Midmar Mile drama adds spice to Dusi build-up
The inaugural Dusi Dash canoe race at the aQuellé Midmar Mile ended in drama as race leader Hank McGregor was spun out within sight of the line, allowing Cam Schoeman to scamper across the line to claim the R8000 first prize.
McGregor, the Team Best 4 Kayak Centre captain, led the race from the gun, and as he approached the finish, more than a boat length clear of Len Jenkins in second he took a tight line against a row of buoys. As Jenkins ran out of water he t-boned the back of McGregor's boat, spinning his into the buoys, and both paddlers ended up capsizing.
Schoeman had sensed the combatant mood and opted to stay well clear, a tactic that paid handsome dividends as he exploited the drama to bolt to the line to claim victory from The Unlimited Dusi defending champion Andy Birkett and visiting Czech paddler Jakub Adam.
An enraged McGregor swam to shore, making it abundantly clear what he thought of Jenkins' tactics. The incident will add some spice to the A batch when The Unlimited Dusi gets under way at Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday 14 February.
"From about halfway I sensed that things were tense so I went inside, and make a point of staying away from the action," said Schoeman. "Turns out that was a good decision."
Birkett, who has been typically low key in the build-up to The Unlimited Dusi, hustled across the line to bag the runners-up cash, just ahead of the first of the two Czech Republic stars.
The women's race saw surfski ace turned sprinter Tiffany Kruger make a welcome appearance, taking the win ahead of Czech racer Anna Adamova and Dusi title contender Abby Adie.