15-17 February 2024


15, 16, 17 FEBRUARY 2024

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

  • Amend or add to these rules at any stage.
  • Take appropriate disciplinary action against any competitor in breach of these rules.
  • Accept or reject any entry.


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

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.

1.1. Sponging only on head and neck.
1.2. Normal Traffic Laws apply in all cases.
1.3. Officials and Marshals instructions and barrier tape are to be obeyed at all times.
1.4. Cars only allowed to park on left hand side of the road and may only travel down-stream. Unless instructed otherwise by a marshal.
1.5. Seconders and Seconders vehicles may not, under any circumstances, block either driveways or portages.
1.6. 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.
1.7. 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.
1.8. Apart from serious offences, the practice of relegating the paddlers associated with offending seconds to the last batch on Day’s 2 and 3 for minor offences on Days 1 and 2 will be implemented. Please ensure that your seconds understand the rules and follow them.
1.9. Competitors must ensure that their seconds comply with these rules or risk receiving time penalties or disqualification.
1.10. For safety reasons weirs, rapids and obstacles may be portaged on either side.
1.11. The organisers reserve the right to instruct paddlers to withdraw at any point, if in their sole discretion, it is unsafe to continue.
1.12. As this event falls under SACAA control and is a restricted fly zone – NO unauthorised aircraft or “remotely piloted aircraft” (DRONES) are permitted anywhere along the Dusi route.
1.13. 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.
1.14. Where the Rules state that a section of river is “compulsory paddling”, the paddler MUST BE IN THE WATER. You can paddle up to an obstacle and portage around the obstacle BUT must put back in immediately below the obstacle. You may not shorten the course in any way by portaging.

2. DAY 1
2.1.1. Raced from Bishopstowe Country Club / Hall to Mphaya Bridge (second Saddles put-in).
2.1.2. The 1st batch will be seeded and start at 06:00.
2.1.2. Compulsory portage from Bishopstowe Hall to Campbells put-in.
2.1.3. Paddlers may only cross the Campbells Bridge to put in on the right bank (no portaging).
2.1.4. Compulsory paddling from Campbells put in to Guinea Fowl take-out.
2.1.5. Compulsory portage from Guinea Fowl take-out to Geoff’s Road put-in.
2.1.6. Compulsory paddling from Geoff’s Road put-in to Dusi Bridge save for Cabbage Tree portages.
2.1.7 Compulsory Paddling around Finger Neck.
2.1.8 Compulsory portage at Dusi Bridge weir – RIGHT BANK ONLY – UNDER THE BRIDGE.

2.2. All boats are to be removed from the valley overnight. There is no boat pound at Mphaya Bridge.

3.5. No parking is permitted on the Bishopstowe Road. Parking only in the designated parking areas off the main road.
3.6.1 Seconders will be permitted to travel in ONE DIRECTION TOWARDS DURBAN on the D389 – Dirt Road leading to Campbells Put In and then out to Ashburton.
3.6.2 Parking will be permitted on the field near Bishopstowe Hall.
3.6.5 NO PARKING on the road between the Bishopstowe Tar Road and the Hole in the Wall portage gate.
3.6.6 NO SECONDING or stopping on the D389
3.8. No vehicles or seconds permitted anywhere on Geoff’s Road (D2170) or at the put-in.
3.9. A route via Table Mountain has been open to seconds. This is not a fast route but will cut out the traffic jams in town. Study The Dusi Map for directions.
3.10 MISSION RAPID – The land adjacent to Mission Rapid is privately owned.
3.10.1 Permission has been given for seconders to access this area BY FOOT ONLY.
3.10.2 Parking is permitted on the field ABOVE the bridge or on the verge.
3.10.3 No vehicle (car or motorcycle) access to the field adjacent to Mission Rapid.

