The 2019 Lovemore Brothers Non-Stop Dusi Canoe Marathon has once again attracted an entry made up of the most hardened of endurance paddlers for the iconic ‘Dusi in a Day’ that starts at Camps Drift at dawn on Friday morning.
The race brings down the curtain on the Dusi season and while it shares the same Msundusi and Mngeni River valleys, it is critical different to its three-day parent race in terms of conditions, rules and demands.
The Non-Stop often attracts a select group of the top athletes who view the race as the ultimate test of endurance as they cover 95 kilometres in a day by boat and foot.
2019 will see the return of eight-time Non-Stop champion Sbonelo Khwela.
The Red Bull/Euro Steel athlete has won eight of the last nine editions of the race in both K1’s and K2’s but will take on this year’s race as a solo paddler.
The 2019 FNB Dusi runner-up is a constant threat at the Non-Stop given his running prowess, however over the past few years he has improved his skills on the river which have made him a formidable all-round contender.
The Non-Stop is unique in that there are very few rules that the paddlers have to adhere to. The only rule set in stone is that you must go under the College Road Bridge, from there you can run and paddle which ever sections you like to Durban.
Paddlers have to make the two cut-off check points at Finger Neck, the Inanda Dam Wall and the Pump House Weir.
Paddlers must get to Finger Neck before 9am, the Inanda Dam wall before 14:00 and Pump House before 17:30.
Ultimately to have your time included in the Non-Stop Dusi records then you must make it to Blue Lagoon by 19:30.
There is often a strong contingent of Martin Dreyer’s Change a Life Academy that take on the Non-Stop and in 2017 the young duo of Mthobisi Cele and Mpilo Zondi were the first boat across the line.
One of the latest entries to come through Non-Stop HQ was the all ladies crew of Kim and Jordan Peek.
The mother and daughter combination have extensive Dusi experience with Jordan winning the 2018 K2 title with her sister Cana while Kim has completed four Dusi’s.
Also entered is Mark Mulder. Mulder is a two-time winner of the Non-Stop and completed the Dusi with Terence Parkin in 2019 where he had to carry their K2 on all the portages due to Parkin needing crutches.
The Non-Stop Dusi will begin at 05:15am on Friday at Camps Drift.