Organiser: Don’t leave seconders alone on Duzi banks

2008-01-02 00:00

The organising committee of the Hansa Powerade Dusi canoe marathon, which starts in two weeks’ time, have warned paddlers to be aware of possible security risks while practising the route.

They will be doing a full reconnaissance of the entire route next weekend to check blockages, water levels and water quality, and holding safety and security discussions with the community in the Valley of 1 000 Hills.

“We would like to appeal to all paddlers who will be tripping in the valley between now and race day to please be cautious. Don’t wear jewellery, always paddle in a group and, most importantly, ensure that your seconds are not left on their own at the side of the river,” said Ray de Vries, spokesman for the organisers.

“While the number of security incidents have come down dramatically over the last few years, there are still occasional reports of paddlers coming to grief. That is why it is very important to be security conscious … ”

He added that the organisers of the race and the community of the Valley of 1000 Hills are working hard to ensure a trouble-free race.

“We request that paddlers play their part by being cautious whilst in the Valley. Please respect people’s property, farmland and crops,” said De Vries.

Entries are still pouring in as the final closing date for entries approaches.

Entries closed on Friday, December 14, but late entries will be accepted until the night before the race. These will be subject to a late entry fee.

“We are very happy that we are receiving so many entries. The days of a low Dusi are pretty much over as we get water releases from the dams,” De Vries said.

The race’s three nominated charities are the early leaders of the event. “Almost R120 000 has been collectively raised for the SPCA, Starfish and Duct, with money pouring in every day.”

Most of the charity money is raised by auctioning off an early starting time and with temperatures already soaring into the late 30 ºC, the 60 places in the charity batch are much sought after.

“The highest bid so far is a stunning R10 000 and a lot more is expected before the auction closes on January 12,” he said.

The Hansa Powerade Dusi 2008 pays out over R220 000 in prize money. Winners of the men’s race will earn R88 000 and the women’s race winners R44 000.

The race takes place between Pietermaritzburg and Durban on January 17, 18 and 19.

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