Adie has been waiting in the Dusi wings, it seems, for the last four years.
In 2009 she placed second behind Miedema, three minutes ahead of Kime. In 2010, Adie and Lindy-May Harmsen finished second behind the Kime and Miedema pairing, and she had to settle for second in 2011 behind Robyn Kime. In 2012, racing with twin sister Alex, she stood on the second podium step once again, while the seemingly unbeatable Kime and Miedema claimed the top spot.
However, after Adie’s recent performance in the 2012 Best 4 Healthcare 50 Miler, where she narrowly missed the title by a mere 14 seconds to Kime, it would seem that The Unlimited Dusi 2013 may well be set for a dramatic showdown in the ladies racing.
Adie explains that a significant shift in her training over the last two years has been responsible for this change.
“In the last two years, my canoeing has become more of a profession than a hobby, and as a result I have had to increase my level of training. That was also when my sponsorship with Team Best 4 Kayak Centre was secured – and they have certain expectations of all of their paddlers,” she said.
“With age comes maturity and as a result my mental capabilities have improved as well as physically getting stronger. Last year was the first year I really believed within myself that I could win. That positive attitude does wonders for one’s confidence,” continued Adie.
Racing the Dusi to win requires a lot more of an athlete than just training and mental preparation.
“It requires a huge amount of dedication and extremely consistent training from months in advance. Once you make the decision to race for a win, your whole lifestyle has to change towards being geared around the race. Naturally this isn’t easy in a family environment – it causes stress and puts everybody involved under pressure. Unfortunately a lot of selfishness is required, at the expense of my relationships and family commitments, but thankfully I have a strong support base from my family and friends,” said Adie.
There is, however, still always the element of enjoyment – even at the top every elite canoeist still seems to have their favourite stretch of river.
“I really enjoy paddling the Confluence and Washing Machine section because I have gotten to know the section quite well. There is always the unknown factor of how much water is coming in from the Umgeni that adds to the excitement of that section.”
Competitors line up for the start of The Unlimited Dusi on the 14th of February at Camps Drift, with the seeded ladies going off in C-Batch at 6:15am, and ends in Durban on 16 February 2013. More information can be found here.