on a full Dusi this year.

I let a schoolgirl drive me down.

The scenery is absolutely magnificent, with almost no sign of human habitation.

A week after the Umko is the Tugela, and that will herald the end of the KZN river season.

The sprinters and ski paddlers will then have an opportunity to flex their muscles, with the Freedom Paddle and the national sprint championships taking place at the end of April.

GCU held its AGM on Monday. Chris Erwee stepped down as chairman and MJ Robb was voted in. A massive thanks to Chris for his years of contribution, and a hearty welcome to MJ to the hot seat.

At the CSA AGM and Board Meeting this month, the board decided to set up an Innovations Committee to consider the future of Canoeing in SA.

The idea is to get together a group of current or previous paddlers and members who are not necessarily members of any of the current club, union or federation committees, but are passionate about the sport and have good ideas on how to rejuvenate and regrow the sport going forward.

This is not a permanent committee, and the idea is for a series of 3 or 4 ZOOM meeting sessions to brainstorm the future of canoeing.

If you are interested, please forward me your name, and I will add you to the list.

Not much more for this week, except for the joke.


Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served. When little Johnny received his plate, he started eating straight away. 

“Johny, wait until we’ve said our prayer,” his mother reminded him. 

“I don’t have to.” – the little boy replied. 

“Of course you do.” – his mother insisted. “We say a prayer before eating at our house.” 

“That’s at our house,” Johny explained, “but this is Grandma’s house and she knows how to cook.”


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