2017 Catchup

I once read “if you want something done, give the task to a busy person”.

Shew, I’m not so sure about that. Apologies with the late report back…. so much has been happening down in the Valley of a 1000 Hills.


Fish River Canoe Marathon (1400 paddlers)

Thanks Morne from Hi-Tec for so speedily sending my Zulus the Hi-Tec ‘Durango’ bootie – the ideal Aquatic shoe for this legendary Canoe Race which involves numerous portages around dangerous weirs. The CAL Zulus had a fantastic journey in all aspects – not only fun big water paddling, but also seeing a part of the country (Eastern Cape) which is quite desolate and poverty stricken – making the Dusi Valley look like an oasis.


E TV filmed myself and Lucas, wanting to know more about the Martin Dreyer ‘Change a Life’ Academy. Date to be aired still to be confirmed

Natal Canoe Club Canoe Race

CAL Zulus took part in a new local Canoe Race on the Dusi River. This race started at the actual start of Dusi and interestingly finished on top of the first big portage, 20 km downstream. Just the wake-up call my Zulus needed to remind them how tough dusi is.

The top 3 CAL paddlers were: 5th Mmeli Cele (2nd U23), 6th Eric Zondi and 8th Lucas Mthalane


FEAT standing for ‘Fascinating Expedition Adventure Talks’

I was one of 10 Adventure Speakers invited to talk at this Gala Evening at the Braamfontein Theatre – JHB CBD. Here I bragged about my CAL Academy, telling all how incredible the CAL Zulus are “have Nothing, yet Achieve everything….”

Dam 2 Dam

the CAL Zulus assisted their Lembethe Canoe Club’s hosting of the Dam 2 Dam Canoe Race this past weekend. A race which helps raise funds for the Club and literally finished in their back yard – at Nagle Dam. Apart from a few inexperienced paddlers breaking their boats on this tricky section of river and Umngeni Water failing to release the requested 10 cumecs of water from Albert Falls Dam – everything went smoothly and all who participated, thoroughly enjoyed themselves

Going Forward

My top CAL Zulus will participate in KZN’s premiere Multi Sport race this coming weekend called the Triple Challenge [20km Trail Run, 52km MTB, 20km Paddle]. Whilst the other CAL’ers  will travel to Jhb to take part in Gauteng’s premiere Canoe Race – 2 Day Vaal Canoe Challenge.

Change a Life November Update….

What a magical ‘Change a Life’ report back evening held at the JSE. Made more special by the generous donation of Cycling Kit from the Change a Lifers, not to mention a couple of Bicycles as well.

Triple Challenge Multi Sport & Multi X Race

Exciting racing from my Change a Life Zulus, saw two of them making it onto the podium –

Nhlanhla Cele claimed the gold medal, defending his title in the gruelling 20km trail run, 52km Mtb & 20km paddle. Youngster Sizwe Mkhasibe battled with severe cramps in the last hour, crossing the line in a very thrilling final dash to claim 3rd position overall in the Multi X (20km Trail Run, 52km Mtb & 7km Trail Run). Although John Ntuli came into transition, leading the entire field in the 20km trail run, he had to settle for 6thoverall, as his legs failed him on the Mtb from the immense effort of racing the gruelling 42km Otter Trail Run in the Eastern Cape just 3 weeks prior to this. He was very disappointed but the true Sportsman that he is, he was super happy for Sizwe and very congratulatory.

Vaal Canoe Marathon

Gauteng’s premiere Canoe Race – 2 Day Vaal Canoe Challenge.

Eric Zondi & Michael Mbanjwa 5th, Kwanda Mhlophe & Tom Ngcobo 11th.

Mthobisi Cele & Emanuel Kirk  paddling in the Junior Category, had an unfortunate swim on Day 1 which resulted in them finishing in 3rd Junior position, 5 minutes behind first. They had a brilliant second day, catching up to first Juniors and only just losing the end sprint, coming second. This is predominantly a K2 ( doubles) race, so with Lucas Mthalane placing 21st overall and first K1, that was an encouraging result showing he is on track for a good Dusi.

Ozzie Gladwin Canoe Race

This is the biggest one day canoe race in the country. Its start with a blistering fast pace on Alberts Falls Dam, then a 2km portage around the Dam wall and then a 16km paddler downstream on the Umngeni River. The river is not technical, thus the popularity as it is an easy Dusi Qualifier.

All the ‘big boys’ took part due to the great prize money and hot spot prizes enroute. The Change a Life Zulus did themselves proud, except Zonele but understandably so. He has a different agenda at the moment as he is studying in Pinetown (catches a taxi early morning, returning in the afternoon, sometimes in time to train)

Eric -5th, Lucas 9th, 12th Mhlonishwa 12th & 2nd U23, Kwanda 13th, Mmeli 18th, Richard 21st, Mthobisi 33rd & 3rd U16, Skhumbuso 33, Zonele 59th

Cumberland Trail Run – 350 runners

Not being a paddler, Sizwe took part in this 14km Trail Run & also it is close to where he lives. There was a mess up with route direction markings, which resulted in many runners getting lost. Fortunately for Sizwe, his local knowledge kept him on the right track and he won. I said to him afterwards – ‘you were lucky’. His reply “Aah come on mart, I would have beaten them anyway….”


E TV filmed myself and Lucas last month, wanting to know more about the Martin Dreyer ‘Change a Life’ Academy. This inserted was flighted throughout the day last week as a mini feature on Etv.

Going Forward – 50 Miler Canoe Race

This two day race was the perfect opportunity as a dress rehearsal for Dusi, so much so, my Change a Life Zulus did a big session the day before [unlike all the other top paddlers who rested], to replicate the 3 day Dusi. My Zulus were quite excited as their new training canoes were ready to be used for the first time. Eric Zondi did the best in the 50 Miler, with a credible 5th position overall. Almost all of the CAL paddlers managed a top 50.