Next Saturday, South African top paddlers have a date at Gauteng's Rietvlei Rumble, one of the last qualifyiers for Dusi batches. It's confirmed, as everybody suspected, that McGregor will team up with Len Jenkins to face the Dusi. Some of the best Dusi paddlers will be also at the start line: Dusi winners Andy Birkett and Jason Graham, the impressive U23 Kwanda Mhlope and Lance Kime, the former U23 world champion Brandon van der Walt and his partner Clinton Cook and the rising local paddlers Gavin Shuter and Alex Roberts, among many others.
This particular race is held at Rietvlei Dam, under 30 km., where 10 out of them belong to two tough portages through the surrounding prairies and hills. The other 20 km. will be raced in a flatwater course, divided in three stages of 3, 2 and 1 lap each at the circuit.
As Rietvlei is a natural reserve, the entries were limited to 130 paddlers, in order to preserve the environment. In addition, participants will be obliged to ensure there is no waste from discarded drinking bottles and energy gel sachets.
In the ladies race, the main favourites are this season's leading K2 sisters Abbie and Alex Adie, who wants to get their first Dusi, if permitted by defending title paddlers Robyn Kime and Abbey Ulansky.
The competition will start at 7AM, starting with 3 laps at a small circuit completing 10km. Then, a long 6,6 km. portage will take the paddlers through the surrounding prairies to come back to water for a second flatwater stage of two laps. Then, second portage up to a nearby hill and back again to the dam for a final lap of 3,3 km. to the finsih line. A tough morning in Gauteng's altitude, from which results we will inform.