As the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic continues, former MyLife Dusi Canoe Marathon champion Sbonelo Khwela’s says he will still be on the start line at the 2021 edition of the racing from 18-20 February, trying to balance a new set of priorities in his life.
With competition drying up and the opportunity to win prize money going with it during the nationwide lockdown, Khwela’s has turned to a full-time job as he starts a career in entrepreneurship.
“I brought a truck and have started making bricks at Shongweni for people that are building houses so that is taking up a lot of my time,” the perennial podium finisher said.
“I use my truck to also do deliveries as well so my days are full!
“After our COVID-19 lockdown I knew that I had to make a change in order to support my family and pay the bills at the end of each month.
“I have really enjoyed the change and I enjoy working and selling blocks. It is a satisfying job to see what the blocks we make build when the houses are complete.”
Khwela has completed fifteen Dusi’s and has a plethora of podium finishes and one winners medal, a K2 win with Andy Birkett in 2014, so he shouldn’t have too much trouble negotiating his way to Durban despite a lack of preparation.
“I am still going to race hard and I hope that I can finish on the podium this year,” the Euro Steel/Red Bull athlete said.
“I try and train between about 7am and 8am every day but with my work projects being so new it can be tough.
“I have been racing in all the pre-Dusi races but I don’t have time to do any tripping but I don’t think things would have changed too much and there are guys that have been tripping that will help me.”
Khwela’s Dusi record is one to behold with ten podium finishes in eleven years. He finished third in 2010 and then only finished outside of the top three on one other occasion – that being in 2011 where he finished fourth.
From 2012 to 2020 he has five third place finishes, three second place finishes and a first across both the K1 and the K2 championship formats.