Despite the early January date when many are still recovering or returning from the holidays and the excessive heat wave throughout the week, the ERK Dusi race organised on Homestead Dam did not disappoint and had a fair size field of some 41 boats, which included 30 K2’s making it over 70 paddlers!


The dam is a great place for a training race as it is fairly large and does not require too many laps to make up a good mileage so the scenery is different!  after a violent thunderstorm the previous night following on the extreme temperatures of the previous days, the cool temperatures on the dam were very welcome as the paddlers suffered through their usual portage training program!


Photos are posted on the Facebook/GautengCanoeUnion page, and everybody knows SOMEBODY with Facebook access so please enjoy checking through them and putting out your comments!


It was quite a jockeying situation for the top 3 boats who were very close most of the race finishing only 7 minutes apart in the end with Alex Roberts and Phineas Zulu taking the first position (Dab/Sow) in 1:18:59, followed by Shaun Maphanga who assured us he was recovering from a broken hand after a car accident and had not been training hard so was just going to test the hand out, partnered with Melusi Nxumalo (U23) (FLCC) in 19:06:77, with Richard Cele and Thomas Ngidi (VIC) in 3rd, in a time of 1:19:06:99. Tommy Booth and Jarryd Breeds were the first home grounds paddlers to finish, in 4th, in the time of 1:21.


Megan Hedderwick (Dabs) was the only lady to finish the challenging 18km race with 2 x 1 km portages where paddlers trained running while carrying their boats as required to do the worlds toughest Endurance Marathon Canoeing event, the FNB Dusi which takes place in February 2016.


A few ladies partnered with male paddlers to make up a mixed double which is a recognised category, and the winner in this category was Janet Bartlet with Paolo Magni from Dabs in 1:31, 18th K2.  Tshidiso Bobo and Sneziwe Gxobole (SOW) finished as 2nd Mixed double in 1:35, and a third Mixed double consisted of Peter and Michelle Dunnett (Dabs / ERK) in a time of 1 hour 51.


The winning Sub Veteran Raymond Rorich and Michael Kirkby (CEN) were the 5th finishers in a time of 1:22 and homegrown Michael and Liam Stewart / father and son Gauteng champs were next in 1:24! (ERK)


Malcolm Stothard and Mike Barry (Dabs/ERK) took 7th position as top Masters in 1:25:04, following 1 second later by the  winning Sub Masters Nicholas Warren and Jason Howell (Dabs).


Collen Gibbs and Roger Stubbs (VIC/DABS) finished as first Veterans in 1:28 while Ant Bown (Dabs) finished as the first K1 finisher also a Veteran, in 1 hour 32.


It seems there were no K2 Grand Master teams and the K1 GM paddler first across the finish line in 1:48 was Kim Leslie (CEN) while Keith Beeston and Mark Hall (JCC) were the K2 SGM winners in this K2 event in a time of 1:49, although SGM James Thompson (ERK) had paddled his K1 across the finish line in 1:47.


Mike Howard was the only GGM to finish the race (ERK) in 2:06.


Thanks to ERK for the great training opportunity and good fun!


Jennie Dallas

for GCU PR

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