Celebrating Excellence in Sports – the Andy Birkett Story
Last month, University of KwaZulu-Natal student, Andrew “Andy” Birkett clinched a (5th) Dusi Canoe Marathon title. Birkett, who is currently studying towards his postgraduate Diploma in Marketing and Supply Chain Management, became the first person in the 64-year-old race’s history to drop under the 8th hour mark when he crossed the line in 7hrs 55mins and 35sec. It is remarkable to note that Birkett also became the 4th person in Dusi history to win the race 5 times!
Birkett started out the final stage, which is the shortest of the race at 36 kilometres, with a healthy near-five minute advantage. A superb surge of power paddling over the final stretch of Inanda Dam helped him stretch that lead even further early on in stage three. By the time he had reached the Tops Needle rapid, about five kilometres in, he had already moved over six minutes in front of second placed Lance Kime.
This was Birkett’s 11th Dusi, having completed his first Dusi at the age of 13.
The Dusi Canoe Marathon, one of the world’s toughest and most prestigious canoe races, took place from 19—21 February 2015.
‘I have, on behalf of the Executive Management, personally congratulated Andrew for this outstanding milestone.
On behalf of the University community as a whole, I would like to congratulate Andrew Birkett for this excellent performance and thank him once again for flying UKZN’s flag quite high.’