Record-breaking Dusi ahead

2009-01-14 00:00

A record-breaking 1 400 paddlers from 16 different countries across the world are taking part in the 58th Hansa Powerade 2009 Dusi Canoe Marathon, which starts at Camps Drift this morning.

Among them are adventure sport paddlers like Australian Jarrod Kola and Canadian Chad Youlansky.

Umgeni Water has reported that the quality of the Dusi water will be a lot better than in previous years and at the moment the Dusi stands at 50% of its capacity. Umgeni will be releasing water to boost the levels ahead of the race.

“Though storms could deteriorate the quality of the water, there is only 1 500 mg of E.coli content in the water in comparison to last year’s 40 000 mg,” said race spokesman Ray de Vries.

De Vries said water hyacinth might create a problem for paddlers relying on seconds as it slows them down, but measures are being taken to shift the hyacinth downstream.

In terms of other hazards, conservationist and professional paddler Scott Maynard said that while there are crocodiles in the Umngeni River below Albert Falls Dam, paddlers can rest assured that there are none in the Dusi itself.

Paddlers will experience both benign cool weather and hellish heat.

According to the SA Weather Office in Durban, this morning’s temperature will be a pleasant 24°C with cloud cover and early morning and evening drizzle. But high humidity levels may push the temperature up into the thirties.

Tomorrow promises to be a scorcher in the valley, with temperatures in the mid-thirties being pushed up past 40° by high humidity levels. Thunderstorms are also possible in the afternoon.

The home stretch on Saturday will be cloudy and cooler at 26°, with possible rain in the late afternoon.

The Dusi will be covered on the SABC show Morning Live and on e.tv and Supersport.

Over 1 000 volunteers have offered their assistance to the race, including farmers and local residents and Dusi chairman Cameron MacKenzie yesterday offered a special thank you to them.

“Thank you to our sponsors, volunteers and paddlers … each and every one of you is important to us … may the Hansa Powerade Dusi 2009 be the best Dusi event ever,” said MacKenzie.

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