Adie confident of defending her Drak title

2013-12-27 00:00

UNDERBERG — Abby Adie will be back to defend her title in the N3TC Drak Challenge on January 18 and 19, and in the process aims to become the first female paddler to win the coveted crown four times.

Eager to repeat her 2010, 2011 and 2013 feats, Adie is also relishing the opportunity to return to the region she thoroughly enjoys and is looking forward to yet another competitive women’s race.

“It was great being back on the uMzimkhulu River for the KZN Mixed Doubles recently,” said Adie.

“The river was pretty low so it was quite a grind and we scraped and bumped our way down, especially with me paddling with my brother who is a little heavier, than if I was paddling with another girl, but we had lots of fun nonetheless.

“I’m really looking forward to Drak and I’m hoping to try get up there and spend some time on the river beforehand too.

“It would be great to get up there after Christmas to do some training and it’s always great to be able to paddle on some clean water,” she added.

Aside from the Drak being an impeccably organised event, the river itself is what Adie enjoys the most about the annual Underberg excursion.

“I always enjoy myself up there so much,” she said. “The technical rapids are great and the unpredictable nature of the river, which this year’s flood showed once more, adds a real element of the unknown to the race.”

The unpredictable nature of the river, and never knowing what water level to expect due to the race starting so close to the river’s source, has Adie unsure of just who is likely to be a possible fellow title contender next year.

“Robyn [Kime] is always a big factor and having not seen her paddling for a while no one really knows just how strong she is at the moment.

“If it’s low then Hilary [Pitchford] will be deadly through the technical stuff.

“Then, of course, there’s Michelle Burn who won KZN Mixed Doubles with her husband Ollie recently and is just so consistent on that river. With her surfski background she is super strong, especially on the flat sections, and could be up there as well.”

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