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Star-studded field ready for 2016 FNB Dusi start

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Photos: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media

Pietermaritzburg – No fewer than nine former or current marathon world champions and eleven past winners are set to tackle the 65th edition of the FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon when the 120km race gets underway at06h00 on Thursday morning with the firing of the starter’s canon sending the 1248 eager participants on their way from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to Durban’s Blue Lagoon.

The star-studded men’s field promises to produce one of the most memorable K2 clashes since the turn of the millennium with only a brave soul willing to predict a probable top ten.

2014 winners Andy Birkett and Sbonelo Khwela have opted to take on this year’s challenge with fresh partners, Birkett (Euro Steel) combining with 2013 K1 Dusi winner Lance Kime while Khwela (Euro Steel/Red Bull) and fellow Shongweni Valley resident and Computershare Change a Life Academy product Banetse Nkhoesa will look to go the distance.

While both pedigree crews, both teams have had more eventful build-ups than they may have hoped for.

Euro Steel/Red Bull's Sbonelo Khwela (front) and Banetse Nkhoesa (back) have had a dramatic journey to the start line of the 2016 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon however the pair remain strong podium contenders.

Euro Steel/Red Bull’s Sbonelo Khwela (front) and Banetse Nkhoesa (back) have had a dramatic journey to the start line of the 2016 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon however the pair remain strong podium contenders.

For Birkett and Kime, the latter’s opting out of the N3TC Drak Challenge in the Southern Drakensberg in January due to illness reduced his river skills preparation significantly while the reversing of positions in the boat created another last minute stress.

Similarly, Khwela and Nkhoesa’s partnership hung in the balance for much of the festive season after the latter suffered an unfortunate stabbing incident in December that wounded his shoulder and punctured his lung.

The 22 year-old has however recovered well and he and Khwela are eager to reignite their championship as best they can.

Euro Steel/Mocké Paddling’s Hank McGregor and Jasper Mocké, one of the only top elite crews to return from two years ago where they finished in second place, will too be eager to stake a claim for this year’s crown.

The presence of ADreach/Euro Steel’s Len Jenkins and Siseko Ntondini, Build it/Euro Steel’s Thulani Mbanjwa and Shaun Rubenstein, Kayak Centre/Starsky’s Murray Starr and Owen Gandar, Seed Co/USN’s Alan and Andrew Houston as well as Matelec/Pope’s Canoe Centre’s Ant Stott and Carl Folscher will also add to the fascinating encounter.

Techpro Racing's Jenna Ward (right) and Vanda Kiszli (left) of Hungary have had little time together in the boat ahead of the start of the 2016 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon however the pair compliment each other well and are strong podium contenders.

Techpro Racing’s Jenna Ward (right) and Vanda Kiszli (left) of Hungary have had little time together in the boat ahead of the start of the 2016 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon however the pair compliment each other well and are strong podium contenders.

Meanwhile in the women’s race, 2016 would appear to be the year Abby Solms (Euro Steel) finally breaks her run of six second place finished when she and current ICF Canoe Marathon World Champion Anna Kožíšková of Czech Republic start this year’s clash as race favourites.

Solms and Kožíšková are however likely to have their hands full throughout the three day challenge as Techpro Racing’s Jenna Ward and Hungary’s Vanda Kiszli – double defending U23 Women’s Marathon World Champ – as well as Euro Steel juniors Cana Peek and Kyeta Purchase look to claim their share of the spoils.

The lead trio will be chased hard by the likes of Alex Adie and Tamika Haw, Pink Lady’s Donna Tutton and Hayley Nixon, Jane Swarbreck and Kirsten Penderis of the Western Cape and Kerry Segal and Julia Trodd.

Further back in the field, former Dusi tough man Andre Hawarden is relishing his return to the race he created so many memories at many years ago while Brendon Germaine tackles the challenge on his stand up paddle board for the third year running.

Build it/Euro Steel's Thulani Mbanjwa (front) and Shaun Rubenstein (back) start this year's FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon as the men's dark horse combination and will hope to put pressure on some of their more fancied rivals throughout the 120km adventure.

Build it/Euro Steel’s Thulani Mbanjwa (front) and Shaun Rubenstein (back) start this year’s FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon as the men’s dark horse combination and will hope to put pressure on some of their more fancied rivals throughout the 120km adventure.

The continual rise of the Computershare Change a Life Academy, FirstRand SCARC and the Natal Canoe Club’s Development Programme promise another strong showing from these athletes while Candy Mavundla, Nombuso Mzolo and Nokukhanya Shange will also be on the water.

