2016 FNB Dusi Canoe
50 Miler DQ doesn’t deter Shongweni’s Dusi hopefuls
Pietermaritzburg – Sbonelo Khwela and Banetse Nkhoesa believe their 2016 FNB
Dusi Canoe Marathon plans are well on track as they look to overcome the
challenge of a stellar K2 field and fly the Shongweni Valley flag high in
February next year.
Despite suffering a minor setback in their build-up campaign this past
weekend when they were disqualified from third place in the StaminaGro 50
Miler Canoe Marathon – a key pre-Dusi seeding race – for taking an illegal
portage, Khwela and Nkhoesa are happy with their partnership’s progress.
“We are just getting better and better the more time we spend together in
the boat and so hopefully come January we will be very close to our best!”
explained Euro Steel/Red Bull’s Khwela.
“It was unfortunate to get disqualified this past weekend; there were two
paths open up Nqumeni (portage) for this year’s Dusi but we didn’t hear the
announcement that we couldn’t take the one for 50 Miler.
“When I saw Murray Starr (and Owen Gandar) go down to the second take-out, I
told Banetse (Nkhoesa) that we were going to go to the first one to compare
“I didn’t realise we weren’t allowed to do it though and so it was
disappointing but we were still very happy with how our two days of racing
at the 50 Miler went!” he added.
While tipped by many as one part of the Dusi’s pre-race podium trio, Khwela
believes the race for even a top ten position will be a grueling one in
“The top ten at Dusi next year will be so, so tough; if you can get a top
ten next year then you are a very good K2!
“To win next year’s Dusi would be a dream come true for us but I can’t put
pressure on Banetse to try push for a win because he has never been in the
top five before.
“So for us, we’d like to be on the podium at next year’s Dusi and if we can
get a win then that would be such a great bonus!” said Khwela.
With the likes of Euro Steel’s Andy Birkett and Lance Kime, Euro Steel/Mocké
Paddling’s Hank McGregor and Jasper Mocké, ADreach’s Len Jenkins and Siseko
Ntondini and a host of other top crews set to be in next year’s Dusi mix,
Khwela believes if the pair are to emerge victorious, they will need a
strong Day One showing.
“It will be very difficult to do but I would love to have a five minute lead
after Day One at Dusi!” said Khwela.
“Lance (Kime) is such a good driver and is so good on Day Two and Hank
(McGregor) is going to be flying to try catch up if he (and Jasper Mocké)
lost any time on Day One so it would be great if we could have a lead after
With the pair – Khwela an ambassador for the Computershare Change a Life
Academy and Nkhoesa a current shining star of Martin Dreyer’s renowned setup
– both hailing from Shongweni Valley, that is where they have based
themselves for training and hope to perform admirably during next year’s
Dusi for their home community.
“At the moment we are trying to work as hard as we can on our paddling at
Shongweni Dam near own home because that is our weaker point.
“It will be tough but if we can win Dusi next year then we will be the
heroes of Shongweni; the party afterwards will be so big that we will have
to slaughter at least two cows!” laughed Khwela.
The FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place from Camps Drift, Pietermaritzburg
to Blue Lagoon, Durban from 18-20 February 2016. More
information can be found at www.dusi.co.za
Click to download the hi-res
FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon logo (Landscape) - GIF
FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon logo
(Portrait) - GIF
Euro Steel/Red Bull's Sbonelo
Khwela (front) and Computershare Change a Life Academy's Banetse Nkhoesa
(back) appreciate the size of the task the face as they look to shine at the
2016 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon in February for their Shongweni Valley
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