Commemorative Dusi: finished in a record three days

2008-12-29 00:00

The Gabriel Commemorative Dusi 2008 was finished in a record three days yesterday following the heavy rains that fell recently over the KwaZulu-Natal midlands and the participation of multi-Dusi winner Kevin White.

“We had absolutely amazing water levels for the first two days, but we walked for most of the 40 km from Inanda Dam to the finish at Blue Lagoon in Durban,” said White yesterday.

White raced the event as his farewell to the Valley, in which he has spent so much of his time. “I had to push it to finish as I have to get back home to help my wife, Wendy, pack,” he said with a smile.

The couple are emigrating to Perth, Australia on Friday.

Nine paddlers finished the event, which is done in wood and canvas boats — replicas of the boat that the early Dusi pioneers used. The event is not timed as it is more of a pilgrimage than a race, but it has previously taken four days.

Event director Anton Venter, who builds the boats each year, said “this doesn’t mean that we are going to make it a three-day format in the future”.

“We let Kevin go ahead with fellow-paddlers Dave Patrick and Terry Peterson as he was in a hurry to get home. I hope they will be in a hurry to get back to South Africa in the not-too-distant future,” he added.

The river system is filling up fast and Inanda Dam might even start overflowing for the Hansa Powerade Dusi, which takes place on January 15, 16 and 17.

Water quality is much improved compared with samples taken last year at the same time. The next tests will be done on Thursday.

For online entries and information go to www.dusi.co.za.

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