The race will also once again be supporting three causes, splitting the funds raised through the charity batch as well as FNB’s contribution between the Dusi Valley Paddlers Fund, Dusi Umgeni Conservation Trust (DUCT) and the newly formed FNB Dusi Drought Relief Initiative.

The 42km first stage of the from Camps Drift, Pietermaritzburg to Dusi Bridge on Thursday 18 February gets underway at 06h00 with the leading men expected at the finish at 08h35. More information can be found at www.dusi.co.za

Euro Steel's Andy Birkett (front) and Lance Kime (back) start the 2016 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon as favourites to claim the men's title.

Euro Steel’s Andy Birkett (front) and Lance Kime (back) start the 2016 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon as favourites to claim the men’s title.

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Events

Durban Mother’s Day Concert: Top 5 reasons why the Old Mutual Music at the Lake concert is the ultimate Mother’s Day outing this Sunday.

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Top 5 reasons why the Old Mutual Music at the Lake concert is the ultimate Mother’s Day outing this Sunday.

 

Tickets on sale from Webtickets.

 

Old Mutual Music at the Lake: Mother’s Day featuring Mango Groove and Aaron McIlroy

As Mother’s Day approaches, families in Durban have the perfect opportunity to celebrate in style at the highly anticipated Old Mutual Music at the Lake concert. Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Durban Botanic Gardens, this special concert on Sunday, May 12 promises an unforgettable experience for all.

 

Here are the top five reasons why you should spend Mother’s Day at Music at the Lake:

 

Legendary Live Performance:

Prepare to be mesmerized by the legendary Mango Groove as they take the stage with their unique blend of pop, rock, and traditional South African music. Their infectious energy and timeless hits will create a magical atmosphere that’s perfect for celebrating Mother’s Day.

 

Comedic Entertainment:

Alongside Mango Groove, comedian Aaron McIlroy will keep the laughter flowing with his comedic talents. From hilarious anecdotes to clever observations, Aaron’s performance guarantees a side-splitting experience for all ages.

 

Spectacular Venue:

Nestled around the picturesque Lake area of the Durban Botanic Gardens, this event offers more than just music. Attendees can immerse themselves in the beauty of one of Africa’s oldest botanic gardens, surrounded by lush greenery and serene waters.

 

Community Spirit:

Sponsored by Old Mutual, the Music at the Lake series is a testament to the power of community and cultural heritage. Through their support, Old Mutual aims to create lasting memories and bring people together through the universal language of music.

 

Picnic-Style Experience:

Bring your own food and drinks and relax on the shaded lawns of the gardens as you enjoy a delightful picnic-style afternoon. With Cooler boxes charged at only R50 at the gate, attendees can indulge in a feast for the senses while soaking in the vibrant sounds of the live performance.

 

“We’re thrilled to be part of such a special event, celebrating love, connection, and kindness on Mother’s Day,” said Claire Johnston from Mango Groove. “Join us at the Durban Botanic Gardens for an unforgettable afternoon of music, laughter, and cherished moments.”

 

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to celebrate Mother’s Day with your loved ones in a setting that blends nature, music, and laughter. Secure your tickets now from Webtickets and make memories that will last a lifetime.

 

EVENT INFO:

 

Old Mutual Music at the Lake: Mother’s Day featuring Mango Groove and Aaron McIlroy

Date: Sunday 12 May

Venue: Durban Botanic Gardens

Times: Gates open 13h00 – Music starts 14h00 – Show ends 17h00.

PLEASE NOTE: Cooler boxes charged R50 at the gate. Bring your own picnic, drinks, chairs and blankets.

Ticket link: https://www.webtickets.co.za/v2/Event.aspx?itemid=1546391165

 

Follow Music at The Lake online:

Official Website: ww.musicatthelake.co.za

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MATLDBN

Instagram: www.instagram.com/musicatthelake

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Events

Durban Mother’s Day Concert: The Old Mutual Music at the Lake

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The Old Mutual Music at the Lake series returns for a special Mother’s Day concert on 12 May at the Durban Botanic Gardens.

 

Old Mutual Music at the Lake: Mother’s Day featuring Mango Groove and Aaron McIlroy

Date: Sunday 12 May
Venue: Durban Botanic Gardens
Times: Gates open 13h00 – Music starts 14h00 – Show ends 17h00.

PLEASE NOTE:
~ Cooler boxes charged R50 at the gate.
~ Bring your own picnic, drinks, chairs and blankets.

