It’s ‘dam the crocs and full speed ahead’ for the Dusi

2011-01-17 00:00

BRUCE Fordyce will be paddling as Oscar Chalupsky’s celebrity guest in The Unlimited Dusi after ANC Youth League president Julius Malema turned down an invitation by the event organisers.

Fordyce said, “It was my dream to paddle with the late Graeme Pope-Ellis because it would have been historic to have the past winner of the Comrades Marathon alongside the past winner of the Dusi”. Pope-Ellis, who won the Dusi 15 times, died in a tractor accident on his farm last year.

Fordyce, who will paddle his 10th Dusi, admitted he is not that great a paddler. “I am sure the Pope would have been shouting to get me to paddle like him so that we could win,” said Fordyce jokingly.

Fordyce (55) will be running his 29th Comrades and 27th Two Oceans Marathon this year.

On Malema, Dusi spokesperson Ray de Vries said, “We followed all protocol when we invited him as advised by his personal assistant and public relations officer. This was done by telephone and we also wrote a letter inviting Malema to the Dusi.”

He said they invited him to participate because of his influence among the youth, who they want to draw to the Dusi.

De Vries said they were overwhelmed by the 500 entries they received on closing day on Friday.

The International Canoeing Federation (ICF) has ranked the Unlimited Dusi as one of the top 10 canoeing marathons in the world, said De Vries. He said they are also pleased with the progress made in destroying the water hyacinth in the river, which at one stage was threatening the race.

He said crocodiles have been spotted in the river by a lot of paddlers. “We were very surprised that half of the paddlers said they do not want the crocodiles removed while the other half wanted the crocodiles to be relocated,” said de Vries.


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