16-18 February 2023



17, 18 & 19 FEBRUARY 2022


These Rules are subject to change at any time prior to the event, specifically related to amendments to Covid-19 Regulations.



The International Canoe Federation Marathon Racing Rules and the CSA Rules and Regulations will apply to the Dusi.

In the event of the rules set out below being in conflict with the aforesaid International Canoe Federation Marathon Racing Rules and the CSA Rules and Regulations, the rules set out below will apply.


  • Normal Traffic Rules apply in all cases
  • Officials and Marshals instructions and barrier tape are to be obeyed at all times.
  • Cars only allowed to park on left hand side of the road and may only travel down-stream.
  • Sponging only on head and neck
  • Any seconding vehicles or persons caught on roads or in areas that they are not allowed may result in their paddler receiving time penalties or disqualification.
  • Competitors must ensure that their seconds comply with these rules or risk disqualification.
  • All seconding vehicles must have their paddlers second sticker permanently affixed to the windscreen at all times. No seconding is permitted from vehicles without such a seconding sticker thus affixed.
  • For safety reasons weirs, rapids and obstacles may be portaged on either side.
  • The organisers reserve the right to instruct paddlers to withdraw at any point, if in their sole discretion, it is unsafe to continue.
  • As this event falls under CAA control and is a restricted fly zone – NO unauthorised “remotely piloted aircraft” (DRONES) are permitted anywhere along the Dusi route.
  • AGE LIMIT – Entries will only be accepted from qualified paddlers already 15 (fifteen) years of age or older on 1st January in the year of the event.
  1. DAY 1
  • Raced from Camps Drift Canal, Pietermaritzburg to Dusi Bridge
  • The 1st batch will be seeded and start at 06:00.
  • Compulsory paddling to Campbells portage take-outs (Braai take-out / Pine Tree Take out)
  • Sewerage Farm Hop allowed.
  • Compulsory portage from Campbells portage take-out to Campbell’s bridge put-in.
  • The option is to paddle from Campbells Bridge or portage hole in the wall to Guinea Fowl take-out.
  • Compulsory portage from Guinea Fowl take-out to Geoff’s Road put-in.
  • Compulsory paddling from Geoff’s Road put-in to the finish of Day 1 save for Finger Neck and Cabbage Tree portages.


  • No seconding permitted from Low-Level Bridge to the dirt road on the first crest on Braai Take-Out and/or before the crest of Pine Tree Take out.
  • No vehicles are permitted on dirt road running on the crest of Braai Take out or the Crest of Pine Tree portage.

Seconding on foot (no vehicles) is permitted from the first crest on Braai Take-Out to Bishopstowe Hall.

Seconding at Pine Tree take out is permitted (No Vehicles) from the road at the crest of the 1st hill to the first cattle grid on the D389 (adjacent to Mountain View).

  • No parking is permitted on the Bishopstowe Road. Parking only in the designated parking areas off the main road.
  • No second’s vehicles permitted on the D389 from either Bishopstowe or Ashburton.
  • No seconding or seconds vehicles permitted between Bishopstowe Hall and Broken Bridge.
  • (no vehicles or seconds permitted anywhere on Geoff’s road or at the put in as per the previous rule)
  1. DAY 2


  • Raced from Dusi Bridge to Inanda Dam, Msinsi.
  • The leader starts at 06:00, with all competitors in the main class within an hour of the leader leaving in elapsed time.
  • The first batch will start at 07:05
  • Compulsory paddling from the Start to Saddles take-out save that Dusi Bridge Weir MUST be portaged.
  • All elapsed time competitors must paddle from the start and stay in the water to the right-hand portage
  • Compulsory paddling from second Saddles put-in to Ngumeni take out save that paddlers may portage within 200 metres of the river after Confluence to Gauging Weir.
  • Ngumeni Portage is Compulsory.
  • It is compulsory paddling from Ngumeni put-in to the Finish of Day 2.
  • There will be a strict cut-off at the Water Table at the entrance to the Dam of 15:30.


