Robyn Kime’s withdrawal throws Non-Stop Dusi wide open

2013-02-27 00:00

THE race for the women’s title in the Unlimited Non-Stop Dusi on Friday, March 8, has been thrown wide open by the confirmation that defending champion and K1 women’s record holder Robyn Kime will not be racing this year.

The Maties student, who won her fourth consecutive Dusi title earlier this month, confirmed that her summer campaign that included the Drak Challenge and Dusi marathons, had left her under academic pressure, and her engineering masters studies needed to take precedence.

“I really enjoyed my K1 Non-Stop, but it has been a hectic summer of racing and I need to get back to my studies,” said Kime.

However, she stressed that she expected more and more women to take on the race in single canoes, something that until recently was considered too onerous for any paddler.

Last year, she raced to a brilliant 14th place overall and fourth K1 home, and shaved more than an hour off Hilary Pitchford’s women’s K1 record.

“Particularly with it being a K1 season, I expect quite a few women will do it in singles,” said Kime.

“Hardly anyone has been racing in a women’s K2, and at this stage you don’t want to risk getting into a double and leaning for 10 hours.

“It is actually not that much slower in a single, and if the rivers are low as they often are for Non-Stop, then singles is the way to go,” said Kime

Since Hank McGregor won in 2006 in a sub-eight hours time, more and more elite male paddlers have been taking on the tough ultra-marathon in singles. Hilary Pitchford was the trailblazer for the women, and has done several Non-Stops in a K1.

“It’s actually good fun in a single,” said Kime. “Sure, the running is a little bit more awkward, but then you have to take it easy. Getting there is all that matters.”

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