As summer rains arrive in KwaZulu-Natal, preparations for the 2023 Dusi Canoe Marathon have begun.
The three-day challenge will run from February 16-18, organizers confirmed on Tuesday. This is despite concerns about water in the province.
“We are confident that Dusi 2023 will start at the traditional starting point, Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg, and finish at the Blue Lagoon in Durban,” said Organizing Committee member Brad Glasspoole.
The April floods devastated the province and highlighted a number of water quality concerns in the greater Durban and Pietermaritzburg areas.
These concerns align with the racing situation, given the importance of the safety and well-being of paddlers undertaking the epic three-day journey from the provincial capital to the ocean.
The organizers have worked closely with the authorities within the various municipalities and are confident that there are plans in place to improve water quality and make Dusi a success.
“The Dusi Canoe Marathon receives three extended freshwater outflows on the course from the Henley Dam, Nagle Dam and Inanda Dam, allowing a significant influx of clean water into the river system,” Glasspoole said.
Addressing the “Dusi guts” issue, Glasspoole mentioned that stats from the 2022 event suggested it wasn’t common.
The results of the 2022 Dusi medical tent and post-event survey statistics indicate a relatively low percentage of paddlers contracting Dusi’s guts.
While acknowledging that work needs to be done to improve water quality, Glasspoole believes boating is a key voice in addressing these issues for the wider community.
What is very important is that we recognize that the water quality is poor and that we as a paddling community need to highlight this issue to help improve the situation.
This is not only for the benefit of our sport, but more importantly for the benefit of the large community living in the Msundusi and uMngeni river valleys.
Given the unprecedented nature of the April floods, organizers are carefully planning the 2023 event and keeping paddlers informed of any developments.
Plans for Dusi 2023 are well advanced with safety teams assessing flood damage to the valley and planning around existing infrastructure.
The committee understands the fluid nature of the event and will exercise any other alternative measures if necessary.
Registration for Dusi 2023 will open in due course and updated information will be available at www.dusi.co.za.
- The article has been edited to correct the date of the event.