French canoeists Eric Lelievre and Yann Robert have added their names to growing registrations for the Dusi Canoe Marathon 2022.
Dusi 2022 takes place February 17-19, and the French have declared the three-day race a must-see event for any paddler.
French paddlers accomplished to face the Dusi
Lelièvre said the Dusi’s reputation had reached many European paddlers and he and his fellow paddlers agreed that this was an event every paddler wanted to do. He is the current French 200m K1 champion in his masters age category, the Dusi, however, poses unique challenges.
“A South African paddler who became a good friend told me the Dusi was the race to do in a kayaker’s life,” said Levievre, who finished the Dusi 2020 with compatriot Paul Laforte in 188th place .
“On arrival in Durban, we entrusted our boat to a young paddler from Soweto. It was finishing the race by giving back to South Africa some of what we received, ”he said.
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Levievre openly admits that they will face many more challenges than the average Dusi paddler, coming from the European winter with limited training opportunities despite having done the Dusi before.
“The challenge will just finish the race! he said. “Yann and I are pure sprint specialists, but we hope to make it to Durban. “
The duo will join their compatriot Benoit Roger, who has the advantage of having his South African partner Ben Bradford to lead him on the Dusi and uMngeni rivers.
“Benoit is also a sprint champion in his 50 and over age group, but he is fortunate enough to also be the national runner-up in the marathon,” said Lelièvre.
Portage challenges the French
Levièvre said the cold winter would hamper their training. Their limited experience in transporting the boat, however, presents challenges in the city in which they live.
“This part of the race won’t be the best. Even if it would have been a good buzz to run in the streets of Paris carrying a boat! said Lelièvre.
“We are looking forward to having fun, creating great memories and meeting great people,” he said. “You will have to count on good video sessions the day before and good luck the day!