The legend of the Dusi Canoe Marathonstarted in December 1951,
when a mere 8 paddlers set off from Alexandra Park in
Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, on the inaugural
non-stop canoe race to Durban. Ian Player was the
only man to complete the race.
This and the subsequent 3 marathons were all held on a non-stop
basis. However, because of the dangers associated with night
racing, the organisers of the marathon decided to split the race
into 3 stages and this has been the practice ever since.
Today, thiscanoe marathonattracts over 2 000 paddlers and many
more thousands of spectators along the Msunduzi River.
The first day of this gruelling canoe marathon is a 45km stretch
from Camps Drift to Dusi Bridge, with 15km of portaging due to
On day 2, paddlers do another 45km from the Dusi Bridge, a trip
that ends with a 10km stretch on the Inanda Dam. The last day is
35km, from Inanda Dam to Blue Lagoon in Durban. Paddlers can
compete in either the K1 and K2 canoe class.
History: In 1893, William
Foley and Paul Marianny from Pietermaritzburg decided to take a
trip down the Msunduzi River. The 2 men arrived in Durban 7 days
later and set a precedent that would see their trip down the river
being turned into one of the world's most famous canoe marathons 58