Czech Republic marathon paddling star Jakub Adam is no stranger to the FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon having raced to an impressive third with Cam Schoeman in his maiden Dusi in 2014, however Adam is hoping that he can recreate some of that form in a K1 when he takes on the famous race from 16-18 February.
Adam and his 2016 K2 partner Jason Graham had to withdraw from the race due to Graham falling ill but despite this Adam continued and finished the race in a K1, his first finish in a single canoe at the three-day race.
The 30 year old Euro Steel star is no stranger to the paddling conditions in South Africa having spent a lot of time training and racing amongst some of the strongest paddlers in the world at his Natal Canoe Club base in Pietermaritzburg.
Despite understanding what to expect, Adam has never done the full Dusi in a K1 and he understands the challenge that the race is going to serve up with tough portages and some potentially scorching days in the valley.
“I am really looking for to doing my first full Dusi in a K1,” Adam said. “It is an incredible challenge, one that I am really looking forward to because I have been training really hard for the race this year.”
Adam is a flat-water marathon specialist which means he has the stamina to match the paddlers at the front end of the field however with so many different factors to consider during the Dusi he is going to have his work cut out for him if he is to reach his goal.
“I want to finish in the top ten this year and I think if I have a good race I will be able to finish there.
“There are some difficult sections of the river that I am going to have to get through and I am still not entirely confident with my river skills but I have been working really hard and will do the Dusi seeding races this weekend to get myself a bit more familiar with the river,” a hopeful Adam added.
With a goal of ending inside the top 10 at this year’s race Adam will be up against one of the strongest K1 fields assembled with a number of paddlers vying for a spot in that elusive top 10. Although the marathon ace understands the difficulties that he will face he also knows what to expect from the other paddlers.
“Everyone is training really hard and I know that it will be difficult to get into the top 10 but I feel that I am in good shape and I really feel confident when my training is going well.
“My confidence takes a bit of a knock when I am not paddling well or am tired so I will need to stay strong and be confident that I have done enough preparation when the race comes around!” he mentioned.
Despite his tough 2016 Dusi and the pressures of pushing for a top 10 spot, Adam is also looking forward to the other side of the Dusi.
“I am really looking forward to the atmosphere that surrounds the Dusi as well as the support and kindness shown by paddlers towards each other, it is a very special race!”