  • No motorized vehicles (including motor bikes) may cross Marianni-Foley causeway.
  • No motorized vehicles may proceed on the left of the river (Pipeline Road) between Marianni-Foley and Mbeje’s Store.
  • Seconders may cross Marianni-Foley on foot or mountain bike only.
  • No persons and/or seconding is permitted on the left-hand bank from Marianni-Foley to the Ngumeni crest.
  • Seconding is permitted from Mbeje’s Store to the Finish on the left bank only.
  1. DAY 3


  • Raced from Inanda Dam, Msinsi to Blue Lagoon, Durban
  • The first batch – “B” Batch will start at 06:00, with a maximum of 15 batches created.
  • The leader starts at 10.45, with all competitors in the main class within one hour of the leader leaving in elapsed time. The Men’s and Women’s elapsed time paddlers will start concurrently.
  • “A” batch will start at 11.55. This batch may include certain paddlers who may be eligible for category prizes who would normally start in other batches. Paddlers in this batch who may be eligible for category prizes may also be moved to lower batches.
  • Compulsory paddling from the Start to the Dam Wall.
  • Compulsory portage from the Dam Wall take-out (left hand bank) to the bridge.
  • Compulsory paddling from the end of the dam portage to the race finish at Blue Lagoon. Paddlers must stay in the water, save that competitors may portage major rapids for safety reasons in high water conditions.
  • Competitors may portage the Pump House Weirs.
  • There will be a strict cut-off at Pump House Weir at 15:00.
  • There will be a strict cut-off at the N2 Bridge at 17:00.


  • No seconders vehicles may cross the bridge below Inanda Dam Wall.
  • Vehicles may only proceed downstream from the Dam Wall towards Molweni.
  • The concrete road from Molweni to Hillcrest (Inanda Road) will be one way only (out of the Valley)
  • As the road is one-way only, seconders must choose to either go out the valley through Waterfall/Hillcrest or if carrying on to Molweni you must use the road out through New Germany.
  • No seconders vehicles may cross the Molweni or Five Fingers Causeway in either direction.
  • Seconding is only permitted on the right bank from the Dam wall bridge to the N2 bridge.

If the organisers, in their sole discretion, consider the river level for a particular day to be extremely low, then they will announce at the start of that day that low river rules will apply, and ONLY IN THAT EVENT, the following may apply:

DAY 1: The rules for the first day will be as set out in paragraph 8, save that rule 8.8 will be replaced by the following rule: LOW RIVER 8.8 From the Geoff s Road Causeway to the broken bridge is compulsory canoeing and paddlers must stay in the water.

DAY 2: The rules for the second day will be as set out in paragraph 9, save that rule 9.9 will be replaced by the following rule: LOW RIVER 9.9 (a) From the said Gauging Weir to Marianni-Foley causeway is compulsory canoeing and paddlers must stay in the water. (b) Competitors may portage within 50 meters of the river between Marianni-Foley causeway and the take-out for the Ngumeni Portage.

The above “low river rules” will only apply if it is announced at the start of a particular day that the low river rules apply for that day. If there is no announcement, the normal race rules will apply.

Where the rules stipulate that a section is compulsory canoeing, competitors must be IN WATER, either paddling or dragging their canoe over an obstruction. Competitors may not run on the bank under any circumstances.


5.1. Each paddler shall:

5.1.1. Stick sponsors or event stickers, if provided, to the back of each paddle blade,

5.1.2. Wear a race bib, if provided,

5.1.3. Stick sponsors or event stickers, if provided, on each side of the canoe, along the seam in front of the cockpit,

5.1.4. Boat stickers may not be altered in any way.

5.1.5. Wear a sponsors or event cap, or face mask, if provided, when interviewed by the media.

5.2. Sponsors branding has exclusivity in the following instances (sponsors only area):

5.2.1. On the front deck and hull of the kayak in front of the front tip of the front cockpit.

5.3. Personal sponsorship, which is not in conflict with the event sponsors, may be displayed in the following areas (shared area):

5.3.1. On the back of the paddle blade, provided it does not cover any part of the event or sponsors sticker/s provided.

5.3.2. On the lifejacket and splash cover, provided this does not obscure any part of the event or sponsor/s bibs provided.

5.4. The paddler may apply personal branding without restriction in the following areas (paddlers only area):

5.4.1. On the deck of the kayak behind the front cockpit,

5.4.2. On the side of the kayak behind the front cockpit line,

5.4.3. On the paddle shaft,

5.4.4. On the paddling shorts and socks of the competitor.

5.4.5. Headgear between the start and finish of each day. Sponsors headgear, if provided, must be worn during all media and other interviews.