4. DAY 2
4.1.1. Raced from Mphaya Bridge to Inanda Dam, Msinsi.
4.1.2. Compulsory paddling from Mphaya Bridge (second Saddles put-in) to Confluence
4.1.3. Optional Portage from Confluence to Gauaging Weir.
4.1.4. Compulsory paddling from Gauging Weir to Ngumeni.
4.1.5. Ngumeni Portage is Compulsory. Paddlers may use the old/early takeout or the new take out. At the crest of the hill paddlers may take an existing path or portage down the road.
4.1.6. Paddlers may NOT cut any new paths on any part of Nqumeni Hill.
4.1.7. Seconders may NOT second anywhere on the uphill slope of Nqumeni portage – from the takeout to the top of the first hill. The positioning of “top of the first hill” will be as per the interpretation of the race officials at this point)
4.1.8. It is compulsory paddling from Ngumeni put-in to the Finish of Day 2 save for Thombi.
4.1.9. There will be a strict cut-off at the Water Table at the entrance to the Dam at 15:30.

4.2.1. No motorized vehicles (including motorcycles) may cross Marianni-Foley causeway. An E-Bike is not considered a motorcycle or motorised vehicle.
4.2.2. Seconders may cross Marianni-Foley on foot or mountain bike only.
4.2.3. No motorized vehicles may proceed on the left of the river (Pipeline Road) between Marianni-Foley and Mbeje’s Store.
4.2.4. No persons and/or seconding is permitted on the left-hand bank from Marianni-Foley to the Ngumeni crest.
4.2.5. Seconding is permitted from Mbeje’s Store to the Finish on the left bank only.

5. DAY 3
5.1.1. Raced from Inanda Dam, Msinsi to KCC, Blue Lagoon, Durban
5.1.2. Compulsory paddling from the Start to the Dam Wall.
5.1.3. Compulsory portage from the Dam Wall take-out (left hand bank) to the bridge.
5.1.4. 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.
5.1.5. Competitors may portage the Pump House Weirs.
5.1.6. CUT-OFF 1 15:00 There will be a strict cut-off at the first Pump House Weir.
5.1.7. CUT-OFF 2 17:00 There will be a strict cut-off at the N2 Bridge.

5.2.1. No seconders vehicles may cross the bridge below Inanda Dam Wall.
5.2.2. Vehicles may only proceed downstream from the Dam Wall towards Molweni.
5.2.3. The concrete road from Molweni to Hillcrest (Inanda Road) will be one way only (out of the Valley).
5.2.4. 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.
5.2.5. No seconders vehicles may cross the Molweni or Five Fingers Causeway in either direction. Note that at the time of drafting these Rules, neither Molweni nor Five Fingers Causeway exist following the floods.
5.2.6. Seconding is only permitted on the right bank from the bridge below the Dam Wall to the N2 Bridge.

6.1. The onus rests on the paddler to ensure that he or she complies with these rules.
6.2. Each paddler shall:
6.2.1. Stick sponsors or event stickers, if provided, to the back of each paddle blade,
6.2.2. Stick sponsors or event stickers, if provided, on each side of the canoe, along the seam in front of the cockpit,
6.2.3. Wear race bib/s, if provided. If a single bib is provided it must be worn, unobscured, on the front lifejacket. If 2 bibs are provided, they are to be worn, unobstructed, on the front and back of the lifejacket.
6.2.4. Boat stickers may not be altered in any way.
6.2.5. Wear an event supplied sponsors/event cap, if provided, when interviewed by the media.
6.2.6. Sponsors branding has exclusivity in the following instances (sponsors only area):
6.2.7. On the front deck and hull of the kayak, the area in front of the front tip of the front cockpit.
6.2.8. Personal sponsorship, which is not in conflict with the event sponsors, may be displayed in the following areas (shared area):
6.2.9. On the back of the paddle blade, provided it does not cover any part of the event or sponsors sticker/s provided.
6.2.10. On the lifejacket and splash cover, provided this does not obscure any part of the event or sponsor/s bib/s provided.
6.2.11. The paddler may apply personal branding without restriction in the following areas (paddlers only area):
6.2.12. On the deck of the kayak behind the front cockpit,
6.2.13. On the side of the kayak behind the front cockpit line,
6.2.14. On the paddle shaft,
6.2.15. On the paddling shorts and socks of the competitor.
6.2.16. Headgear between the start and finish of each day.
6.2.17. Wearing of club colours by all paddlers is strongly encouraged. Paddlers may wear any clothing they choose unless an event or event sponsors paddling top is provided, in which case ALL paddlers must wear such provided clothing.
6.2.18. Breach of these advertising/ sponsorship rules will result in the paddler:
6.2.19. Forfeiting any prize money to which he or she may have been entitled,
6.2.20. Risking disqualification and suspension from future Dusi events,
6.2.21. Receiving such further penalty as The Dusi Organising Committee consider appropriate.

