Andy Birkett FNB DUSI CANOE MARATHON CHAMPION 2017

Here's a photo essay on one of the most dominant Dusi performances of the modern era, in the most testing circumstances. What makes Andy's victory so impressive is the quality of field he was up against and the time gaps he continued to put into them on a daily basis. Testament to his meticulous preparation of the entire route and race.

Andy in a class of his own on Day 1
Warm up for Day 2, 6am start for the fastest finisher on Day 1. 2nd athlete, Sbonelo Khwela would start 5 minutes later.

Day 2 is a tough day in the Dusi in anyone's books. It's long, its hard, there are technical rapids and it includes a 12km long flat water paddle over Inanda Dam. With the low waters there were sections in the headwaters of the dam where paddlers were pushing their canoes through ankle deep water.

Day 3 was arguably the toughest day of the Dusi in the modern era, specifically post-construction of the Inanda Dam. With the current drought conditions no water was released from the dam, making it a running race with a bit of paddling thrown in. However, it was the stifling heat which would drain each and every athlete of all their strength and power. Andy confirmed that at Pumphouse Weir, he was concerned that he would not be able to maintain his pace on the run in to Durban. He did that and more, stretching his lead to nearly 20 minutes over second placed athlete Sbonelo Khwela.

The sun would have a major impact on they day, wit temperatures reaching up to 42 degrees Celsius.
Day 3 was all about running and Andy did that in fine style.

A superb performance from a fine athlete, adding another Dusi victory to his belt. It seems that Andy could continue in this fashion for a long while to come. Long may it last and we have the opportunity to capture the images of these great performances.

All images copyright 369Communications (Tim Lubbe and Graham Daniel)

www.369communications.co.za

Credits:

(c)369Communications (Tim Lubbe & Graham Daniel)

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