Dusi

The exciting pair of Nqobile Makhanya (front) and former Dusi champion Sbonelo Khwela (back) proved that they too are contenders when they won the Parklane Spar Campbell’s to Dusi Bridge race on Sunday, the final preparation race ahead of the MyLife Dusi Canoe Marathon from 17-19 February.

Photo: Ally Black/
Gameplan Media

Dusi Canoe Marathon: More contenders emerge ahead of the race

With just over a week until the Dusi Canoe Marathon, this past weekend’s final two preparation races ended with two new winners in the men’s category.

Dusi

The exciting pair of Nqobile Makhanya (front) and former Dusi champion Sbonelo Khwela (back) proved that they too are contenders when they won the Parklane Spar Campbell’s to Dusi Bridge race on Sunday, the final preparation race ahead of the MyLife Dusi Canoe Marathon from 17-19 February.

Photo: Ally Black/
Gameplan Media

With just over a week until the Dusi Canoe Marathon, this past weekend’s final two preparation races ended with two new winners in the men’s category.

The events of the weekend further expanded an already wide list of potential Dusi winning crews.

Dusi Canoe Marathon approaches

The Dash’ n Crash was moved to the Upper uMngeni from its usual route on the Msundusi. The 16km hit-out saw the much-fancied Team MyLife pair of Thulani Mbanjwa and Maswenkosi Mtolo come out on top.

Not all Dusi contenders entered the Dash’ n Crash. However, the pair of Mbanjwa and Mtolo came home just over 30 seconds ahead of the next duo.

Another Under 23 pair, Murray Behn and Jeremy Maher, finished in third place overall.

The experienced duo of Hillary Bruss and Hayley Nixon took home the honours in the women’s category. They finished just under a minute ahead of Bridgitte Hartley and Pippa McGregor in second.

Dusi series impacted by Dash n’ Crash

The results at the Dash’ n Crash were important in terms of the overall Dusi Series. It was the penultimate race of the series.

Next week’s Dusi serves as the series finale and teams would have been happy to get valuable points on Saturday.

Sunday’s racing provided a crucial insight into what could potentially happen between Thursday and Saturday next week. A number of podium chasers lined up for the Parklane Spar Campbell’s to Dusi Bridge race.

Another pair that have flown under the radar through the season came to the fore this past weekend. Sbonelo Khwela and Nqobile Makhanya grabbed the line honours on the race that covers the key second half of the Dusi first stage.

They have finished outside the podium places for the majority of the season. However, they proved that they will be right in the mix at this year’s Dusi with a strong showing on Sunday where they managed to win the race by 49 seconds over Sandile Mtolo and Mvelo Ngidi.

Someone who has shown good form throughout the summer season is Banetse Nkhoesa. Nkhoesa finished fifth overall at the recent Drak Challenge and despite not paddling with his Dusi partner on Sunday finished in third place.

He will be teaming up with Johannesburg-based Siseko Ntondini for the Dusi so he paddled with Mpilo Zondi, who is paddling with defending K2 champion Khumbulani Nzimande – who wasn’t at the race on Sunday.

Solms and Haw lay down marker

In the women’s race 2022 Drak Challenge champion Abby Solms and her partner, also a former Dusi champion, Bianca Haw proved that they are hitting their straps at the right time when they cruised to victory on Sunday.

Their thirteenth place overall finish and over ten minute win has sounded some significant warning bells for the other competitors for next week’s showdown as they come into some ominous form.

Bruss and Nixon completed a good weekend’s work when they claimed second in the women’s race while it was Hartley and McGregor who also put in another good shift to finish third.

Adapted from copy provided by Gameplan Media.