Dusi debate heats up after 2020 Ozzie Gladwin

(c) Euro Steel/Graham Daniel

A month out from the 2020 Dusi Canoe Marathon, this past weekend’s Ozzie Gladwin Canoe Marathon fired up the debate around which crews are fancied to challenge for the 2020 Dusi honours as the make-shift crew of Hank McGregor and Hamish Lovemore took overall honours.

While the Ozzie Gladwin doesn’t take place on the Dusi route it is the largest one day canoe marathon in the country with a key mix of flatwater racing, portaging and river challenges and once again attracted a large field of around 450 paddlers hoping to qualify for the Dusi and also improve their seeding at the sharp end of the field.

2018 K2 Dusi champion McGregor has confirmed that he won’t be taking part in this year’s Dusi as he continues his recovery from a bout of shingles he picked up towards the end of 2019 but he showed how strong he is, as he and Lovemore won an exciting end sprint.

One of the most consistent combinations throughout the Dusi build up has been the pair of Stewart Little and Jacques Theron. The duo continued their strong build up with a second place finish this weekend.

Third place on Sunday went to the unheralded pair of Bongani Ntinga and Alex Masina while Banetse Nkhoesa and Msawenkosi Mtolo finished in fourth and the dangerous combination of Sbonelo Khwela and Thulani Mbanjwa were fifth.

The ladies race saw the Haw sisters make a strong statement as they managed to just fend off the challenge from Jenna Ward and Kyeta Purchase and the crew of Bridgitte Hartley and Tracey Oellermann.

If the ladies race at the Ozzie Gladwin is anything to go by the women’s race at the Dusi could be another humdinger. The top three crews finished within 45 seconds of each other as the Haw sisters laid down their marker.

Ntinga and Masina’s result saw them take first place in the Under 23 race while it was the Michaelhouse pair of Sam Butcher and Matthew Milward who took the Under 18 boys category.

The under 18 pair of Georgina Howard and Saskia Hockly were the fourth women’s crew over the line and the first Under 23 women’s crew over the line.

There is one last opportunity for crews to get their seeding up ahead of the Dusi at the Campbell’s to Dusi Bridge race on 16 February.

The 2020 Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place for 27 to 29 February 2020.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS – Ozzie Gladwin Canoe Marathon

Overall
1.Hank McGregor/Hamish Lovemore 1:42:13
2.Stewart Little/Jacques Theron 1:42:14
3.Bongani Ntinga/Alex Masina (U23) 1:43:49
4.Banetse Nkhoesa/Mswanekosi Mtolo 1:44:37
5.Thulani Mbanjwa/Sbonelo Khwela 1:44:42
6.Carl Folscher/Ant Stott 1:45:20
7.Alan Houston/Andrew Houston 1:45:44
8.Jabulani Gwamanda/Siyanda Gwamanda (U23) 1:47:41
9.Scott Little/Hamish Mackenzie (U23) 1:48:20
10.Thabani Msia/Mvelo Ngidi (U23) 1:48:32

Women
1.Tamika Haw/Bianca Haw 1:59:31
2.Bridgitte Hartley/Tracey Oellermann 1:59:44
3.Jenna Ward/Kyeta Purchase 2:00:14
4.Georgina Howard/Saskia Hockly (U18) 2:09:48
5.Melissa van Rooyen/Kim Peek 2:11:38