7.1. The minimum weights of kayaks/canoes are:
7.1.1. K1 = 12kg
7.1.2. K2 = 18kg
7.1.3. White Water & Touring = 12kg
7.1.4. All Touring: single = 12kg, double = 18kg
7.2. 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.
7.3. It is the paddler’s responsibility to ensure that their boats are the correct weight during the entire event.
7.4. 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.
7.5. 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.
7.6. 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.
7.7. 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.
7.8. Any paddler/s whose kayak is deemed to be underweight on any given day, may be penalized according to the Race Rules.
7.9. Boats between 0 – 200g underweight will receive a 2-minute penalty on each day they are weighed underweight.
7.10. Boats between 201g and 500g underweight will receive a 5-minute penalty on each day they are weighed underweight.
7.11. Any boats more than 500g underweight will be disqualified.

8.1. 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.
8.2. Boats may ONLY be repaired in the designated Boat Repair area at Msinsi Resort, Inanda Dam. Boats may be left in the Boat Pound at Msinsi Resort overnight.
8.3. Boats may be removed from the valley for repairs subject to Rule 8.1.
8.5. Competitors must carry or drag their kayaks on portages, but may not attach any skegs, wheels or the like to the kayak to assist with dragging.
8.6. Any competitor retiring from the race must advise the organisers (telephonically or via Whatsapp) within 30 minutes of retiring.
8.7. Canoes must be numbered in accordance with CSA Regulations. Numbers must not be obscured by ropes or other items fixed to the boats.

9.1. There will be a single batch of 20 boats auctioned to raise funds for charitable causes. 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.

10.1. Paddlers may be required by SAIDS to undertake doping tests.
10.2. 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.

11.1. 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.

12.1. Competitors may enter the K1, K2, K3, K4, White Water/Touring/SUP.
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.
12.6. The first batch on the first day will be for competitors in the main class only.
12.7. 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.
12.8. 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 South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) 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 Canoe Marathon is raced over dangerous terrain and in potentially poor water quality and that by entering the race competitors are exposing themselves to certain risks. Neither the Dusi Canoe Marathon 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 event.
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.
13.9. Water safety marshals and Rescue Teams will NOT advise racing paddlers on the line to take, save for instructions on safety issues which must be obeyed without question.

14.1. Certain sections of the Dusi are raced through privately owned farms.
14.2. The traditional Dusi Open Day which permits tripping will be allowed from 05:00 to 13:00 on Sunday 11 February 2024. Paddlers are to park at Bishopstowe Hall and walk using only the routes to be used during the race.
14.3. Any trespassing on farmers land, outside of The Dusi route or the open day period, may result in prosecution by the farmers and possible sanction by The Dusi Organising Committee should the actions of the paddler bring the event into disrepute and/or affect access to the route of the event through the actions of the trespasser/s.

15.1. All competitors must register prior to the first day and check-in at their designated pound at least 30min 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 Bishopstowe Country Club, Pietermaritzburg (29°36’0.24″S 30°27’39.44″E).

16.1. All paddlers seeded in A Batch on Day 1, the top 10 seeded women’s boats and top 5 seeded junior boats (men & women), will be required to attend a Rules briefing. This will be communicated directly to affected paddlers.
16.2. The Rules Meeting will take place at 10:00 on Wednesday, 14 February 2024 at the Bishopstowe Country Club.
16.3. Paddlers who are unable to attend this meeting will be required to provide written notice of their unavailability to info@dusi.co.za at least 24 hours prior. The Dusi Organising Committee reserve the right to accept or reject such notices.
16.4. 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.

