Winner of the K2 race in 2016 with Anna Adamova, Abby had never won the K1 Dusi title before 2017 despite having made the trip down the rivers (Dusi & Umgeni) on 12 previous occasions. As a respected racer, and having had the season of her life with wins in the 50Miler, Drak Challenge, Ozzie Gladwin and other major qualifiers, Abby would always be considered the race favorite.
Day 1 would always be where Abby would be her best, a running/paddling combination through testing terrain but also tricky options where choices could make or break a race. Abby would put her skill, training and river knowledge to good use to build a strong lead in Day 1, to set the tone for the race and put the pressure on those trying to chase her down. Her tactics worked a treat and she finished Day 1 with a lead of just under 10 minutes to second placed athlete, Christie Mackenzie.
Day 2 in the Dusi Canoe Marathon is tough - tough for anyone.
There is a combination of technical river paddling combined with a tough compulsory portage over Ngumeni Hill which is invariably done in sweltering heat. Added to this the day is completed with a 12km flat water paddle over the Inanda Dam. Given the extremely low river levels the athletes were in ankle deep water for the 2km preceding these last tough 12km's making for a difficult day out.
Abby managed this with style, ease and grace - again, testament to her excellent preparation.