from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
DURBAN – PREPARATIONS for the iconic Dusi Canoe Marathon are gathering pace, undeterred by furore around the KwaZulu-Natal’s water quality.
Durban, the city where the multi-sport race is starting from and will finish at Pietermaritzburg, the epicenter of the fuss.
The iconic event is scheduled for February 16-18.
With travel restrictions eased worldwide there could be an interest from paddlers across the globe to enter the 72nd edition.
However, the April floods devastated the province and highlighted a number of concerns with regards to water quality in the greater Durban and Pietermaritzburg areas.
These concerns are aligned with the race given the importance of safety and well-being of the paddlers that enter the epic three-day journey from the provincial capital to the ocean.
Event organisers have been working closely with the authorities within the various municipalities and are positive of the plans in place to improve water quality.
Brad Glasspoole, of the event organising committee, noted the Dusi Canoe Marathon receives extended freshwater releases onto the course from the Henley, Inanda and Nagle Dams, which allow for a significant input of clean water into the river system.
“Plans for the 2023 Dusi are well underway with safety teams assessing the damage done to the valley following the floods and planning around the existing infrastructure,” the official said.
Organisers are confident the 2023 Dusi will begin at the traditional starting point, Campsdrift in Pietermaritzburg, finishing at Blue Lagoon in Durban.
“The committee understands the fluid nature of the event and will exercise any other alternate measures should the need arise,” Glasspoole said.
It is dubbed Africa’s Original Adventure Race.
Airlink is making the most of the upcoming competition to attract travelers.
“We offer flights to #Pietermaritzburg and #Durban, where you can participate in the #DusiCanoeMarathon and watch the paddlers take advantage of the summer rains,” the airline stated in its social media platforms.
– CAJ News