17.1. A media briefing will be held at 11.00 on Wednesday, 14 February 2024 at the Bishopstowe Country Club.
17.2. All paddlers who are obliged to attend the race rules meeting are required to remain at Bishopstowe Country Club for the media briefing, unless instructed by the Organising Committee that they are not required.
17.3. Non-attendance of the media briefing may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the rules of the event.
17.4. Paddlers who are unable to attend this briefing must provide written notice of their unavailability to info@dusi.co.za before 16:00 on Tuesday, 13 February.

18.1. A Women’s batch will be in place on Day 1 – C Batch (K2 Women’s seeded boats)
18.2. Boats seeded in this batch may not ride the waves of boats from any other batch on Day 1.
18.3. The other K1 and K2 women will be entered into their equivalent batches further down the field and may ride any wave.
18.4. On Day 2 the women’s boats will be seeded as they fall in the field based on the results of the preceding day.
18.5. On Day 3 the Women’s K2’s within 60min of the leading Woman will be started in Elapsed Time at 07:00
18.6. On Day 2 and 3 there is no restriction on wave riding, save that clear collusion with a stronger men’s team to drag a woman’s boat through the field will be penalized.

19.1. The first day batching is based on the Dusi Seeding Rules. as advertised Seeding Races. Position within the A Batch rows is by random draw.

20.1. Start Time 06.00
20.2. A BATCH 60 boats
20.2.1. 3 Seeded row paddlers will have received special stickers indicating their row and their draw position in that row. Start procedure will be a little different from last year for A Batch and will be as follows: 05:40 “A” Batch to the start line 05:55 Fish Eagle Call 05:57 “A” Batch paddlers called to the starting lines. 05:58 Paddlers under starters orders 06:00 Start
20.3. The 3 start lines will each be between 2 markers on the field about 5m apart, demarked by ropes and wide enough to accommodate 20 boats each.
20.4. The three rows will start separately about 1 min apart to allow some spreading of the field before entering the narrow portage.

20.5. From the time the paddlers are called up to the start lines they are under starters orders. The STARTER may start the race as soon as he/she is satisfied that the rows are straight.

21.1. Paddlers must ensure that they are lined up BEHIND the buoys/markers, with a clear space between the nose of their boat and the buoys/markers. Any paddler who has his nose past the line of buoys/markers when the race is started will receive a two-minute penalty.
21.2. If a competitor commences running/paddling after the word “Ready” and before the word “Go”, he or she has made a false start.
21.3. A competitor who attempts to start before any instruction is deemed to have made an unfair start.
21.4. A competitor who attempts a false or unfair start will be warned.
21.5. A second warning will result in the imposition of a two-minute penalty.
21.6. A third warning will result in the competitor’s disqualification from the event.
21.7. A disqualified competitor must leave the water/course immediately.

22. The balance of the batches will be allowed onto the water/start area as soon as the preceding batch has been started and will be called up to a single line immediately.
22.1. Day 1 batches are as follows.
22.2. A Batch (Seeded Male) K2’s 06:00 three rows of 20 1min apart
22.3. B Batch (Seeded Male) K2’s 06:10
22.4. C Batch (Seeded Female) K2’s 06:20
(40+ Dusi finishers) K1’s & K2’s 06:25
22.5. D Batch 06:30
22.6. E Batch (26+ Dusi finishers) K1’s & K2’s 06:40
22.7. F Batch (Charity Batch) K1’s & K2’s 06:50
22.8. G Batch (20+ Dusi finishers) K1’s & K2’s 07:00
22.9. H+ Batches K1’s & K2’s 07:10 (at 10-minute intervals)
22.10. Between 20 and 30 boats with mixed K1’s & K2’s.

