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Pietermaritzburg inland of Durban is the starting point for the Dusi canoe marathon, a prodigious canoe race that follows the Msunduze River (from which the race takes its name) until it reaches the Umgeni River and flows out to the Indian Ocean, and where the finish line is placed at the river mouth. The race is held over 3 days, each stage roughly 40km and a total distance of 124km. This is endurance paddling at its toughest, the river offering many challenges that include negotiating dangerous weirs and grade 3 rapids, and with several portage stints requiring the paddler to leave the water and run, carrying the canoe, into deeper water a few kilometres further along the route.
All paddlers must be experienced enough to take on AR-rated rivers which are generally dotted with hazardous obstacles and dangerous rapids, and while the Msunduze River is BR-rated, levels can change quickly, making paddling extremely difficult.
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