Hi Guys… Sorry for delay with an update. I know I have een slack, but here it is!!!
Firstly, my super Dusi second has written a great little piece on his experience at the great race. If you enjoy good creative writing, please have a quick read here http://scratchingsofdan.blogspot.com/
All good my side of beautiful South Africa. I have taken a little break fro competitive paddling and enjoying the other natural beauty our country has to offer on my mountain bike. I am doing Sani2C with my old K2 marathon partner Shaun Biggs which I am super excited about. The last time I raced with Shaun was when we came 2nd at World Marathons in France back in 06. I always love racing with Shaun as he is tough as nails, never gives up but always has a jol. I just hope he waits for me on the downhills and single tracks as he is completely fearless as well.
I have been riding quite a bit on the hills and single tracks of Tokai Forest and really have enjoyed it, so for now the boat and paddles will collect a bit of dust as I allow my upper body some time off after 10 years of non stop competitive canoeing and let my legs do some burning for a change. Not sure when I will mae a full return to the boat but for now I am loving my 2 wheels
I have got another container coming over to South Africa in the next few weeks. If you are looking for a new boat for marathons or sprints, or a surfski, please let me know as soon as possible so that I can give you all the relevant information and finalise the order. Email me on email@example.com
Well its been a real long time so I thought that I would sit down for 5 minutes and give a brief update as to whats been going on my world. As I am sure everyone is well aware, I have decided to do the Dusi this year. I am also pretty sure that most people know that I am doing Dusi with the guy from Cape Town called Steve Farrel. Two and half months ago, I also never knew about Steve and that Steve lived a couple km’s away from me, that he could run like the wind and he can also paddle pretty damn quick. I was discussing with Nic Burden about doing the Dusi and he asked if I would consider doing it with his mate Steve as he is a good runner and good paddler. Thing is, he’s never done the dusi. Infact, beside for a couple average finishes in the Fish and Breede, he hasn’t really done many river races. He does have good surfski results and has finished in the top 5 at the Knysna half marathon so I knew he can run and paddle but that was about it when I agreed to give Steve a call and discuss the Dusi.
Having not qualified for the Olympics, I am just enjoying my training and racing at the moment. When I decided to commit to Dusi with Steve I said that Dusi was going to be fun and while we would train hard, our focus would be to have a jol and I would introduce a new paddler to the magic of Dusi. I must admit I was very suprised when we jumped in the boat for the first time. Our combination just seemed to click and we would be able to grind pretty effortlessly. Our first run on the other hand was a different story. To put it simply, I got smashed and had to pick my ego up off the floor. It was then that I realised that I was potentially paddling with one of the most talented Dusi paddlers around. Our preparations have gone pretty well. Our biggest challenge has been learning the river which has been frustrating as when we have been in Natal there hasnt been much water and for Steve to learn to run with a boat on his shoulder. I believe that we have done our best to prepare from Cape Town but unfortunately there are still a lot of unknowns going into the race. We have seen all of day one and day 3 but only the portages of day 2, so day 2 will be a bit stressful for us, but we are just going to take it as it comes.
So with 6 days to go until the canon blasts at the start of Dusi, we are very excited. I have really enjoyed seeing the preparation for Dusi through the eyes of a novice and its been amazing to see Steve evolve into a Dusi athlete (although he still wears massive shoulder pads). Coming into the race as a complete outsiders is very cool as there is no pressure on us. Even our own expectations are pretty relaxed as we are just striving to race our own race see what happens.
Big thanks to Kayak Racing for the awesome racing boat, Carbonology Sport for my paddles, Orka paddles for Steves paddles, Williams Hunt for my continued sponsorship and a car for the week that we are up in Natal for the Dusi, Oakley for the sunglasses and New Balance for the shoes. All you guys rock and we will be striving to make you proud.
Just a quick note to let you know that Nelo is sending a container over filled with boats that the British Olympic sprint team will be using on a training camp for a few weeks in South Africa and then selling afterwards. This is a great opportunity to get the best boat on the market without the hassle of transport admin and costs. I am helping to sell the boats for Nelo here in SA so if you are interested in buying one of the sprint boats at a real good price or if you want to take advantage of a container coming over and ordering a marathon boat, K2 or surfski then contact me ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2011 marathon world champs has come and gone and I am happy with how well I did, while at the same time completely disappointed. I had a great race. After the start I found myself well positioned on first wave for the first 2 kms of the race. There was a big front bunch of about 8 boats and about half way through the first lap there were a lot of intervals while the paddlers were jockying for position. My gameplan for the race was not to get involved in any of the early intervals and try and save myself for later on the race. The heat in Singapore is very intense and I knew that if too much effort was expended early on then I would pay later on in the race, especially considering that my base was exactly that big after years of 200m training. I eased up and waited for 2nd bunch to join me. I joined forces with Ben Brown and Ben Fouhy in the second group and we all worked very well together, keeping in touch with the front guys, but not closing the gap too soon either.
After 3 laps we eventually joined the front group and after some intervals and reshuffling the group now included 6 boats. Hank and myself for SA, Portugal, Spain, Hungary and New zealand. At this stage I was feeling brilliant and I started to believe that I was going to win a medal. Hank and I worked very well together ensuring that neither of us ever sat 2nd wave. It was a great advantage having 2 SA boats in the front bunch and we made the most of it.
On the last lap my lack of real long distance training started to show and I started to feel some real fatigue. The race finished with a portage and then a 800m sprint to the finish line. on the run in to the portage we were caught by 2 boats, a Czech and German. Now a 8 boat strong group, I got a little boxed in coming into the last portage and only ended up taking out towards the back of the group. I had a good portage but still put in 4th behind Hank and a Czech guy that had just caught us from behind and then the Hungarian guy. Hank and Czech had about 5 seconds on me and the Hungarian. We chased very hard but werent able to close the gap and the race finished Hank first, Czech 2nd, Hungarian 3rd and me 4th, about 5 seconds off the pace.
A huge well done to Hank who had a fantastic race and flew the flag high for SA. I really wanted to be on that medal podium also but unfortunately I just ran out of gas in the dying stages. I am however very proud of my attempt to get back on top of the marathon racing world with such a short preparation time. Next year I hope to be back and to fight for that medal that eluded me this year.