With a record entry for the KwaZulu-Natal Canoe Marathon Championships at the weekend, the preparations for the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships from September 4 to 10 shifted up a gear as the local organising committee started fine-tuning logistics for the global showcase, now just 45 days away. More than 280 local paddlers raced across the junior, under-23, senior and masters age groups, contesting the K1 titles last Saturday and the K2s on Sunday, with the course and set-up getting widespread approval from the participants and spectators. "The atmosphere at the KZN Champs was fantastic," said Andy Birkett, silver medallist at the 2016 World Championships. "Often the KZN Marathon Champs is boring and slow, but this weekend was unbelievable. "For those that are waiting to race, the venue is so cool because you can almost see all the action on the course, which makes Camps Drift so unique as a marathon venue. Especially that last ‘hot lap’ where you can see the last turn and t...

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