River Canoe Marathon Media Release
31 May 2021
: Dave Macleod
Andy Birkett puts his hand up for Berg Marathon as part of new
Paarl - MyLife Dusi Canoe Marathon champion Andy Birkett has
added his name to the growing list of entries for the Berg River
Canoe Marathon from 7 to 10 July as part of a new reciprocity
between the two oldest paddling events on the national calendar.
The new exchange agreement with the Mylife Dusi will see the
men’s and women’s winners of the Dusi invited to race the Berg
marathon, through the involvement of Kindo Covers, and Birkett
jumped at the opportunity.
Birkett missed out on making the national team to the marathon
world's in Romania later in the year, and quickly set his sights
on the 60th anniversary of the Berg.
"I love this river, the challenge, the grind and the constant
web of channels and choices that you have to execute at speed
but most of all I love the race vibe and people you meet along
the way," said Birkett.
There is a substantial interest in the Berg marathon this year,
which will be run in full compliance with the prevailing
lockdown rules, and the pre-Berg training Ultra Paddle has got
under way with participation by paddlers around the world.
Confirming the deal with the Berg, MyLife Dusi committee chair
Shane le Breton said that, while the races were critically
different, they were both pillars of the South African canoeing
“The MyLife Dusi is characterised by its portages, the KZN
summer heat and the many rocky rapids on the uMsundusi and
uMngeni Rivers, while the Berg takes on the Cape winter,
tree-blocks and long distances, so they seem to be poles apart,”
said le Breton.
“Both of them are household names in South African sport, and
share a history going back more than sixty years. Both races
share champions, as paddlers like Willem and Roelof van Riet,
Mark Perrow, Abbey Ulansky, Robyn Kime, Alexa Cole, Abby Solms,
Hank McGregor and Andy Birkett have won both of them.
“These races are six months apart and are foundations on which
South African canoeing is built. Both are bucket-list events
that every paddlers wants to do, so it is exciting to be able to
formalise the reciprocity agreement with the Berg,” he added.
Under the deal, the winner of the men’s and women’s title at the
2021 MyLife will be invited to race the 2021 Berg, and the Berg
champions will be offered K2 places in the 2022 Dusi.
“It will be exciting to have the Dusi champions on the
start-line of the Berg and to send our champions to the next
Dusi,” said Berg organisers Brandon Macleod.
“During the lockdown year of 2020 we staged the virtual Ultra
Paddle, which has really fired up interest in doing the full
Berg in 2021,” he said.
“We were excited to see how the MyLife Dusi was staged in full
compliance with the lockdown regulations, and that has really
galvanised the paddling community to focus on taking on the Berg
“For some it will be a competitive outing, but for many it will
be a great personal goal to set, and simply completing Berg is a
feather in any paddler’s cap.
“During lockdown we have learnt to be resilient and work towards
goals, and completing the 60th Berg has resonated with the
paddling community,” he added.
More information can be found at
Social media : #Berg2021 #60thBerg
(click to download
Click HERE to download
Canoe Marathon logo - square on white - JPeg
square on transparent background - PNG
winning the Berg River Canoe Marathon in 2014. As the winner of
the recent MyLife Dusi Canoe Marathon he will be taking part in the 2021 Berg River Canoe Marathon as part of a new
reciprocity between the two oldest races on the South African
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