18 January 2012
Four intrepid paddlers will take part in The 2012 Unlimited Dusi canoe marathon in a K4 canoe in a bid to raise money for prosthetic limbs for needy youngsters living in the Valley of a Thousand Hills.
The idea is the brainchild of Craig Gibson, who has co-opted the services of friends Shane Wright, Craig Wright and Clint Lawson to try and navigate the long, unwieldy craft through the 120 kilometres of tight rocky rapids along the river between Pietermaritzburg and Durban.
Only once before in the history of the race has a K4 finished the race, but the boat took a pounding from repeated contact with rocks. Conventional wisdom says the task is extremely difficult; even the popular K3 craft shy away from the race.
‘Paddle for a Limb’ project’
The “Paddle for a Limb” project aims to raise enough money to provide new prostheses for four youngsters living in poor homes in the valley who otherwise would never be able to afford the artificial limbs. Outdoor power product manufacturer Husqvarna has stepped in to back the initiative.
Craig Wright, one of the four brave paddlers, runs a prosthetics business in Pietermaritzburg and has undertaken to make and fit the artificial limbs for the youngsters, who will be selected by former Dusi champ and Change-A-Life Academy head Martin Dreyer and the head of the race committee Cameron Mackenzie.
“We know it is a near impossible task and one heck of a challenge, but we decided to take it on because we feel so strongly about this cause,” said Shane Wright.
‘It is going to be tough’
“Depending on the river conditions we are going to have to portage a lot more than other paddlers, so we know it is going to be tough,” he added.
He urged fellow paddlers and supporters of The Unlimited Dusi to back the fundraising initiative by making a donation to the trust set up for the project, which will be audited by CA Guy McEwan.
Banking details for those wishing to pledge their support in the form of donations are:
Craig Gibson Family Trust
Acc no: 62179904175
Branch: Midlands Mall/Branch code: 257355
(Fax proof of payment to 086 613 6444)
The Unlimited Dusi canoe marathon takes place from 16 to 18 February, starting at Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg and finishing at Blue Lagoon in Durban.
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