Dusi boils down to Burma portage

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - TOMMY BAL­LAN­TYNE

IN one of the most closely con­tested races in many years two boats will be set off vir­tu­ally to­gether this morn­ing from the Msinsi Re­sort on the banks of the Inanda Dam to con­test the R100 000 win­ner’s purse in the 2010 Hansa Pow­er­ade Dusi Ca­noe Marathon.

The K2 (dou­bles) pairs are Ant Stott and Michael Mbanjwa, both pre­vi­ous K2 win­ners, and An­drew Bir­kett and Ja­son Gra­ham. The pairs have iden­ti­cal over­all times of five hours 28 min­utes and 18 sec­onds – thanks to Stott and Mbanjwa wip­ing out out the 73-sec­ond deficit in yes­ter­day’s stage for the two boats to fin­ish line abreast.

Stott pre­dicted that the de­cid­ing fac­tor in to­day’s third and last stage would, bar­ring ac­ci­dents, most def­i­nitely be the Burma Road portage. “If we are still to­gether at that stage,” said Stott, “and if we both de­cide to run Burma, then the one who crests it first will surely win this year’s Dusi.”

Mean­while de­fend­ing K2 cham­pion Abbey Miedema and her new part­ner Robyn Kime ex­tended their lead in the women’s race to 11 min­utes, post­ing an over­all two-stage time of 6:22:32.

Abby Adie and Lindi-May Harm­sen (6:33:55) over­took Hi­lary Pitch­ford and Jen Hod­son (6:36:21) yes­ter­day to lie sec­ond, two-and-a-half min­utes ahead.

“We were ex­cited to see how full the Um­geni was when we reached it,” said Miedema.

“But we dented our rud­der at Tombi Rapids and then took a swim at Hippo which we took ad­van­tage of to fix the rud­der. Oth­er­wise we had no other mishaps.”

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