Ant Stott: It would take a miracle

2013-02-06 00:00

LOOKING through the results sheet from 1995 to 2012, Ant Stott’s name stands out as one of the most consistent competitors of all time with 12 senior podium finishes in 18 Dusi Canoe Marathons.

However, the popular KZN paddler’s days at the top of the tough The Unlimited Dusi three-day challenge may be nearing an end as he makes the step up into the full-time working world.

Stott competed in his first Dusi in 1993, and it took him only two years to reach the top of the Junior podium, first in 1995 in a K1, and retaining the title the following year in a K2 with Jason Callister. He achieved his first senior K2 title in 1998 with Kelby Murray, at the age of 19.

It took Stott six years to claim another win, taking the K2 title with Martin Dreyer in 2004 by a monstrous 23 minutes. He had to wait until 2007 to stand on the top step of the podium in a K1, a feat that he repeated in 2009.

It has not all been plain sailing however, and victory has slipped out of Stott’s grasp more times than he cares to remember.

“I think I have finished second eight times. I have more bad than good luck on the Dusi — the one year my partner even fell and broke his ankle, but we continued, finishing third.”

So can Stott give reigning Dusi Champ Andy Birkett a run for his money in 2013?

“For me to win the Dusi in 2013 would take a miracle — like the top 10 guys breaking their boats kind of miracle. I haven’t been able to run properly in a year-and-a-half due to an Achilles injury, and in order to win Dusi and keep up with the likes of Andy Birkett, you need to be running at your very best.”

“I think making it into the top 10 is a realistic goal for me this year,” said Stott.

Despite his injuries, many of his rivals will, however, still be wary of Stott’s wealth of experience, especially on the Dusi course, and his ability to put in big performances when they count the most.

The Dusi starts on February 14 at Camps Drift.

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