Defending Champion Christie Mackenzie Extends Dusi Reign

A stage with many unknowns couldn’t curtail K1 defending champion Christie Mackenzie, who powered to the women’s Dusi Canoe Marathon titles on Saturday, 18 February 2023.

Mackenzie started the stage with a comfortable lead on Saturday morning. Her two swims were blemishes on an otherwise dominant performance in the women’s race.

The final stage started with Mackenzie leading by over 25 minutes and despite a day of mixed fortunes on Saturday, the two-time K1 champion continued her dominance to maintain a big lead into the finish.

“It was very different paddling on the river this year,” Euro Steel’s Mackenzie said.

“A lot has changed and that has brought a number of new challenges, which were exciting to face because I was feeling very strong.

“It was a big challenge for me in big water because that usually isn’t my forte, but I felt like I handled it as best as I could and I’m very pleased with the result.”

Mackenzie’s third consecutive women’s K1 crown puts her amongst Dusi royalty with Marlene Lowenstein and Abby Ulansky as the third woman to win three K1 titles consecutively.

Finishing in second overall in the women’s race was Bridgitte Hartley who produced another solid display. Despite the threat of retiring from competitive paddling, this year’s Dusi might have convinced Olympic medallist Hartley to continue.

“I just keep on thinking that I’m getting older and this year I’m a veteran, and I kept asking myself why I am still doing this!” she said.

“I guess I do still love it, and coaching the Maritzburg College team keeps me on my toes and I love seeing them improve.

“K2 is always fun and so you will probably see me on the start line next year.”

Jordan Peek was solid again on the final day of the race to round out the women’s podium.

Shannon Parker-Dennison won the under 23 women’s race, while Emma Hatfield won the junior women’s race ahead of Rachel van Deventer.

Visiting Danish paddler Susan Lutzner won the mixed doubles title with local ace Alex Masina.

2023 Dusi Canoe Marathon
(Stage Three – Msinsi Resort at Inanda Dam to Blue Lagoon, Durban)
Times: Total (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3)

1 Christie Mackenzie 8.19.35 (2.12.57, 3.22.01, 2.44.36)
2 Bridgitte Hartley 8.47.27 (2.26.47, 3.35.07, 2.45.31)
3 Jordan Peek 8.56.48 (2.27.12, 3.42.44, 2.46.51)
4 Nix Birkett 9.17.10 (2.39.07, 3.49.46, 2.48.17)
5 Hilary Bruss 9.21.08 (2.33.52, 3.49.06, 2.58.09)
6 Shannon Parker-Dennison 9.33.50 (2.41.16, 3.55.40, 2.56.53)
7 Emma Hatfield 9.47.13 (2.41.18, 4.03.04, 3.02.50)
8 Rachel Van Deventer 9.48.01 (2.43.47, 4.00.46, 3.03.26)

U23 Women
1 Shannon Parker-Dennison 9.33.50 (2.41.16, 3.55.40, 2.56.53)
2 Tayla Isaac 12.50.34 (3.22.51, 5.23.13, 4.04.30)

U18 Girls
1 Emma Hatfield 9.47.13 (2.41.18, 4.03.04, 3.02.50)
2 Rachel Van Deventer 9.48.01 (2.43.47, 4.00.46, 3.03.26)
3 Lesedi Bobo 13.02.11 (3.31.05, 5.19.39, 4.11.27)


Photo 1 Caption: A day of high drama on the full uMngeni River did not prevent Christie Mackenzie for wrapping up a hat trick of women’s titles at the 2023 Dusi Canoe Marathon title on Saturday. Photo: Anthony Grote / Gameplan Media

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