A member of the ERK heads towards Dusi

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Farrarmere resident and East Rand Kayaking (ERK) member Kyle Laxton will be competing in the Dusi Canoe Marathon from Pietermaritzburg to Durban February 17-19.

Laxton started canoeing at the age of seven with Benoni Sea Scouts at Homestead Dam. The 18-year-old then joined the ERK where he has been paddling ever since.

“I mostly do canoe polo and I am a national canoe polo player. I did the Fish Canoe Marathon in 2019 and paddling the Dusi has been a dream of mine ever since,” he told the City Times.

The Dusi River has a number of portages. Paddlers will have to take their boats out of the river and run or walk through hills and valleys.

Laxton said he was well prepared for any challenges.

“I’ve been training for the past two months at ERK doing a lot of flat water paddling to build strength and endurance as well as getting seat time in the boat. I also raced a lot with my boat,” he said.

This 120 km long race has three stages. The first stage is 42 km and includes 15 km of portage. The second stage is the longest and takes paddlers to the Inanda Dam and includes 11 km of flat water paddling. The third stage is a 36 km race towards the finish line at the Blue Lagoon in Durban.

Laxton told the newspaper he was ready for anything.

“I am well prepared for the Dusi as I have done all my homework on the river and rapids and prepared for all eventualities by having repair kits and spare paddles and boat parts.

“As this is my first Dusi, I spent a lot of time talking to those who have done this epic ride before and gathering information and tips and tricks wherever I could.”

To prepare for the Dusi, Laxton said he competed in the Klip River Canoe Race and the Drak Challenge in the Underberg to build up his stability in choppy waters.

“As this is my first time in the Dusi, the objective is to finish the race and arrive in Durban in one piece.”

Nine other ERK members will also take part in this epic three-day race that runs along the Msunduzi and Umgeni rivers.

Read also: A canoe dream come true for a duo

Also Read: MyLife Dusi River Race Moved to March

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