Dusi fans in for thrilling tussle between top women

2011-02-16 00:00

DURBAN — With a fascinating showdown looming between the two best female river racers in the country, Robyn Kime and Abby Adie, The Unlimited Dusi women’s title will go to the paddler who makes the fewest mistakes.

Both Kime and Adie bring almost matching pedigrees coming into the race, and will start as clear favourites to thrash out the 2011 title.

With river conditions likely to be comfortably medium-level for most of the race, and with no major rains forecast for the week, it seems extremely unlikely that the women’s race will be skewed in favour of the wild water lovers like Hillary Pitchford.

It provides canoeing fans with a captivating tussle between the two women looking to become the next dominant force in The Unlimited Dusi since the departure of Abbey Ulansky [Miedema] to Canada.

In the cold light of statistical analysis they measure up almost equally. However, the key ingredient in winning the Dusi tends to lie in preparation and the ability to keep a cool head in the heat of the battle, and the February humidity that is sure to ambush the paddlers later this week.

“I would definitely say the person who makes the least mistakes will end up winning,” said Kime, who partnered Ulansky to a K2 Dusi victory last year.

She has also been doing her homework on the course in a bid to try and avoid the nightmare in the 2009 K1 race that saw her snarled in moving hyacinth 10 kilometres from the finish.

“I had a look at Campbell’s Farm and one or two other sections over the weekend and I’ve worked hard, so I definitely think I’m ready,” she said firmly.

Abby Adie is taking a slightly more analytical approach, trying to eliminate risk wherever possible.

“I feel it’s a combination of the girl who is the strongest and who makes the fewest mistakes who will take the title this year,” says Adie. “If you make mistakes you make it very difficult for yourself, no matter how strong you are.”

The Unlimited Dusi starts in Pietermaritzburg tomorrow and ends in Durban on February 19.

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