15-17 February 2024

Mtolo and Khwela bounce back to winning ways

Pietermaritzburg – The 2024 Dusi Canoe Marathon is shaping up to be a fascinating battle with the racing at the weekend once again throwing up a tight contest between the main protagonists.

On Sunday, Msawenkosi Mtolo and Sbonelo Khwela bounced back from losing their unbeaten record for 2024 to claim victory in the Kayak Craft Bishopstowe to Dusi Bridge event, the final Dusi Canoe Marathon preparation race.

The day before, Banetse Nkhoesa and Siseko Ntondini proved they were very much in contention for Dusi glory with victory in the SMG 50 Miler, while Mtolo and Khwela finished third, with Banetse Nkhosa and Siseko Ntondini claiming second.

Add in the somewhat unknown form of 13-time champion Andy Birkett and his young Eastern Cape partner Matt Fenn, and it looks like a fascinating three-way battle for glory could be waiting for Dusi enthusiasts on February 15-17. Fenn and Birkett have not been able to race any of the preparation races on the route, but they certainly have the pedigree and should be up front at the Dusi.

Sunday’s victory for Mtolo and Khwela was their third victory in four Dusi preparation races, after they also claimed wins at the Kindo Covers Ozzie Gladwin and the Geoff’s Road to Saddles events in January.

By finishing second on Sunday, Nkhoesa and Ntondini in turn have now recorded one win, two seconds and a third in the four big indicators of Dusi form, and they look to be peaking at exactly the right time. All four races have been tightly contested affairs with less than a minute separating the main crews.

Another combination to be watched next week is that of Saturday’s runners up, Bongani Ntinga and Sandile Mtolo, who have yet to record a win this season, but have been getting ever-closer to the winners and are clearly contenders for at least a podium position.

In the women’s race, Jessica Behn and Abby Solms dominated the final preparation race on Sunday, and with three wins from the three races they have taken part in, they will be confident their preparations are on track to claim victory in the Dusi on February 15-17.

Hilary Bruss and Bridgitte Hartley ended second in the women’s race on Sunday, but the 22-minute deficit to the winners will be concerning in a race over almost the entire opening day of the Dusi.

Entries for the Dusi are via the Canoeing SA entry portal at https://paddler.canoesa.com/

For more information please visit https://dusi.co.za/

Weekend Results
Saturday
SMG 50 Miler
MEN
1 Siseko Ntondini / Banetse Nkhoesa 1:41:56
2 Bongani Ntinga / Sandile Mtolo 1:42:24
3 Sbonelo Khwela / Msawenkosi Mtolo 1:42:34
4 Thabani Msia / Nqobile Makhanya 1:48:17
5 Lindokuhle Maphumulo / Minenhle Ngubane 1:48:19
6 Sanele Mbanjwa / Smilo Mthethwa 1:48:24
7 Hlelani Radebe / Raymond Mfanufikile Radebe 1:49:50
8 Murray Behn / Ross Palframan 1:53:49
9 Benjamin Mntonintshi / Mpendulo Mthethwa 1:56:01
10 Jabulani Lucky / Cliffton Bridge 1:58:57

Women
1 Jessica Behn / Abby Solms 2:10:43
2 Hilary Bruss / Bridgitte Hartley 2:13:30
3 Lorna Oliver / Debra Lewis 2:37:49

Singles
1 Jacques Theron 2:01:09
2 Mmeli Cele 2:02:12
3 Fergus Johnson 2:15:40

Mixed
1 Scott Rogers / Michaela Geytenbeek 2:21:22
2 Abbey Hackland / James Hackland 2:26:28
3 Nosipho Mthembu / Zamokuhle Meyiwa 2:28:08

Sunday
Kayak Craft Bishopstowe to Dusi Bridge
Men
1 Sbonelo Khwela / Msawenkosi Mtolo 1:58:33
2 Banetse Nkhoesa / Siseko Ntondini 1:59:06
3 Bongani Ntinga / Sandile Mtolo 2:01:23
4 Thabani Msia / Nqobile Makhanya 2:03:55
5 Kwandokuhle Mzolo / Thulani Mbanjwa 2:05:09
6 Siyanda Gwamanda / Mvelo Ngidi 2:05:50
7 Dirk van den Berg / Alan Houston 2:06:58
8 Lindokuhle Maphumulo / Minenhle Ngubane 2:09:30
9 Benjamin Mntonintshi / Mpendulo Mthethwa 2:12:33
10 Jabulani Lucky / Cliffton Bridge 2:17:15

Women
1 Jessica Behn / Abby Solms 2:32:51
2 Hilary Bruss / Bridgitte Hartley 2:54:58
3 Sarah Jones / Tayla Isaac 2:57:23

Singles
1 Donsumhlaba Xulu 2:34:40
2 Mbongiseni Dlamini 2:36:35
3 Fergus Johnson 2:39:17

Mixed
1 Dave Mckenzie / Helen Buley 2:29:12
2 Scott Rogers / Michaela Geytenbeek 2:37:00
3 Raymond Mfanufikile Radebe / Nosipho Mthembu 2:42:50