PIETERMARITZBURG and South African canoeists have long sung the praises of the Dusi Canoe Marathon, and now international paddlers are joining in the fun, with a record number of international entries received for this year’s race — including one from Alaska.
Race spokesman Ray de Vries said yesterday that over 15 countries will be represented in this year’s Dusi, which he said is “a credit to the marketing drive by the event in collaboration with Tourism KZN”.
“We have been working closely with TKZN and have plans going forward for marketing the event globally. We are very excited at growing this segment of entry,” De Vries said.
The international media is also expected to cover the race, which starts tomorrow morning and a 90-minute television package will be aired in the United Kingdom two weeks after Saturday’s finish.
Locally, De Vries said this year will see the introduction of the Hansa Powerade Dusi Radio on FM 100.5, which will broadcast race information and updates in the areas covered by paddlers on each day. There will also be a live audio update on eTV each morning from 6 am, and live crossing to the overnight stops and finish on Supersport.
“In the 14 years that I have been promoting this race, I can say that I haven’t seen a Dusi so ready to welcome the 2 000 paddlers and their 3 600 seconders and supporters expected for the three day visit to KZN.
“It is now a case for us as organisers to expect the unexpected, the Dusi always spits out a surprise or two, but we are ready for that. All systems are in place,” De Vries said.