Defending champion Andy Birkett is ready to make it three in a row at the N3TC Drak Challenge near Underberg on January 23 and 24.
Birkett has confirmed his participation in the two-day race and said he was ready for whatever the Southern Drakensberg conditions had in store for him.
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“Suddenly I am getting excited to be back on the Mzimkhulu again,” said?Birkett, who is preparing to race the FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon with new partner Lance Klime.
The K2 pairing will race as individuals for the Drak Challenge but are still training together in the lead-up to race day.
“We spend a good few weeks training in Underberg because the river is such good fun and the water is so clean, and when it comes to running you are spoilt for choice,” said Birkett.
“It is a technically demanding paddle, no matter what the river level is like.”
He said the demanding, stop-start nature of the 62km course made for excellent Dusi training.
“There is nowhere to hide on the Drak, especially on the top section,” said Birkett.
Should he take the hat-trick of wins, he will equal Hank McGregor’s K1 record at the event.