PICTURES | Dusi Canoe Marathon gets underway in Pietermaritzburg

14 February 2019 - 12:43 By Jackie Clausen
Sbonelo Khwela navigating through at Mission Rapids on Day 1 of the Dusi Canoe Marathon. He came in first place.
Sbonelo Khwela navigating through at Mission Rapids on Day 1 of the Dusi Canoe Marathon. He came in first place.
Image: Jackie Clausen

There were thrills and spills in the Dusi Canoe Marathon on day 1 with Race favourite Andy Birkett battling over the rocks at Mission rapids and coming in 1 minute and 20 seconds behind Sbonelo Khwela.

Early race leader Hank McGregor took a spill at Taxi rapids and lost 25 minutes in the Dusi Canoe marathon early on Thursday.

Andy Birkett battles over the rocks at Mission Rapids on Day 1 of the Dusi Canoe Marathon. He came in second behind Sbonelo Khwela.
Andy Birkett battles over the rocks at Mission Rapids on Day 1 of the Dusi Canoe Marathon. He came in second behind Sbonelo Khwela.
Image: Jackie Clausen

Tamika Haw won the ladies race ahead of Christie Mackenzie.

Tamika Haw won the ladies race ahead of Christie Mackenzie.
Tamika Haw won the ladies race ahead of Christie Mackenzie.
Image: Jackie Clausen

The Dusi Canoe Marathon is a marathon canoe race held over three days between Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

Thulani Mbanjwa racing in Day 1 of the Dusi Canoe Marathon.
Thulani Mbanjwa racing in Day 1 of the Dusi Canoe Marathon.
Image: Jackie Clausen

It is run along the Msunduzi and Mgeni Rivers over a total distance of 120 kilometres.

Hank McGregor and Andy Birkett battle it out over Ernie Pearce weir at the start of Day 1 of the Dusi Canoe Marathon.
Hank McGregor and Andy Birkett battle it out over Ernie Pearce weir at the start of Day 1 of the Dusi Canoe Marathon.
Image: Jackie Clausen

The race attracts between 1600 and 2000 paddlers each year, making it the biggest canoeing event on the African continent.

It is organised by the Natal Canoe Club.

Alan Houston paddling through Mission Rapids at the start of Day 1 of the Dusi Canoe Marathon.
Alan Houston paddling through Mission Rapids at the start of Day 1 of the Dusi Canoe Marathon.
Image: Jackie Clausen

The clubhouse is located on the banks of the Msunduzi River, at the exact start point of the race.

Spectators and Maritzburg College boys' school pupils watch the start of the Dusi Canoe Marathon in Pietermaritzburg.
Spectators and Maritzburg College boys' school pupils watch the start of the Dusi Canoe Marathon in Pietermaritzburg.
Image: Jackie Clausen
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