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- Sunshine Ladies Tour starts fourth season in January
- Weber wins SA’s final gold medal of African Champs
- Tough going in Tongyeong for SA’s Radford
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- Winning start for Ellis as Banyana beat Egypt
- Skhosana’s promise to take SA even further forward
- It’s 50 medals for SA at African Championships
- Top-ranked Williams does the double
Kime increases Dusi lead ÔÇô even after a spill
- Updated: February 15, 2013
Overnight women’s leader Robyn Kime extended her lead in the women’s race of The Unlimited Dusi after an eventful day two, raced between Dusi Bridge and the Inanda Dam on Friday, which saw the triple defending champ break her own day two record by over six minutes.
Despite the cool conditions overcast skies, on the water the competition was hot as fortunes fluctuated throughout the day with Kime’s race being seconds away from being destroyed midway through the day.
For Kime, Hippo Rapid almost spelt the end of her Dusi challenge when she got it all wrong and wrapped her boat in the pool below the rapid. ÔÇ£It was one epic incident,ÔÇØ she said. ÔÇ£I took the day very conservatively, but I often swim at Hippo. There’s only one place you can break your boat at Hippo, but I found it.
ÔÇ£My boat was almost folded in half. I managed to save it before it totally broke and was very surprised when it simply popped back into shape. I thought ‘that’s it, it’s gone’,ÔÇØ she admitted.
It took Kime some time to get back into a rhythm. ÔÇ£I emptied the boat, had a quick look at it. It looked okay. I stopped, put my splashie back on. Then I had to stop for a few seconds, take a few deep breaths to compose myself and carry on.ÔÇØ
Abby Adie held onto second spot and despite the race leader’s adventure at Hippo Rapid still lost a little time to Kime. Nonetheless, she enjoyed the greater premium placed on paddling after her struggles while portaging on the opening day. ÔÇ£Today was brilliant,ÔÇØ said Adie. ÔÇ£I had just one little incident of spinning out at Marianni Foley, where I hooked an eddy.ÔÇØ
Bianca Haw, in third place after the first day, entered the Inanda Dam accompanied by Jen Theron and Hilary Pitchford, but former sprint star Theron used her strength on the flat water to pull clear of Haw. She couldn’t shake Pitchford, however.
ÔÇ£The dam is what I’m good at ÔÇô it’s so boring and flat. I worked really, really hard to get her (Bianca) off of the bunch, but I couldn’t drop Hilary, so the race is on tomorrow,ÔÇØ she said.
Like Adie, she enjoyed the higher water levels. ÔÇ£Thank goodness today we could paddle and we didn’t have to run,ÔÇØ Theron said.┬áÔÇ£I think we must really celebrate Robyn’s achievements, how she is showing that she can even compete with the men. It’s fantastic for our sport, seeing the young talent coming through,ÔÇØ she added.
The top three finishers revealed different approaches to the looming challenge of the Burma Road portage on day three, which will play a crucial role in the outcome of the race.┬áÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿ÔÇ£To be conservative, I am going to have to run over Burma,ÔÇØ said Kime.┬á”There is no way I can run Burma, so I’m going to have to shoot Island, maybe,ÔÇØ reckoned Theron.
ÔÇ£Pumphouse is going to be big tomorrow, so I think the girls are going to have to be careful and play it safe,ÔÇØ Adie said.
After a heart-in-mouth day for race leader Kime, she repeated her refrain of the first day that the race is never won until the end. ÔÇ£You never know what is going to happen and there are always lots of mistakes. Racing on rivers, it’s one of the challenges. Falls affect confidence, but you’ve got to keep going,ÔÇØ she said.
Day three takes place from Inanda Dam to Blue Lagoon in Durban. With a reverse start being employed for the first time, the leading men’s and women’s paddlers will reach Durban in the afternoon only.
1 Robyn Kime (Under-23) 3:18.58 6:30.19
2 Abby Adie 3:21.38 6:46.53
3 Jen Theron 3:26.49 7:00.18
4 Hilary Pitchford 3:28.23 7:00.23
5 Bianca Haw (Under-18) 3:36.14 7:03.00