For most students, canoeing may seem like a fun activity to do on holiday. But for the Peek sisters, Jordan and Cana Lee, canoeing is not just fun and games.
The Peek sisters endured a difficult three days of paddling at the Dusi Canoe Marathon, held from 15–17 February.
The Dusi consists of paddling down technical rapids and weirs, and running over technical terrain with the canoe on your shoulder. Held in Kwazulu-Natal, the Dusi is well-known around the world.
“It was a three-day race. We started in Pietermaritzburg. From the beginning, we knew it was going to be difficult. We [initially] fell behind and had to try and work our way back to the front. Once we got back on track, my sister and I just started paddling and tried not to make a lot of mistakes.
“We just went hard, and before we knew it we were back in first position. We managed to end day one with a five minute lead on the second ladies’ boat. On the end of day two it was just a paddle, and we knew other crews can catch up to us on that stretch, so we were very thankful for our head start. We managed to keep our lead. By the end of day three, we had a 15 minute lead. When we saw the finish, we got so excited. We couldn’t believe that we had won,” said Jordan.
When preparing for a race, it is undeniable that you should train hard. Cana Lee said that they had to do all their training together, daily, to achieve the results they wanted.
“We had to make a lot of sacrifices, especially when it came to the normal student social-life. In that light, my sister and I are going to take a well-deserved break from training and paddling. But that doesn’t mean I’m just going to lay down. I will still continue our normal active lifestyle.
“This whole journey has been unexplainable and we wouldn’t change a thing. The support from our family, friends and sponsors have been overwhelming and we couldn’t have achieved what we did without them.”