New bond forged as Sharks offer Bulls game tickets to every Dusi finisher

2014-02-12 00:00

THE Sharks have forged a bond with canoeists by offering tickets to every finisher in this week’s Dusi Canoe Marathon to support the Sharks in their opening encounter of the season.

With scarcely enough time to hang up their paddles after finishing the three-day race, thousands of Dusi paddlers will be heading across the road from Blue Lagoon to King’s Park where the Sharks will be locking horns with the Bulls at 7 pm on Saturday.

The Sharks have made a pair of tickets to the Super Rugby match available to every Dusi entrant, who will be seated in a demarcated block in the stadium for the key season-opener.

“It’s exciting to have two major sporting events in Durban on the same day, with the Dusi Canoe Marathon finishing at Blue Lagoon on Saturday afternoon, and just a couple of hours after the prizegiving, the Sharks take on the Bulls just a few hundred metres away,” said the Sharks marketing manager Mike Ablett.

“As two brands synonymous with KwaZulu-Natal it is such a great chance to overlap,” he added. “I am sure the Dusi paddlers will be in high spirits and bring a special mood to the stadium.”

With a large crowd expected to pack the stands in support of Jake White’s charges of 2014, the Dusi organisers have also juggled their plans to accommodate the surge of interest in the Sharks match on Saturday.

“The timing is perfect,” said Dusi general manager Brett Austen Smith. “With the new reverse-order start the winners are expected into Blue Lagoon at around 1 pm, and our prizegiving will wrap up mid-afternoon, giving the paddlers just enough time to have a shower and a bite to eat before heading across to King’s Park.”

“The official after party for the Dusi paddlers will now get under way at 9.30 pm at Hops at Riverside Hotel, to coincide with the end of the Super Rugby match.” Austen Smith was delighted at the new partnership, saying it would create an impressive image for the province in the eyes of the national and international media.

Former winger for the Sharks and the Springboks Justin Swart is one of the approximately 1 750 paddlers setting off from Camps Drift tomorrow morning bound for Durban, and will no doubt be a vocal supporter for his old team from the block of Dusi finishers in the stadium on Saturday.

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