Khwela and Nkhoesa run to Umpetha victory and fire early Dusi warning shot

2015-11-10 06:00
 Photo: supplied Sbonelo Khwela and Banetsi Nkhoesa negotiate Taxi Rapid on route to winning the Umpetha Challenge.

Photo: supplied Sbonelo Khwela and Banetsi Nkhoesa negotiate Taxi Rapid on route to winning the Umpetha Challenge.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


DUSI champion Sbonelo Khwela and his Shongweni protégée Banetsi Nkhoesa ran to victory in the lucrative Umpetha Challenge canoe race on Sunday and in the process laid down an ominous marker at the start of the FNB Dusi season.
The Team Euro Steel/Red Bull duo backed their running ability on the tough final 2,5 kilometre climb from the uMsundusi River to Bishopstowe Hall to prevail in their three boat tussle with former Dusi champs Andy Birkett and Jason Graham and the new crew of Len Jenkins and Siseko Ntondini.
The three boats were locked together during the flatwater lap across Camps Drift and down the Ernie Pearce and Commercial Road weirs, where the three boats shot the narrow fish chute side by side, resulting in Jenkins and Ntondini getting stuck in the reeds on the right, allowing the other two contenders to get away.
By the time they started the long portage up Campbell's Farm that ends the race, Jenkins and Ntondini had rejoined the front group after a gusty fight back, and tried to make an early break on the tough uphill portage.
It proved to be foolish in the hot conditions, with the temperatures on course reaching 41 degrees, and they blew spectacularly, allowing the measured Khwela and Nkhoesa to ease into the lead and canter home to a convincing win, with Birkett and Graham a distant second.
"Everything went 100% according to plan," said Khwela. "We wanted to stay with the other guys on the water and then make a gap on the uphill part of the portage, which is what happened."
The win was a significant one for Nkhoesa, who was cherry-picked by Khwela for the FNB Dusi 2016 campaign.
"It's the hardest thing you can do, to try to run behind Sbonelo Khwela!" said Nkhoesa.
“I have always wanted to race at the highest level, and I knew that running behind Sbonelo I was going to die today, but it was worth it."
The women's race fell predictably to the crew of Jenna Ward and Abby Solms, a combination cobbled together to assist both women who won't be able to paddle with their Dusi partners until the new year.
The pair had to ensure they didn't get caught up in any of frantic racing typical of in the seeded A batch, and wisely settled into their rhythm just behind the bulk of the first batch paddlers.
More information can be found at http://www.umpethachallenge.co.za

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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
 

6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.

 
 

You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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.

Settings

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.