15-17 February 2024

Dusi hopefuls come to the fore at weekend racing

This past weekend saw a number of FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon hopefuls come to the fore as a big two days of qualifying saw a surprise appearance from Andy Birkett to win the 50 Miler while Christie Mackenzie showed her class to win both the 50 Miler and Mfula to eNanda races.

With just a month to go until the iconic race from Pietermaritzburg to Durban A Batch is starting to take shape and the usual Dusi suspects begin to find their form.
For Euro Steel’s Birkett it was going to be the only chance for him to qualify for Dusi so he needed a good performance.

Saturday’s 50 Miler was a tight affair with Birkett only just beating Euro Steel team mate Thulani Mbanjwa while this year’s most low key Dusi hopeful Sbonelo Khwela finished in third place.

Stew Little and Carl Folscher made up fourth and fifth.

2019 FNB Dusi women’s favourite Christie Mackenzie showed why she will be difficult to beat as she dominated on her way to victory by over seven and a half minutes over Jenna Ward.

The Euro Steel/Varsity College ace will be a difficult person to beat in a months’ time.

Former Dusi K2 podium finisher Tamika Haw ended in third place and if she continues this form she will be knocking on the podium door at the Dusi.

Sunday’s Mfula to eNanda race took the through the paddlers through the second half of day two and it was here that Stew Little tasted success.

The Euro Steel/Varsity College paddler managed to beat Euro Steel/Red Bull’s Sbonelo Khwela in an end sprint.

Nqobile Makhanya was the third boat home followed by the Houston bothers Alan in fourth and Andrew in fifth.

Mackenzie once again sounded the alarm when she won her second race in as many days, however Sunday’s win wasn’t as convincing as she only pipped Jenna Ward by four seconds.

Tamika Haw once again rounded out the top three a further 13 seconds behind Ward.

Amy Peckett picked up her second fourth place finish of the weekend while Tracey Oellermann finished fifth.