5.5. Wearing of club colours by all paddlers is strongly encouraged. However, paddlers may wear any clothing they choose unless an event or sponsors paddling top is provided, in which case ALL paddlers must wear such provided clothing.

5.6. The onus rests on the paddler to ensure that he or she complies strictly with these rules.

5.7. Breach of these advertising/ sponsorship rules will result in the paddler:

5.7.1. Forfeiting any prize money to which he or she may have been entitled,

5.7.2. Risking disqualification and suspension from future Dusi events,

5.7.3. Receiving such further penalty as the Dusi organisers consider appropriate.


6.1. The minimum weights of kayaks/canoes are:

6.1.1. K1 = 12kg

6.1.2. K2 = 18kg

6.1.3. White Water & Touring = 12kg

6.1.4. All Touring: single = 12kg, double = 18kg

6.2. Weights include seats, pumps, buoyancy, stickers, handles and other permanent fixtures, but exclude paddles, lifejackets, splash covers, juice bottles/trippers, GPS etc, or any other non-permanent fitting/equipment. All boats will be emptied of water and pumps will be pumped dry before weighing. No loose or adjustable weights will be permitted.

6.3. It is the paddler’s responsibility to ensure that their boats are the correct weight during the entire event.

6.4. Boats will NOT be scrutinized before the start of the race. The official event scale and weigh master will be available to check kayak weights between 09:00 and 12:00 on the day of registration.

6.5. Top 5 Men’s and Women’s kayaks, plus top 3 Junior Boys and Girls kayaks will all be weighed at the end of each day. Other kayaks will be weighed randomly at the end of each day.

6.6. Any items that are clearly not permanently fixed will be removed before weighing. This specifically includes any items fixed by Velcro; or items fixed by duct tape, if it is clear these items were not intended to be permanently fixed. Any loose items under seats will also be removed.

6.7. No provision will be made for any items that were fixed before the start of the day but have come loose or been lost in the course of competition; except for a lost seat/s which will be accounted for.

6.8. Any paddler/s whose kayak is deemed to be underweight on any given day, may be penalized according to the Race Rules.

6.8.1. Boats between 0 – 200g underweight will receive a 2-minute penalty on each day they are weighed underweight.

6.8.2. Boats between 201g and 500g underweight will receive a 5-minute penalty on each day they are weighed underweight.

6.8.3. Any boats more than 500g underweight will be disqualified.


7.1. Competitors must complete the race in the same kayak/boat and with the same partner in the case of a crew boat, unless the substitution rule is invoked.

7.2 Boats may NOT be repaired in the Boat Pound or within the designated EVENT ZONE at Dusi Bridge and Msinsi Resort, Inanda Dam. Boats may be left in the Boat Pound overnight, but this area may not be accessed once a paddler has left. A boat repair facility is on offer at both overnight stops. Boats may be removed from the valley for repairs subject to Rule 7.1.

7.3 Access to the boat pound will only be granted to the paddler on completion of each day and accredited support crew. Should the area become congested support crew and paddlers will be instructed to leave immediately in order to ensure that the event complies with COVID-19 Regulations. Paddlers, or their accredited support crew who disobey a lawful instruction to comply with COVID-19 regulations may face immediate sanction.

7.4. There will be boat repair stations atboth overnight stops, however damaged boats may be removed from the valley to effect repairs.

7.5. Competitors must carry or drag their kayaks on portages and may not attach any skegs, wheels or the like to the kayak to assist with dragging.

7.6. Any competitor retiring from the race must advise the organisers within 30 minutes or retiring.

7.7. Canoes must be numbered in accordance with CSA Regulations. Numbers must not be obscured by ropes or other items fixed to the boats.


There will be one batch of 60 boats auctioned for these charities and the rules for this will be displayed on the website. Successful bidders will start in in the Charity Batch on all three days of the race no matter what their daily performance or initial grade index may be. Paddlers qualifying for higher batches will be placed in those higher batches unless they inform the organisers that they wish to remain in the Charity Batch.


