Bridgitte Hartley. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN
Bridgitte Hartley. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN

Pietermaritzburg — After the conclusion of the successful MyLife Dusi Canoe Marathon season, men’s race runner-up Hank McGregor and women’s third-place finisher Bridgitte Hartley have been confirmed as the winners of new Dusi Series titles.

The series was established to put more emphasis on the pre-Dusi seeding and build-up races, with three pre-Dusi races and the Dusi counting towards paddlers’ overall series result, and the Dusi counting for the most points.

The Umpetha Challenge, the Kindo Covers Inanda Dam to Durban and the Lighthouse Design Ozzie Gladwin were the three races that would count alongside the Dusi, and it was ultimately McGregor who collected the most points.

He ended the series with 525 points while Dave Evans finished second with 425 and Thulani Mbanjwa ended third with 400 points.

Euro Steel’s McGregor says a series that adds value to more than just the Dusi is a good way to encourage top paddlers to take part in the build-up events.

“What the series has done is create a race within a race, which increases the appeal to take part in as many pre-Dusi races as you can,” McGregor said. “I race the build-up races as a sort of orientation along the Dusi as well as training, so now these events have an added incentive.

“The first year of something like this will be the phase of getting used to it, but I think next year there will be a lot more emphasis on doing well in the series.”

Women’s series winner and Team MyLife star Hartley believes the series will only get more popular as it grows in the years to come.

“With an incentive to come and race in the build-up races to the Dusi, paddlers from out of the province will also see those races as an opportunity to get more points for the series.

“It’s also a great way for race organisers to reward the paddlers for all of their efforts throughout the Dusi season.”

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