Canoe Marathon Diary Note
by: Nick Tatham
Exciting early season test at Ozzie Gladwin
Pietermaritzburg - The 2017 Ozzie Gladwin Canoe Marathon, presented by
Parklane Super Spar, is always a widely anticipated early season
hit-out, and with a new route in 2017 it lines up to be an exciting
showdown on Sunday, 26 November.
Moving from it's usual route on the uMngeni River to the uMsundusi River
from Camps Drift to Bishopstowe Hall, paddlers will have the luxury of
some good water levels due to the release from Henley Dam.
This good water level combined with crucial FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon
seeding points means that the Ozzie Gladwin is always a good gauge as to
how many of the top Dusi crews are shaping up going into the season.
The field for this weekends showdown will be a strong one despite a
number of river racing's top names not on the start line, however it is
going to be difficult to look past one crew when eyeing out potential
Euro Steel/Red Bull's Sbonelo Khwela is a master on this specific route,
the route of the Umpetha Challenge, and he is teaming up with
accomplished river paddler and Euro Steel team mate Siseko Ntondini for
the 20km race.
Despite the absence of some of the leading names in river racing, there
will be a number of crews that will be out to stop the Khwela/Ntondini
combination this weekend with one in particular catching the eye.
Having performed brilliantly at the recent ICF Masters World Cup in
Pietermairtzburg where he won gold in both the K1 and K2, Ant Stott will
be pairing up with Clinton Cook for a shot at the title.
Stott's pedigree on the uMsundusi River is admirable and Cook has been
at the sharp end of many river fields, suggesting that their combination
could be a strong one.
There will be a number of crews that will be chasing hard for a shot at
the title with 2016 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon runner-up Banetse Nkhoesa
teaming up with impressive youngster Alex Masina.
Despite Masina suffering from a knee injury the pair should still be a
strong podium threat.
The surprise packages will come from the junior age groups and ICF Canoe
Marathon Junior K2 silver medallists Hamish Mackenzie and David Evans
stand out as podium contenders along with the pair of Stewart Little and
The ladies race definitely has an age group feel to it with the juniors
and Under 23's the ones that look most likely to feature at the narrow
end of the field.
2017 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon runner-up Christie Mackenzie is partnering
up with Kerry Segal for the race and the pair will more than likely go
into the race as favourites.
Pushing them will be the Canoe Marathon World Championship K2 pair of
Caitlin Mackenzie and Amy Peckett.
The duo showed tremendous courage during the World Champs to continue on
after a swim at the start and as a combination are well prepared.
Another ladies duo that will be looking to perform well and will be
making the trip back for the University holidays is the Peek sisters.
Cana, who won the K2 U18 crown with Kyeta Purchase in 2016, will team up
with sister Jordan for the Ozzie Gladwin, presented by Parklane Super
Spar, this Sunday.
The 2017 Ozzie Gladwin Canoe Marathon takes
place from Camps Drift to the Bishopstowe Hall on Sunday 26 November. More information can be found at
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Ozzie Gladwin Canoe Marathon
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Ozzie Gladwin Canoe Marathon
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Paddlers are in for an
exciting early season hit-out at the Ozzie Gladwin Canoe Marathon,
presented by Parklane Super Spar, from Camps Drift to Bishopstowe
Hall this Sunday.
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