CMH and First Support FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon 2017

Dusi Conaoe Marathon

CMH and First Car Rental are official vehicle sponsors to the 2017 Dusi Canoe Marathon.

  • When: 16, 17, 18 February 2017
  • Where: Natal Canoe Club, Pietermaritzburg to Blue Lagoon, Durban

February 2017 - The CMH Group, and wholly-owned subsidiary, First Car Rental, are proud to be the Official Vehicle and Transport Service Providers to the 2017 Dusi Canoe Marathon.

Dusi Canoe Marathon

Andy Birkett and Lance Kime navigate the rapids during the 2016 Dusi Canoe Marathon.

Dusi History

The Dusi Canoe Marathon was founded in 1951, and covers roughly 120km between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, on the East Coast of South Africa.

It is the biggest canoeing event on the African continent, and one of the world’s most popular river marathons, attracting between 1600 and 2000 paddlers each year.

The Race

The race is held in mid-February every year, to take advantage of the summer rainfalls. Temperatures can be extreme, often exceeding 40-degrees Celsius in the valleys.

The race starts on the uMsunduzi River that runs through Pietermaritzburg using water released from Henley Dam.

The route is not marked and the onus is on the paddlers to learn the route and the safe lines down the more demanding rapids and weirs.

Dusi Canoe Marathon

Sbonelo Khwela and Banetsi Nkoesa portage in The Valley of a Thousand Hills during the 2016 Dusi Canoe Marathon.

The race is unique in that it includes numerous portages where the paddlers carry their craft over hills, either to cut out unrunnable rapids and cataracts, or to eliminate long loops in the river. Most of these portages are through thick bush on steep and undulating terrain, and several of them are around 4km in length.

Stage One (day 1) of the race is 42km long, from Camps Drift in the city of Pietermaritzburg to Dusi Bridge, a remote area outside Cato Ridge close to Nagle dam.

Stage Two (day 2) is the longest and hardest stage, 46km from Dusi Bridge to Msinsi Resort on Inanda dam outside Hillcrest, and ends with 11km of flatwater on the dam.

Stage Three (day 3) is 36km from Inanda dam to Blue Lagoon in Durban, starting with 4km of flatwater on Inanda dam and ending with 10km of flatwater on the tidal estuary into the finish. Each finisher receives a Dusi medal and a commemorative race garment.

The Sponsorship

First Car Rental is providing three branded 10-seater passenger vans that will be used to transport various service providers and volunteer groups.

  1. For the volunteers that will help drive vehicles on the 3 days as part of our shuttle offering.
  2. For volunteers (mainly school children) that help pack boats in pounds and sort out the start procedure and layout each day.
  3. For the Promo staff who will assist in the finish shoots handing out drinks and moving boats etc. at the end of each day.

The CMH Group will be providing vehicles that are used by several of our volunteers, VIPs and media.

Many of the Dusi volunteers do not have vehicles suitable for extensive dirt road use or carrying equipment.

  • • These volunteers will be using appropriate CMH loan vehicles for carrying admin equipment, tables and chairs, catering equipment, and to tow water carts and boat trailers for retrieval of stragglers or broken boats, supporting bikers and sweep crews.
  • •Two additional CMH vehicles will be used for shuttling VIPs to hotels and other event venues, collecting from airports and other venues where necessary.
  • • CMH Group are also providing four vehicles with drivers as a media convoy. The Dusi media contingent is driven in these vehicles and follow the sharp end of the race for accurate, real-time reporting.


Need to rent a car for the Dusi Canoe Marathon? Click here to book your car through First Car Rental.

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