23. DAY 2
23.1. Start Time 06:00
23.2. Batches for Day 2 will be available on the www.dusi.co.za and on the KNCU RACE INFORMATION WhatsApp group.
23.3. 06:00 to 07:00. Elapsed time start for all the K2’s within 1 hour of the leader.
23.4. All paddlers must start in the water.
23.5. Batch Starts
23.5.1. A Batch K2’s 07:05
23.5.2. B Batch K1’s & K2’s 07:15
23.5.3. C Batch K1’s & K2’s 07:25
(40+ Dusi finishers) K1’s & K2’s 07:30
23.5.4. D Batch (26+ Dusi finishers) K1’s & K2’s 07:35
23.5.5. E Batch (Charity Batch) K1’s & K2’s 07:45
23.5.6. F Batch (20+ Dusi finishers) K1’s & K2’s 07:55
23.5.7. G+ Batches K1’s & K2’s 08:05 (at 10-minute intervals)
23.6. All boats will be batched according to Day 1 finish times.
23.7. There will be no K1’s in elapsed time or “A” Batch.
23.8. Batch stickers will be issued at the start pounds from 05:00. There will be three pounds used progressively, listen for instructions from the starter.

24. DAY 3
24.1. Start time 07:00
24.2. All boats will be batched according to their overall race times from Day 1 and 2.
24.3. Batches for Day 3 will be available on www.dusi.co.za and on the KNCU RACE INFORMATION WhatsApp group.

24.4. 07:00 to 08:00. Elapsed time start for all the K2 Men within 1 hour of the leading man. Elapsed time start for all the K2 Women within 1 hour of the leading woman.
24.5. The remaining batches must start on the water from behind the start line.
24.5.1. A Batch (60 boats) K2’s 08:05
24.5.2. B Batch (30 boats) K1’s & K2’s 08:10
24.5.3. C Batch K1’s & K2’s 08:15
(40+ Dusi finishers) K1’s & K2’s 08:20
24.5.4. D Batch (26+ Dusi finishers) K1’s & K2’s 08:25
24.5.5. E Batch (Charity Batch) K1’s & K2’s 08:30
24.5.6. F Batch (20+ Dusi finishers) K1’s & K2’s 08:35
24.5.7. G+ Batches K1’s & K2’s 08:40 (at 5-minute intervals)

25.1. Prizegiving will take place at approximately 14:00 on Saturday, 17 February 2024.
25.2. Special trophies and silver medals will be read out.
25.3. Position 1, 2 & 3 in each category will be presented with medals
25.4. Prize winners must be present at prizegiving in order to receive their awards. Should a participant not be present, the prize, including any prize money, will be forfeited.

26.1.1. The Race Committee shall comprise a minimum of 3 of the following:
• Steve Botha
• Ian Macdonald
• Mike Coetzer
• Duncan May
• Brad Glasspoole
26.2. The Dusi Committee may appoint, at its sole discretion, additional members. In the case of a member of the race committee being unavailable for any reason whatsoever, the race committee may elect additional members.
26.3. The Race Committee shall:
26.3.1. Hear any protest lodged by a competitor and deal with any dispute between competitors;
26.3.2. Hear the opinion of any race official who reports any improper behaviour / breach of rules by a competitor or seconder;
26.3.3. Decide whether the race rules have been infringed;
26.3.4. Impose such penalties, including disqualification, as they consider appropriate; and
26.3.5. Notify the competitor in writing, in person or telephonically (this may include SMS, Whatsapp, Email) of the penalty, giving brief reasons, and noting the time and date of notification.

27.1. Protests relating to an incident in the race must be submitted to a member of the race organising committee, in writing within 1 (one) hour (or such longer period as the race committee may allow) of the last of the competitors involved in the incident completing the course for that day or retiring. Any protest must be accompanied by a fee of R500, which may be refunded if the protest is upheld.
27.2. Any individual, or persons, submitting a protest must remain at the race venue until such time as the race committee, and or race jury, have heard the protest have given permission for the protestors to leave the valley. The race committee, and or race jury, may at their sole discretion, give permission for the protestors to leave the valley subject to said individuals being available via cellphone / virtual meeting until conclusion of the appeal. In the event of the protestor/s not being present for any hearings, the race committee or jury may dismiss the protest at their discretion.

28.1. Competitors have the right to appeal to the race jury against a decision of the race committee. Any appeal shall be submitted in writing to a member of the race organising committee, within 1 (one) week of the competitor being notified of the race committee’s decision and shall be accompanied by a fee of R1000 which may be refunded if the appeal is upheld.

29.1. The Race Jury shall be confirmed prior to the start of the event.