9.1. Paddlers may be required by SAIDS to undertake doping tests.

9.2. All official functions (including prize giving and media interviews) take precedence over the drug testing. It is the paddlers responsibility to ensure that all official functions are complete before undertaking drug tests.


10.1. By entering the event, all paddlers consent to their entry information being made accessible to sponsors who may use this information for direct marketing or other marketing purposes.

10.2. Any photographs, video or TV images, or any other form of media information obtained during the event including results, may be used by the event organizers or the sponsors for marketing and advertising purposes. Such media material may be altered at the sponsors or event organizers discretion and may be used free of charge in any form.

10.3 Due to C19 regulations requiring a face mask to be worn at all times, save for “during rigorous exercise”.


The organisers of the Dusi Canoe Marathon shall have the right to:

11.1. Amend or add to these rules at any stage.

11.2. Take appropriate disciplinary action against any competitor in breach of these rules.

11.3. Accept or reject any entry.


12.1. Competitors may enter the K1, K2, White Water, Touring or Touring Canadian Classes.

12.2. Touring class kayaks may have rudders and this class will include all K3 s, K4 s and plastic kayaks.

12.3. SUP’s will form part of the Touring Class. The Organizers may decide to make SUP’s a separate class, if so, all SUP paddlers will be notified of this change.

12.4. Touring Canadians must be open canoes paddled by one or two paddlers using single blade paddles.

12.5. The main class will alternate each year between K1 and K2 and the following will apply to encourage competitors to race in the main class.

12.5.1. The first batch on the first day will be for competitors in the main class only.

12.5.2. Irrespective of times on the previous day, there will be no early batch starts for competitors who are not in the main class on days 2 and 3.

12.5.3. No gold medals, silver medals or prizes will be awarded to competitors who are not in the main class, with the exception of the special categories.


13.1. All personal flotation devices worn by entrants must comply with the CSA Safety Regulations and conform to EN ISO 12402-5 ({Level 50}).

13.2. It will be compulsory for all competitors to wear personal flotation devices for the duration of the race.

13.3. All craft must have a minimum of 10lt of buoyancy fixed/tied into both the front and the back of the boat.

13.4. Any of the medical officers or officials shall have the right to order a competitor not to continue with the race if they are of the opinion that the competitor’s health will be endangered by him or her continuing.

13.5. Competitors are warned that the Dusi is raced over dangerous terrain and by entering the race competitors are exposing themselves to certain risks. Neither the KwaZulu-Natal Canoe Club nor any of the organisers or sponsors shall be responsible for any illness, injury or death to a competitor or seconder or for any loss suffered by a competitor or seconder as a result of competing in the marathon.

13.6. Competitors are reminded that they have, either in writing or electronically at the time of registering on the entry portal, signed an indemnity form absolving the organisers from all liability in the event of loss, injury, or death.

13.7. Paddlers are encouraged to take responsibility for their own personal safety on the rivers, and to paddle within their own known level of paddling skill.

13.8. Any competitors failing to observe these rules may be refused the right to start. If he/she has started, he/she may be disqualified.

  1. TRIPS

14.1. Certain sections of the Dusi are raced through privately owned farms.

14.2. The traditional Dusi Open Day of the past has been re-introduced and tripping will be allowed from 05:00 to 13:00 on Sunday 13 February 2022. Paddlers are to park at Bishopstowe Hall and walk using only routes to be used during the race.

14.3. Any trespassing on farmers land outside the Dusi route or the open day period may result in prosecution by the farmers.


15.1. All competitors must register prior to the first day and check-in at their designated pound 30 min before their start time each day. Batch stickers will be issued at the pounds. Competitors may not enter the water until instructed to do so.

15.2. Registration will take place the day before the race from 9am to 6pm at the Dusi Pavilion, Camps Drift, Pietermaritzburg.


16.1. All paddlers seeded in A Batch on Day 1, the top 10 seeded women’s boats and top 5 seeded junior (boys and girls), may be required to attend a VIRTUAL Rules briefing. This will be communicated directly to affected paddlers.

16.2. Paddlers who are unable to attend this meeting will be required to provide written notice of their unavailability to info@dusi.co.za.

16.3. Non-attendance, for any reason whatsoever, of this meeting will not constitute an excuse in the case of disciplinary action during the course of the event.