Adie on title quest

2014-12-23 00:00

ABBY Adie has been a shining star on the women’s river paddling front in 2014 and the 25-year-old is now focusing all her attention towards breaking her Dusi Canoe Marathon duck having finished second for the past five consecutive years.

Robyn Kime has combined brilliantly with Abbey Ulansky in the K2 races in recent years, seeing the pair clinch the 2010, 2012 and 2014 Dusi titles while Kime then added the 2011 and 2013 K1 Dusi crowns to her collection as well.

All the while Adie has steadily grown as a Dusi competitor and alongside Czech Republic’s Anna Adamová, both came within minutes of overcoming Kime and Ulansky in February this year.

It wasn’t to be despite a remarkable rest of the year for Adie in which she claimed the Drak Challenge, Non-Stop Dusi, Umko, Berg, Fish and Sella Descent crowns, a Dusi victory is what the young star so desperately seeks.

The Pietermaritzburg resident started her 2015 Dusi build-up campaign positively with victory in the Umpetha Challenge before a sluggish effort at the Ozzie Gladwin Canoe Marathon had a few worried about the Dusi title hopeful.

But a return to the front of the pack amidst a competitive women’s field at the recent Lettie Paddle 50 Miler settled any form-conscious nerves, this despite Adie feeling the two-day clash isn’t the ideal Dusi test.

“I don’t think the 50 Miler was a true reflection of things for Dusi. All of us girls are at different stages of our training and where some came in a bit tired, I came in fresh,” Adie said.

“There also wasn’t much running ­involved there so you can’t take too much from there.

“River knowledge counted a lot for me at 50 Miler and there is still a lot of time for the other girls to get to know the river before the Dusi,” she added.

The win would have boosted Adie’s confidence at a timely stage of her ­campaign due to the lack of scheduled competitive river races over the festive season.

With few opportunities to suss out her nearest rivals prior to the 2015 N3TC Drak Challenge in Underberg, Adie is happy with where she is currently despite wanting to spend more time on the roads and trails in the upcoming weeks.

“I’m feeling good and I’m happy with where my paddling is having come off a good base.

“I realised when I was going up ­Nqumeni Hill during the 50 Miler though that I needed to work a lot on my running.”

While she is tempted to turn all her attention to clocking up the miles in her legs, Adie believes an all-encompassing approach is required at this stage of the game.

“Dusi is three days and a long way with a lot of paddling so it’s all about trying to get the balance right at this stage,” ­Adie said.

The 64th edition of the Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to Blue Lagoon in Durban from February 19 to 21, 2015. More information can be found at

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