Fantastic fourth consecutive Non-Stop title for Mtolo & Msia

Fantastic fourth consecutive Non-Stop title for Mtolo & Msia

In a near flawless day of racing, the three-time defending champions Msawenkosi Mtolo and Thabani Msia notched up their fourth consecutive title in the ONE – The Insurance Solution Non-Stop Dusi Canoe Marathon on Friday.

41 paddlers set off just after first light and there were varying tactics used from the start with the Taylor brothers, Jody and Duane, deciding to avoid the river and for a period were portaging up to three kilometres away from the water.

The duo took an early lead, however, the inevitable happened on the Pine Tree Portage as Team MyLife’s Mtolo and his Euro Steel partner, Msia moved to the front of the race.

It was early to take control of the race, but the three-time defending champions looked strong as they slowly stretched their lead throughout the Day one section of the traditional Dusi, and by the time they had got to Marianni Foley, their lead was three minutes over Richard Cele and Banetse Nkhoesa in second.

The leaders were unrelenting in their pace and by the halfway stage, at the Nqumeni portage, they had extended the lead to over five minutes.

By now Cele and Nkhoesa had also got themselves in a groove and opened up a three minutes buffer over third placed Jabulani Gwamanda and Mvelo Ngidi.

However, the chasing paddlers just couldn’t keep up with the pace of the leaders who continued to keep their lead constant throughout the Inanda Dam section.

“We were worried because the pace was very quick at the beginning,” Msia said after the win. “We even asked ourselves at a stage if we were racing the Dusi and not the Non-Stop!” he laughed.

“As we got further into the race we could see that the other guys were getting tired and we carried on at our pace and they couldn’t stay with us.”

It was a case of making sure they avoided any mistakes up until the finish and the experienced pair made sure of that all the way to Blue Lagoon.

Mtolo and Msia have dominated the race and clearly have found a winning formula that has made them almost unbeatable, so other title contenders for the next couple of years might have to wait even longer to get that elusive Non-Stop win.

“It was a clean day for us and my driver was strong today and I’m happy for this fourth win and I’m looking forward to next year,” Mtolo said.

“Hopefully we’ll go for a fifth win next year as a team!”

In what was one of the comebacks of the race, Nqobile Makhanya and Sandile Mtolo worked their way up from fourth at the Inanda Dam wall to finish in second place overall.

Having spent the majority of the race in second place, the impressive pair of Richard Cele and Banetse Nkhoesa had to settle for third place and the final step on the podium.

It was a very consistent race from Siseko Ntondini who finished in fifth overall, behind his SCARC team mates and Under 23 pair of Benjamin Mntonintshi and Wongama Makasi, and ended as the first K1 home.

SUMMARY OR RESULTS – ONE – The Insurance Solution Non-Stop Dusi Canoe Marathon

1. Msawenkosi Mtolo/Thabani Msia 8:37:27
2. Nqobile Makhanya/Sandile Mtolo 8:55:25
3. Richard Cele/Banetse Nkhoesa 9:02:30
4. Benjamin Mntonintshi/Wongama Makasi (U23) 9:25:00
5. Siseko Ntondini 9:25:07