Change a Life Academy Media Release  No: CAL1901

 28 Jan 2019

 Embargo: None  Written by: Nick Tatham

Change a Life stars building to competitive Dusi

Durban – The Martin Dreyer Change a Life Academy paddlers are in the business end of their preparations for the 2019 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon, and the perennial achievers will once again look to dominate the top 10 between 14-16 February.

As is always the case it has been a busy time of the year for the Valley of a Thousand Hills based paddlers with the pre-Dusi races providing them with the perfect opportunity to hone their skills in racing conditions ahead of the iconic three-day event.

Speaking about the preparations, academy founder Martin Dreyer is excited by how the squad are building up for the race given a tweak to their pre-Dusi approach.

“In the past the guys have tapered off before the pre-Dusi races,” Dreyer said. “They have gone into the 50 Miler and Campbell’s to Dusi Bridge having rested the day before the race but this year they are using those races as training sessions.

“The entire focus is on doing well at the Dusi and used 50 Miler as the perfect dress rehearsal.”

This change of attitude has meant that there hasn’t been as strong a presence at the top of the results; however it is important for Dreyer that they are training well and playing to their strengths come Dusi time.

“There is a fair bit of running at the Dusi and so my guys have focused on running with a boat on their shoulder.

“The guys definitely haven’t ignored their paddling because as much running as there is during Dusi, three quarters of it is paddling.

“Fortunately this year, with the good rains, the team has been able to trip the river, learning valuable lines and getting river wise.

“Working together and seeing where they are going wrong and how to correct those mistakes,” Dreyer explained.

Come the 16th of February there will be a strong presence of Change a Life stars in the Dusi top 10 and Dreyer believes that there are a couple strong top 5 contenders as well.

“Maswenkosi Mtolo has been the most consistent paddler and did really well at the Drak Challenge recently.

“Mthobisi Cele and Mpilo Zondi haven’t fired yet because of their approach to training so I believe that they will be in great shape at the Dusi.

“Banetse Nkhoesa is a former podium finisher at the Dusi in a K2 so he will always be a force to be reckoned with,” mentioned Dreyer.

“But watch out for the dark horse, Khumbulani Nzimande, if all goes well he is going to surprise everyone.”


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One of the most impressive Change a Life stars in recent years has been Euro Steel's Banetse Nkhoesa and academy founder Martin Dreyer believes he will be one to watch at this year's FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon from 14 to 16 February. Anthony Grote/
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