Dusi to be raced in February

2010-08-28 00:00

NEXT year’s Dusi Canoe Marathon will take place in February. The event has been held in the third week of January in recent years, but due to concerns over water levels in surrounding dams, the popular canoe race will now take place on February 17, 18 and 19.

The race relies on the releasing of water from two dams into the Dusi to ensure that the water levels of the river are high enough for participants to paddle the Dusi route.

On the opening day of the race, water is released from Henley Dam just outside Pietermaritzburg for the start of the race. On the third and final day of the event, water is released from Inanda Dam.

Dusi Canoe Marathon Spokesperson Ray de Vries explained the reasons behind the date change.

“Umgeni Water asked us to move the date,” he said.

“There is a concern that we are going to have a dry summer and that having the race in January might be too early in the rain season.

“By February we should have had enough rain.”

De Vries added that the change in date will not change the nature of the race.

“There won’t be too much difference at all,” he said.

“We are expecting a bigger field as this is the 60th anniversary of the race and it will also be held in honour of the late Graeme Pope-Ellis.”

The issue of water levels has been a recurring concern in recent Dusi Canoe Marathons.

“For the last few years the rain pattern has been very unusual,” said De Vries.

“We have had a low level a few times, but we’ve always seemed to be lucky and get water late.”

De Vries highlighted how important water levels are for the race to be a success.

“The Dusi is a very expensive event to put on and the water prediction is the most important thing,” he said.

“If a paddler in Johannesburg knows that he will be doing more running than paddling then he might not come down, so it really is crucial.”

Professor Roland Schulze, from the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Bioresources Engineering and Environmental Hydrology Department, says that the decision to move the race to February is one that makes sense.

“By February the dams will be fuller and we will have a more sustained bass-flow,” he said.

“The bass-flow will provide a mini-flood that will be better for paddling as well as cleaning out bacteria in the water.”

Schulze added that although rainfall has been unpredictable in recent years, this should not be linked to climate change or global warming.

“It is too soon. At this stage we must steer clear of attributing things to climate change; the run-off is always a month or so behind the rainfall.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.