2016 FNB Dusi Canoe
Gandar and Starr on track for FNB Dusi podium challenge
Pietermaritzburg – The rapid development of Owen Gandar and Murray Starr and
the exciting young paddling talents’ tremendous run of form in recent months
has confirmed the pair’s status as strong 2016 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon
Having both performed admirably at junior and Under-23 level, the Kayak
Centre/Starsky duo’s recent results at senior level have proven they have
what it takes to compete with the country’s best.
Despite a wealth of talented crews set to take on this year’s FNB Dusi,
Gandar and Starr are confident they have what it takes to mix it up with the
best in the business.
“We like to think a top five is on for us and, if it goes well, then a place
on the podium would be great!” explained Gandar.
“It is going to be such a tough Dusi to call though because there isn’t
water in the rivers so the top crews are not going to race each other Dusi
style before the actual race. It’s a bit like shooting in the dark!
“We really back ourselves for this Dusi though!” he added definitively.
The pair announced their FNB Dusi podium intentions with a third place
effort at the 2015 StaminaGro 50 Miler – a key Dusi seeding race – in
December, a maiden podium for both Gandar and Starr at senior level at any
of the country’s major races.
Gandar then added a first ever K1 top three to his recent list of paddling
achievements this last weekend when he occupied the bottom step of the
podium at the N3TC Drak Challenge in Underberg.
Gandar is pleased with his and Starr’s form and appreciated the rare
opportunity to spend some time on the river during the Drak Challenge but is
reluctant to believe that these performances will have a significant impact
on this year’s FNB Dusi contest.
“The 50 miler was great but it was so early in the season that you really
can’t read too much into those results!
“I was also fairly happy with my Drak result but you can’t read into it from
a Dusi perspective too much either as the Drak is purely a paddling race
while the Dusi is sorted out on the portages.”
“That said though, this season has been pretty unusual because the drought
has meant we’ve hardly had any of the traditional pre-Dusi races to compare
ourselves with the other top crews!”
The pair’s training for the three day clash started during their time
together at Stellenbosch University however Gandar’s recent graduation and
subsequent entrance into the working world has led to a change in their
previous training regime.
“Last year was a good year for our training because we were at university
together and we had time on our side!
“The vibe down at Stellies is also so chilled and the emphasis is on fun,
which really suited us.
“I am in the job market now though, so training time is not that easy to
Aside from having to continue their preparations alone in recent weeks,
Gandar and Starr’s build-up received another untimely setback at the recent
Hi-Q Challenge when Starr tripped over a metal stake in the ground and
dislocated his shoulder.
“The Hi-Q Challenge wasn’t great for us because Muz (Starr) fell and hurt
“Maybe Muz’s shoulder injury is a blessing in disguise though because he
can’t paddle right now so he is having to do more running.
“A low-level Dusi places more emphasis on the paddling, and that’s where Muz
and I are strong, so if we can run well too then we are excited about our
chances!” said Gandar.
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
Kayak Centre/Starsky's Murray
Starr (front) and Owen Gandar (back) are in top form heading into the 2016
FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon and are eager to challenge for a podium position
when the 120km race from Pietermaritzburg to Durban takes place from 18-20
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