Environmental Concerns Drive Relocation of Dusi Canoe Marathon Start

2024 Dusi Canoe Marathon: Start Venue Relocated Downstream

A significant change for the 2024 Dusi Canoe Marathon has occurred, where the race’s start venue will be officially moved downstream from Pietermaritzburg to the Bishopstowe Country Club.

This decision is influenced by water quality concerns and aims to enhance the paddler’s experience.

Race’s Historical Shift

The 2024 Dusi Canoe Marathon, scheduled for February 15-17, is poised to mark a pivotal moment in the race’s rich history.

The organizing committee has made the noteworthy decision to relocate the official starting point of the race downstream, from Pietermaritzburg to the Bishopstowe Country Club.

The decision to change the race’s starting point represents a significant shift in the history of the Dusi Canoe Marathon.

Addressing Water Quality Issues

The change in the race’s starting point is primarily a response to water quality concerns.

During the 2023 race, the organizers were compelled to move the start from Camps Drift, and competitors embarked on their three-day journey to Durban from the Bishopstowe Country Club.

This marked the first instance since Ian Player’s attempt in 1950, and the first official event in 1951, that the race did not commence in Pietermaritzburg.

The decision to move the starting point in the previous year was a response to water quality issues, leading to the change of venue.

Positive Feedback and Enhanced Experience

The positive feedback received from the 2023 race’s altered start was overwhelming, prompting the organizing committee to opt for Bishopstowe Country Club as the start venue once more.

The committee chairperson, Steve Botha, expressed their belief that this change would significantly improve the paddlers’ experience and make the race far more enjoyable for participants.

The positive response to the change in the starting point led the committee to make the same choice for the 2024 race, aiming to provide an improved and more enjoyable experience for competitors.

Environmental Concerns and Historical Motivation

The decision to move the race’s start due to water pollution is somewhat ironic when considering the historical motivation behind Ian Player’s initiation of the event.

Player’s concern for environmental issues, including pollution, soil erosion, and other ecological challenges, was a driving force behind the race’s inception.

The race serves as a means of raising awareness about the environment and its preservation.

The decision to relocate the start due to pollution has historical irony, as the race was initially founded to raise awareness about environmental issues.

Changes for the 2024 Race

For the 2024 event, the first day will now commence at Bishopstowe, situated approximately 14 kilometers downstream from the traditional Camps Drift starting point.

Paddlers will complete Day 1 near the confluence of the Msundusi and uMngeni rivers, a few kilometers downstream from the Dusi Bridge, the traditional finish venue for the opening stage.

The second day will end at Inanda Dam, and the final day will lead paddlers to Blue Lagoon.

Opening of Entries

Entries for the iconic three-day race to Durban, via the Canoeing South Africa entry portal, are scheduled to open on Friday, November 3, 2023.

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