Change a Life Academy Media Release  No: CAL1602

9 Mar 2016

 Embargo: None  Written by: Kyle Gilham

Non-Stop Dusi blitz by Change a Life paddling stars

Pietermaritzburg – The unrivaled endurance and determination of Martin Dreyer’s Computershare Change a Life Academy Zulus during the recent 2016 Non-Stop Dusi Canoe Marathon saw nine of the Valley of a Thousand Hills’ outfit form part of six out of the top seven crews at the grueling 110km race.

Academy ambassador Sbonelo Khwela (Euro Steel/Red Bull) paced himself perfectly throughout Friday, 4 March’s ‘Dusi in a Day’ to add a maiden K1 Non-Stop Dusi victory to his four previous K2 triumphs.

Tellingly, Khwela’s time was nearly a full hour slower than his K1 record effort in 2015, evidence of just how tough conditions were on the day due to the current drought.

“I am humbled by the tenacity and self-belief of all our Change a Life Zulus, dominating this year’s hardcore Non-Stop Dusi!” said Dreyer.

“The uMsundusi and uMngeni Rivers were both extremely low and, when added to the heat and the race’s incredible distance, just finishing was a huge ask let alone producing the results that our guys did.

“Hats off to Sbonelo (Khwela); he didn’t panic when some of the K2 crews attacked early on and then made the double canoes pay when he was able work his way to the front in the race’s second half, almost carbon copying the route I used during my first Non-Stop Dusi win back in 1999!” he added.

CAL member Sboniso Shozi secured his career best result when he accompanied former academy product Thulani Mbanjwa (Build it/Williams Hunt) to second place while the all-CAL pair of Cele brothers, Richard and Nhlanhla, rounded out the podium.

On the back of his remarkable third place FNB Dusi effort with Khwela two weeks prior, CAL’s Banetse Nkhoesa added yet another chapter to his fairytale recovery from a pre-Christmas stabbing incident by racing to fourth place with Alan Houston (Seed co.).

Two further CAL pairs – Mmeli Cele and Mthobisi Cele as well as Mzamo Zondi and Khumbulani Nzimande – then added sixth and seventh places to the tally.

“These Non Stop results are our team’s best ever, just going to show what incredible talent there is in the Valley of a Thousand Hills!” said Dreyer.

“As I fly to Barcelona, Spain on Thursday to attend the World Paddle Awards ceremony as a finalist in the Foundation Category, I leave on such a high!

“Holding thumbs things can work out for our academy at the World Paddle Awards as well as they did at this year’s Non-Stop Dusi!” he added.

With the KwaZulu-Natal river marathon season drawing to a close, the academy’s attention now turns to the local mountain biking season and the RMB Change a Life MTB Academy members started strongly at the Sappi Howick MTB Classic on Sunday, 6 March.

Mazwi Smimango led his Team’s charge, finishing ninth behind some of the province’s top professional elite riders, while Ndumiso Dontso (12th), Sipho Khupiso (16th) and Bongumusa Zikhali (20th) will be well pleased with their opening efforts, making it into the top twenty overall.

1.Sbonelo Khwela 8:43.03
2.Thulani Mbanjwa/Sboniso Shozi 8:55.04
3.Richard Cele/Nhlanhla Cele 8:59.23
4.Alan Houston/Banetse Nkhoesa 9:08.20
6.Mmeli Cele/Mthobisi Cele 9:14.12
7.Mzamo Zondi/Khumbulani Nzimande 9:16.55


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Computershare Change a Life Academy members Richard Cele (right) and Nhlanhla Cele (left) cross the finish line to claim third place at the recent 2016 Non-Stop Dusi Canoe Marathon. Supplied/
Gameplan Media

Computershare Change a Life Academy members Mthobisi Cele (left) and Mmeli Cele (right) celebrate their 2016 Non-Stop Dusi Canoe Marathon sixth place finish with academy founder Martin Dreyer (centre). Supplied/
Gameplan Media

Computershare Change a Life Academy member Mzamo Zondi (centre) receives support from his seconding crew while carrying his K2 on his own as his partner, Khumbulani Nzimande, tries to recovers on one of the final portages of the pair's 2016 Non-Stop Dusi Canoe Marathon seventh place effort. Supplied/
Gameplan Media
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