The 2015 Dusi Canoe Marathon – 19 – 21 February 2015


Photos:  While the official results and photo gallery will be available in due course, this live timing link provides excellent splits information as well as some of the early photos captured!  Check out the GCU Facebook page as well!

The ultimate world famous canoe endurance marathon, the DUSI, took place from 19 to 21 February from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, a distance of some 120km.  Despite thunderstorms in recent weeks, the storage dams levels were still well below expected levels for this time of the year and most provinces are feeling the brunt of water restrictions.


For Dusi paddlers, this meant the luxury of water releases from the dams that have been a hallmark of the modern Dusi were noticeably reduced.  While the leaders of the race train regularly on the river without water releases and are familiar with all the treacherous channels and islands, it was the out of towners, ie Gautengers, who struggled to find their way on a low level river, with numerous portages, harking back to the tough pioneering days of the early Dusi’ marathon races before dams were built when boats were made of wood and canvas in the 60’s and 70’s, making it one of the toughest Dusi’s in recent years.

The top finishing Gautenger for this Dusi in 2015 was Zonele Nzuza, (Scarc) who originates from the Dusi valley, and finished in 14th position, in 8 hours 52 minutes, with Richard Cele also from the area (VLC) managing to clinch a top 20 finish position, in 8 hours 57 minutes, while Siseko Ntondini (SCARC) just missed the 20th spot coming in at 21st, in 9 hours over the three days, as the 9th Under 23 (SUM NUMEROLOGY THERE!).

Lowveld’s Roger Mortlock finished up in 33rd a good top 50 finish, in 9 hours 12 minutes, as 31st K1, and Shaun Maphanga maintained a 3rd Sub Veteran finish, (FLCC) 37th overall, in 9h15 total time, as 35th K1 finisher, while Thando Ngamlana at 39th across the line (SOW) was 13th Under 23 in 9 hours 16 minutes.

Wayne Jacobs and Dave Hamilton-Brown scored a 2nd K2  finish, in 9 hours 22 over the three days, as 4th Sub Veteran finishers, 41st overall, and Phineas Zulu (SOW) finished in 9 hours 25 minutes, in 44th place.   Alex Roberts (DABS) managed to hold on to a top 50 position coming in 50th overall, 47th K1, in 9 hours 34 minutes, and Siyabonga Tyiki as well as Richard Fly (Sow) and (CEN) although overall 52 and 53, finished as K1 49 and K1 50 (6th Under 18 place for Tyiki ) and Nkosi Mzolo (SOW) was 55th overall, in 9h39.

Sowetan Tom Ngcobo, as well as Lowveld’s Anthony Baird were 58th and 59th overall, in 9h40 and 9h42, while VLC’s Gregory Smith partnered with Brandon Collyer finished 60th as 4th K2.

The Gautengers who managed top 100 finish position included Thulani Ngamlana (SOW) 72nd, in 9h51, Kelvin Byres (Dabs) in 9h55, 80th, Michael Stewart (ERK) 84th in 9h58 still clinching a podium position as 2nd SM, Mark Garden (Dabs) in 10 hours, 86th,  and Barry Painting (Dabs) 92nd, in 10h04.

Raymond Rorich (Cen) in 105, finished in 10h15 as K1 97, still counted as a top 100 then?

Well done to them all.

Well done to our hard working impressive ladies team – with Jane Swarbreck  (Dabs) finishing in 150th overall, as the 6th lady – a TOP TEN finish, in 10h46,  as K1 132.  While Sandra Eardley no longer paddles for Gauteng, she partnered with our Roland Smith (VLC) to finish as 3rd Mixed Double, as K2 20, in 10h54.

Alex Masina (JCC) started off as the 3rd Under 16 but slipped back to finish 5th, as our youngest Gauteng finisher at his first Dusi, finishing as K1 194, in 11h32.

More ladies achievers include Sonja Bohnsack finishing her 16th Dusi as 31st Master K1, and 19th lady, in a time of 13 hours 34 minutes after a 5 year break from river racing (Dabs), while Alexandra Jensen (Dabs) also finished the tough event as 31st lady K1 391, in 14 hours 40 minutes. Monique Steven (FLCC) finished her first K1 Dusi, as F33, in 14 hours 52 minutes, as SV 81.

Doubles ladies included Janine Broli (VLC) who finished her first Dusi with her daughter Roche Krause after years of seconding same from natal, to finish as F37, K2 369 in 15 hours 58, and Minnie Kretzschmar (FLCC) with Carol Evans from Natal, who finished as F45 and SGM 37 in 20h06 – a long tough 3 days!

More ladies found in the Mixed Doubles category  with the top 3 Gauteng finishers being Jireh Serfontein and Reuhl Lombard (CEN/CROCS)  were 18th Mixed double finishers in 12 hours 22 minutes…..while Phillipa Phelp partnered with daddy Anthony Phelp (UCT/JCC) to finish as 29th Mixed double, as K2 182 in a time of 13 hours 6 minutes and Centurions Phil Botha with Christine Human managed to get into the top 50 Mixed doubles finish in a time of 14 hours 10 minutes, K2 282.  Peter and Michelle Dunnett (DABS) were 54th Mixed double in 14h28, but if anyone is still reading this report, I can confirm that despite brutal analysis of the results I was unable to find ANY other podium finishes…….I guess our faster paddlers were much too wise to take on this particularly tough and exhausting race this year – so enough scratching at the bottom of the barrel to make Gauteng look good – well done to all finishers – I still think its a whoozi of a Dusi and nobody with any sense should want to do this extremely hardgoing hardworking exhausting gruelling river race!  (PS please read that paragraph tongue in cheek!)

It was of course very sad for all sportsmen and especially canoeists to hear of the tragic death of Heini Jordaan near the headwaters of Inanda Dam on Day 2 and our sincerest sympathies reach out to all friends and family.

Jennie Dallas

for GCU PR