It has been a busy 2016 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon build up for the junior pair of Cana Peek and Kyeta Purchase who have sounded a few formidable warning shots to the other ladies crews that they will be pushing for an overall podium spot at the 2016 event starting from 18-20 February.
The Under 18 pair have performed well in the initial seeding races that have come up for the FNB Dusi and have, strangely, been one of the only finalised FNB Dusi crews that have been taking part in the early races.
For Purchase combining with Peek has been simple.
“We became good friends at World Marathon Champs in Hungry recently so that has carried over to our partnership in the boat where we don’t have any arguments.”
Getting the partnership right and combining well as a combination on the water is one of the toughest challenges for a new crew however Purchase feels that her and Peek have managed that without a hiccup.
“Blending as a crew together in the boat has not been a problem because we are both paddlers. It’s not like we are two amateurs with poor paddling styles so it has been easy for us in that regard because we know what we are doing.
“As a pair we complement each other really well because she is an incredible runner and I am a strong paddler.
“Her paddling is strong but I would say that she is a stronger runner so I think that where I lose on running she makes up for it and where she loses on paddling I make up for it,” she added.
With the festive season in full swing the pair will be looking for opportunities to train together however with quite a hectic 2016 schedule lined up for Purchase getting the hours in could prove to be difficult.
“I hope that we will be able to get some good training in but my coach is being quite strict because I still have flat-water marathon racing that I want to focus on as well as maybe going into sprints.
“We have a World Cup in Pietermaritzburg in April so I have that as one of my other big focuses at the moment so I have to try and split my training so I can fit it all in,” a busy Purchase added.
Despite still being amongst the junior ranks at the 2016 FNB Dusi the pair have set their ambitions higher than that and Purchase is confident that they can achieve their goal of a senior podium spot.
“We obviously want to win the Under 18 category but if we can do well overall then that should take care of itself.
“The crew to beat will be Abby (Solms) and Anna (Kožíšková) without a doubt and we all know that but with Jenna’s (Ward) partner only coming out in January it is going to be a good race for the rest of the podium.
“It is going to be a great race and at the end of the day we are just hoping to get through it as well as we can and let the results take care of themselves,” concluded Purchase.