Birkett the Dusi winner now also a world champion

2013-09-26 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG canoeist Andy Birkett is a world champion.

The 23-year-old Birkett claimed first place at the Under-23 World Canoe Marathon in Copenhagen, Denmark last week. Durban’s Brandon van der Walt was just behind him in second.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, Birkett said he was “super chuffed” to win the crown, which he said was also a surprise to him.

“It was my first marathon championships and I’m chuffed to win it at the first go,” he said from the Eastern Cape where he is due to compete in this year’s Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon.

Prior to the marathon in Denmark, Birkett, along with 2005 Dusi winner Hank McGregor, had put in about five months of training.

“I didn’t do too well in this year’s Dusi and I decided to open myself up to other competitions and experiences,” he said.

With the canoeing season just starting, Birkett said he would take a break of about two weeks after the Fish River Marathon before he got down to some serious training for the months ahead.

For this season he felt strong due to the amount of work he’d put in with McGregor. Birkett paddles with Cameron Schoeman for the weekend’s two-day Fish River journey.

Last year’s Dusi winner Lance Kime will partner Thulani Mbanjwa in this year’s Fish.

However, with the two having just started paddling together, Birkett felt that although they would be a force to reckon with, they weren’t one of the favourites.

“They’ll make the top 10. They could make the top five. They’ll be strong, but I don’t think they’ll be favourites,” he said.

The Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon will begin tomorrow and end on Saturday.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.