This year, Sbonelo Khwela, the eight-time champion is on his way to becoming a world leader in canoeing.
Khwela has done extremely well in K1 and K2, and is preparing to dominate even more, after finishing second at the Dusi Canoe Marathon a few weeks ago.
At the Non-Stop Dusi, paddlers are kitted with a number of several options, that are not available during the three-day Dusi. In this case, paddlers run for much longer stretches than during the Dusi-proper, which is ideal for Khwela. Always having been perceived as a strong runner works to his advantage.
“For this year’s Dusi I focused a lot on my running because it has always been my strength,” said Khwela.
The race runs from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, and because of the landscape, the race comes with a bunch of inherent technical complications. However, that doesn’t seem to bother him in the slightest:
“The mental challenge I find is something unlike anything else,” the 2017 K1 champion said.”You are on your own for hours and hours, especially the section on Inanda Dam. But I just think about my life and what I have done and what I am going to do so I don’t mind it! You only have one day to get to Durban and so you push yourself to the limit for one day,” said the athlete.
“Dusi you have to think about conserving energy for days two and three, but with Non-Stop it’s just flat-out until the finish!I find that my motivation comes from just getting to the finish. It is such an incredible feeling paddling into Blue Lagoon after the Non-Stop. Winning is a bonus, it’s just a race about finishing!”
The Non-Stop Dusi in 2019 will start at Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg at five in the morning, on Friday, March 1.
Sbonelo Khwela photo by
The Redbull sponsored champion will also take part in the Wings For Life World Run, on the sixth of May.