Abby Solms and Jessica Behn Wrap Up 2024 Dusi Canoe Marathon Win

2024 champions Abby Solms (front) and Jessica Behn were delighted to win the women's race at Durban’s Blue Lagoon after Day 3 of the Dusi Canoe Marathon on Saturday, 17 February, 2024. Photo: Ant Grote / Gameplan Media

Abby Solms and Jessica Behn did exactly what was expected on Saturday when the women’s champions enjoyed an uneventful cruise to the title on Saturday to wrap up their 2024 Dusi Canoe Marathon campaign in Durban, on Saturday, 17 February, 2024. 

In the women’s battle for the minor placings, Bridgitte Hartley and Hilary Bruss claimed second after losing four minutes to Solms and Behn over the final stage, to end 14 minutes behind overall. Jenna Nisbet and Nix Birkett rounded out the podium, 11 minutes further back.

For Solms, this is her fourth victory and puts her up as one of the most successful women’s Dusi paddlers in the history of the race. The late decision for the winner in 2016, 2017 and 2022 to team up with the matric schoolgirl proved to be a masterstroke.

Behn, a pupil at Epworth school in Pietermaritzburg, is believed to be the youngest winner in the race’s history and is clearly heading for a great future in the sport.

“I think each of my wins is pretty special in their own way, but Jess and my partnership was such a late decision,” said Solms as she contemplated the victory. 

“We only decided mid-December – so two months ago we would not have thought this could happen. For it to come together so quickly is unbelievable.”

“I am so proud of Jess to probably be the youngest ever winner of the Dusi.

“Jess’s partner had to pull out and I had not committed to another partner, so it was a nice opportunity for me to get back in a boat and to be able to pass on some of my experience,” added Solms.

In the mixed doubles race, Hank McGregor and his wife Pippa were simply too strong for the rest of the field and they cruised home to a decisive 21-minute victory over Brad Boulle and Emma Hatfield. The McGregor couple ended 16th overall and were the first sub veteran crew home.

Elite K2 Women’s Final Results at the 2024 Dusi Canoe Marathon

(Position, Names, (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3) Total)
1. Abby Solms / Jessica Behn (3:00:14; 2:54:20; 2:38:27) 8:33:02
2. Bridgitte Hartley / Hilary Bruss (3:09:37; 2:55:16; 2:42:44) 8:47:38
3. Jenna Nisbet / Nix Birkett (3:16:28; 3:02:10; 2:39:57) 8:58:37
4. Amy Hulett / Neriyah Dill (3:23:01; 3:14:05; 2:56:28) 9:33:35
5. Shannon Parker-Dennison / Nosipho Mthembu (3:27:02; 3:17:24; 2:57:17) 9:41:44

Elite K2 Women’s Results after Day 2 of the 2024 Dusi Canoe Marathon

(Position, Name, Day 1, Day 2, Total)
1. Abby Solms / Jessica Behn (3:00:14; 2:54:20) 5:54:35
2. Bridgitte Hartley / Hilary Bruss (3:09:37; 2:55:16) 6:04:54
3. Jenna Nisbet / Nix Birkett (3:16:28; 3:02:10) 6:18:39
4. Amy Hulett / Neriyah Dill (3:23:01; 3:14:05) 6:37:06
5. Shannon Parker-Dennison / Nosipho Mthembu (3:27:02; 3:17:24) 6:44:27

Elite K2 Women’s Results after Day 1 of the 2024 Dusi Canoe Marathon

1. Abby Solms / Jessica Behn 3:00:14
2. Bridgitte Hartley / Hilary Bruss 3:09:37
3. Jenna Nisbet / Nix Birkett 3:16:28
4. Caitlyn Odell / Rachel van Deventer 3:22:59
5. Amy Hulett / Neriyah Dill 3:23:01

Final Leading Mixed Results at the 2024 Dusi Canoe Marathon

(Position, Names, (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3) Total)
1. Hank Mcgregor / Pippa Mcgregor (2:54:11; 2:47:18; 2:28:19) 8:09:50
2. Bradley Boulle / Emma Hatfield (3:00:52; 2:53:25; 2:37:26) 8:31:45
3. Dave Mckenzie / Helen Buley (3:16:32; 3:05:54; 2:50:20) 9:12:47
4. Abbey Hackland / James Hackland (3:24:14; 3:19:35; 2:55:56) 9:39:46
5. Menzi Mthembu / Maritsa Gouws (3:48:00; 3:34:13; 2:59:57) 10:22:11

Leading Mixed Results after Day 2 of the 2024 Dusi Canoe Marathon

(Position, Name (Day 1, Day 2) Total)
1. Hank Mcgregor / Pippa Mcgregor (2:54:11; 2:47:18) 5:41:30
2. Bradley Boulle / Emma Hatfield (3:00:52; 2:53:25) 5:54:18
3. Dave Mckenzie / Helen Buley (3:16:32; 3:05:54) 6:22:27
4. Scott Rogers / Michaela Geytenbeek (3:20:44; 3:15:26) 6:36:10
5. Abbey Hackland / James Hackland (3:24:14; 3:19:35) 6:43:49

Leading Mixed Results after Day 1 of the 2024 Dusi Canoe Marathon

1. Hank Mcgregor / Pippa Mcgregor 2:54:11
2. Bradley Boulle / Emma Hatfield 3:00:52
3. Dave Mckenzie / Helen Buley 3:16:32
4. Scott Rogers / Michaela Geytenbeek 3:20:44
5. Abbey Hackland / James Hackland 3:24:14

For more information please visit https://dusi.co.za/


Main Photo Caption: Women’s winners Abby Solms (front) and Jessica Behn were delighted to win the women’s race at Durban’s Blue Lagoon after Day 3 of the Dusi Canoe Marathon on Saturday, 17 February, 2024. Photo: Ant Grote / Gameplan Media

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