Abby Solms (front) and Bianca Haw (back) will be there to add to their personal canoe marathon winners’ tally.
Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media
After finishing second at Lighthouse Designs Ozzie Gladwin last weekend, the two MyLife Dusi Canoe Marathon winners Abby Solms and Bianca Haw have sent a wake-up call to other female crews eyeing the Dusi podium in a month.
In what was their first competitive race together, the duo finished second to Christie Mackenzie and Jordan Peek in what turned out to be a thrilling race and put on a tantalizing contest for the Dusi from February 17-19.
Solms has not competed in the Dusi since winning back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017. She has since started a family, but says she is back in competitive racing, although her body is not not the same as four years ago. .
“I felt like I was in the nightclub on Sunday and the girls got older and more experienced over the years I was away.”
“We went into the Ozzie Gladwin not knowing what to expect and I realized there was still room for improvement but we have five races from here to Dusi to level up. We will train as hard as possible for Dusi – it’s certainly not the same as before for me – but as I said we will work as hard as possible.
Gameplan Media reported that Solms isn’t worried about not being able to train regularly with Haw. “Yankee (Bianca Haw) knows what it takes to win the Dusi so I have complete confidence in her and she’s rock solid in the boat. She’s so fun to paddle with and really brings that element light on the run, which is a nice change.
“Under the circumstances it’s difficult for us because of the distance, but I think with five races to go we’ll be ready for Dusi,” added Solms.
Solms won his last Dusi in 2017 and Haw won his title in 2020, in the last K2 year, so it’s still pretty fresh in his mind.
Endurance paddler Jordan Peek will be going all out to finish strong in the Non-Stop Dusi on Friday.
For Solms, it has been a tricky time to pick up the pace from Dusi. “Yankee asked me in November to paddle Dusi with her and when the comrades transferred in August I was able to commit to Dusi because I needed a goal in the first part of the year .
“I trained hard but I’m a little behind to be honest; I am struggling a bit with my health.
“It means I’ve had to put the brakes on my training a lot, but there’s still just under a month left to go to Dusi, so everything will be fine by then.
“It’s mostly the paddle that worries me a bit and the other girls have improved so much over the years. I was following Jordy (Peek) on the Ozzie Gladwin and she’s a really good boat driver so we’ll really have to be on top of our game at Dusi,” Solms said.