As the entry for the MyLife Dusi Canoe Marathon continues to balloon towards last year’s K2 race entry, paddlers gearing up for the three day journey from Pietermaritzburg to Durban have welcomed news that they will get water releases for all three stages of the race.
Thanks to the wettest summer in thirteen years dams in the uMsundusi and uMngeni catchment areas are spilling, leaving Umgeni Water in a position to assure paddlers that they river will be full for their race that starts at Camps Drift on 18 March.
Henley Dam above Pietermaritzburg will provide a full water release for the first day of the race, offering paddlers a comfortable medium river level in the uMsundusi, all the way to confluence with the uMngeni midway through the second stage.
The great news for paddlers is that water will also be released from Nagle Dam which will top up the river level when the two rivers meet on Friday’s second stage, making the paddle through rapids like Washing Machine, the Cascades, Gumtree, Hippo and Thombi exciting.
The cherry on the top for competitors will be the water release from Inanda Dam on Saturday to carry the paddlers into Durban for the 36km final stage on the lower uMngeni.
Kevin Trodd the KwaZulu-Natal Water Liaison officer said the final stage would provide a memorable paddle.
“We will be monitoring the rainfall in the week leading up to the race, but at this stage we are expecting a good release of water on the final stage, with the ecologists motivating for an environmental flush,” he said.
With the Burma Road portage still out of bounds, the good water assured for the final stage will make the paddle on the uMngeni around Burma Road very enjoyable for the paddlers.
“This will be the 70th anniversary of the first ever Dusi, and it is fitting that the paddlers that have committed to doing the 2021 race, at the end of a tough year of lockdown frustrations, will get to enjoy fantastic water levels in both rivers,” he added.
News of the good water has triggered a surge of late entries for the race. Late entries will be take until midday on Tuesday the 16th March.