Dusi prep events begin

2007-11-16 00:00

Tomorrow's Pope's Walk is a guided, on-foot trip down the banks of the Umsindusi and Umgeni rivers covering the tricky Day 2 section of the Hansa Powerade Dusi from the Saddles to Mfula Store. It includes the confluence section and Ibis Point, Ngumeni Hill and three big rapids - Gum Tree, Thombi and Hippo Rocks.

Participants will meet the Pope's Canoe Centre racing team and Owen Hemingway at the Cato Ridge Air Field at 5 am and drive down to Dusi Bridge for a short talk at

5.45 am. From there it's on to the Saddles start from where the paddlers will walk, jog and run along the route looking at various portage options and studying the major rapids with experts there for advice.

No canoes are required and entry is free. Just bring a hat, sunscreen, running shoes, drinks and a driver to drop you off at Saddles and pick you up at Mfula store. The walk is must for all Dusi novices.

On Sunday, the Alan Gardiner Memorial starts at 7 am at Ibis Point on the Umgeni. The 28-km B Class river race covers the last two thirds of the Walk course down to Mfula Store and then on through Marriots Rapid, Big Bend and the Island down to Inanda Dam. The finish is in the inlet on the right hand bank about two kilometres below the bridge at the top of the dam. Seen by most as a hard race, it takes novice Dusi paddlers another step up in the Dusi experience with some Grade 3 rapids and a serious portage at Ngumeni Hill. With rain forecast for the next three days, there is a good chance of a reasonable flow in the Umgeni on Sunday, which is good news.

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