Tripping and Racing





What an absolute pleasure this rain has been. What is good for the farmers is good for the paddlers. 

On Saturday I took four of the guys on their first ‘tripping session’ of the Dusi. We jumped in at Dusi bridge, ran saddles (the locals are using both paths, so are in surpringly good nick. The odd niggly thorn branches will be trimmed come December), paddled down to Gum Tree (pointed out the ‘Everest Rock’ that I use as a level indicator to determine what lines to take) and continued down the Confluence. The gammy rudder on my K2 finally came to an end after shooting Washing Machine smoothly. To the entertainment of the folk on Popes Walk, scampering along the river right bank, I proceeded to bash my way down to Gauging Weir where I changed my K2 for a K1.

The hyacinth washed free from the recent high water constricted the channels  before Ngumeni takeout. Gum Tree was a breeze. Guys were fearful of Tombi, we stopped and checked it out – they were amazed how easy it was.  Hippo was very blocked up with Hyacinth on the right where the guys wanted to portage so they made a channel. I opted to paddle the left main channel, it  isn’t as difficult as it looks and is very quick. We climbed out at Umfula Store.     

Sunday’s Popes Challenge saw a considerable drop in the river level, making lines more challenging. Nkosi got the best result coming 12th. I paddled in and around Lucas – 19th (4th at Ozzie Gladwin), Mkhonzeni-22nd, Skhumbuso-28th, and Zonele-29th. However upon approaching the dam, our group broke up as the guys periodically had to empty (even on the flat water) their canoes. Nhlanhla came 39th, Richard 48th. Mmeli did fantastic for his first trip on the Dusi, placing 2nd under 16 boys, only 55secs behind first. To my astonishment, half the guys raced with no juice. This problem will be addressed before next weeks race. Let’s consider how the increase in taxes affects the demand and supply go to the company writing essays curves

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