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.