17 February 2016
I have been tasting the various brands of cement at the local hardware store over the past few days.
The NPC black label seems to be about the best. It also has a higher MPA.
I suggest that all Dusi participants go and buy a cup, as you will need to harden up for what awaits you over the next 3 days.
Those anticipating to be swept swiftly from PMB to Durban on a swollen river may be in for a bit of a surprise.
I have taken my own advice, and have solicited the services of youth and ignorance, with biceps big enough to lift small buildings. Only time will tell if those biceps are still functioning after 4 hours.
We will see tomorrow morning, which will be the first time we get into a K2 together.
The drag rope has been fitted, and my partner is blissfully unaware that a boat should not be dragged up a hill.
I have also adjusted the settings on my Garmin, after the humiliation last year when it went onto “auto pause” during one of the portages.
I had a chat to Mark Perrow yesterday evening. He is taking a short break between boxing rounds at work, and has been training like a man possessed. His goal is to beat the first ladies. I bet him his last month’s salary that he couldn’t do it. Watch this space.
The fact that none of the top crews have been able to trip the 3rd day during the build up to the race, may result in a very exciting ending. Nobody is 100% sure what the level will be. If it is very low, the option to paddle around Burma will not be one to take. Time differences between portaging and paddling rapids will not have been tested.
For those, like me, who have instructed friends to shoot on sight if ever seen on Burma road, it will end up being a long day.
Guessing the outcome of the men’s race is a bit of a lottery. There are the obvious favourites, but there are at least 5 crews that would not surprise if they were leading after day 1.
I may be a bit biased, but after the way that Abie paddled past me on the first day of the Drak, I have to go with her as firm favourite in the ladies section.
To all of you who are doing the race, be safe, drink your cup of cement, take your happy pills and remember, if you swim or wrap your boat, it is invariably your partners fault (irrespective of whether you are driving or not).
Very few men become institutions in their lifetime. Canoeing in this country is blessed with one of these unique individuals.
John Oliver (Hairyface) has, over the last few decades, become the interface between the rowdy rabble and the race organisers and administrators. He has spent many thousands of hours sitting on river banks and beaches taking times and getting abused, usually until the very last competitor drifts across the line. For most of us, he is the father of paddling in the country.
When a crack was discovered in the foundations of this institution (may have also been some rising damp), a call went out to the rowdy rabble, as there was a severe shortfall in the insurance claim.
I am happy to announce that, due to the overwhelming support of all of those who contributed (including NCC and KNCU), the medical expenses that John incurred have been covered. It is a privilege to belong to such a generous and caring community. A massive “thank you” from John, his family and all his colleagues.
I am also happy to let you all know, that after 2 operations, John is recovering well.
Last week I reported that Neil Powell’s mother was also gravely ill.
Unfortunately, she lost her battle and passed away. I attended her memorial service yesterday and was blown away by the number of fantastic tributes that were read. Truly an amazing lady.
Neil has still offered to help with the timing of the Dusi and you may see him sitting on the bank where he has spent so much time with Hairyface.
More next week
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Star-studded field ready for 2016 FNB Dusi start
No fewer than nine former or current marathon world champions and eleven past winners are set to tackle the 65th edition of the FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon when the 120km race gets underway at 06h00 on Thursday morning, with the firing of the starter’s canon sending the 1248 eager participants on their way from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to Durban’s Blue Lagoon. Read the full story here.
Living the Best Day Ever
The book ‘Living the Best Day Ever’ is being launched at Montecasino in Johannesburg. Check out the website dedicated to adventurer Hendri Coetzee’s life as an adventurer here. The launch is happening on Sunday 20 March and RSVP to Marie (083 268 2693 or firstname.lastname@example.org) before the 18th of March.
South African Sprint Championships
The national sprint canoe championships will be taking place at Shongweni Dam from 11-13 March. These championships will be vital for paddlers wishing to take part in the international sprint season as they will be the only means to qualify. Go and have a look at the sprint page on the CSA website here for more information.
African Sprint Championships
The African Sprint Championships take place at Shongweni Dam from 1-3 April and make sure that you up to speed in terms of selection criteria. Have a look at the selection document here if you are unsure.
KwaZulu-Natal Canoe Union
It is FNB Dusi week therefore the only focus this weekend will be the 2016 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon!
Gauteng Canoe Union
There is a Marathon K2 and Mini Marathon event happening at Wemmer Pan this weekend. For more information get in touch with Pete Rossouw (082 895 8129)
FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon
If you want to follow all of the action from the 2016 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon make sure you follow them on Twitter here and Facebook here.
Single Fenn Elite Ski in good condition.
Fibreglass and fully adjustable.
Located in Durban, KZN. R 3 500.
Please phone Paul on 074 585 7580.
2 year old Velox Ascent K2 which has done 1 Dusi and 1 Fish with limited damage.
Kevlar mid section and whale pumps. R6 400,00 o.n.o.
Phone Russell at 021 424 7468 (w) and 021 794 6192 (h) or e-mail: email@example.com
Fenn Elite double surf ski
Based in Durban, but prepared to collect from anywhere
Contact Greg at 082 9417401
Looking for a Mirage.
Still in good enough condition for a seasons races leading up to dusi.
Please contact Kyle on 0827256727.
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