 

Ticket Prices

Phase 1:

Adults (Over 12) R195
Kids (U12) R100
Kids (U4) R10

Phase 2:

Adults (Over 12) R225
Kids (U12) R110
Kids (U4) R10

Phase 3:

Adults (Over 12) R250
Kids (U12) R120
Kids (U4) R10

 

Ticket Link:
https://www.webtickets.co.za/v2/Event.aspx?itemid=1546391165

 

The highly anticipated Old Mutual Music at the Lake series is back with a special concert in celebration of Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 12. The event will take place at the stunning Durban Botanic Gardens, nestled around the picturesque Lake area.

Music enthusiasts and families alike can look forward to an unforgettable live performance by the legendary Mango Groove, known for their unique sound that blends pop, rock, and traditional South African music. In addition, comedian Aaron McIlroy will entertain the audience with his comedic talents, making this concert an unmissable experience for all ages.

Claire Johnston from Mango Groove is excited to return to Durban Botanic Gardens for the concert, saying “We’re so thrilled to be coming back to this glorious venue for the first time in several years. Mothers’ Day is the perfect opportunity as we get to celebrate love, connection and kindness”.

The Old Mutual Music at the Lake series is the longest-running live music series in KwaZulu-Natal, offering a relaxing and entertaining Sunday afternoon in a beautiful outdoor setting. The event is staged at the Durban Botanic Gardens Lake area, the oldest botanic gardens in Africa, providing a serene backdrop with its lush gardens and abundant wildlife.

“Old Mutual’s sponsorship of the Music at the Lake series underscores our deep-rooted commitment to nurturing community spirit and celebrating cultural heritage. We believe in the power of music to bring people together and create lasting memories, especially on occasions as special as Mother’s Day. Our support for this series shows our dedication to the arts and the communities we serve. We are proud to create platforms where talent, laughter, and family joy can flourish in the heart of Durban’s historic Botanic Gardens,” said Thobile Tshabalala, Head of Brand at Old Mutual.

Attendees are invited to bring their own food and drinks (cooler boxes charged R50 at the gate), blankets, and camping chairs to enjoy a delightful picnic-style afternoon on the shaded lawns of the gardens. Concert-goers can soak in the vibrant sounds of the live performance while observing an array of birdlife, including pelicans and spoonbills flying overhead.

Celebrate Mother’s Day with your loved ones at the Durban Botanic Gardens and experience an afternoon of exceptional music and comedy. Don’t miss out on this unique event that blends nature, music, and laughter! Get your tickets now from Webtickets.

 

Follow Music at The Lake online:

Official Website: www.musicatthelake.co.za

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MATLDBN

Instagram: hwww.instagram.com/musicatthelake/

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Events

Durbanite Spotlight: The Kickstands

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In our latest Durbanite encounter, we step into the world of The Kickstands, a band that’s as vibrant and energetic as the city we all love. Welcome to another feature on Durbanart, where today we’re hanging out with Gary Nixon from The Kickstands. As they get ready for Splashy Fen and continue to make music that resonates with so many, we’re excited to chat with Gary about a few things: their tunes, what they love about Durban, and some fun, little-known facts.

Let’s jump into our chat with Gary and discover some new angles on both the band and our beloved Durban.

 

1. What draws you to Durban?

An active, outdoors lifestyle and the strong sense of community people share here.

2. Where is your favourite place to have breakfast in Durban, and why?

Mayfair, Durban North! Delicious, consistent and holds loads of memories

3. What Durban experience do all visitors need to try?

Promenade run/walk in the morning, swim around the peer and a Springbok game at Kings Park.

 

4. Nothing beats water, but where is a good Café or Bar in Durban?

Surf Riders

 

5. If you had to recommend a Durban spot to stay for the weekend, to an out-of-towner, where would you suggest?

If you’ve got the bucks, Oyster Box is mint! Otherwise come crash on my couch!

 

6. When did you know that music was your thing?

When people started paying me to do what I loved doing anyway

 

7. What’s your go-to shower song?

NOFX – Linoleum

8. You’re playing at Splashy Fen again this year. How many Splashy Fen’s have you been to? How many of those have you performed at?

I’ve been to 12 Splashy Fens, this will be my 11th time performing.

 

9. What’s your favourite thing about Splashy Fen?

The people, it’s what makes it what it is. Revelry.

 

10. Your Top Three Things to take to Splashy Fen?

My guitar, the vibes, and every year I try to convince a friend that’s never been to Splashy to come with me!

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