The official race charities of the Unlimited Dusi canoe marathon have been selected for 2013. They are The Unlimited Child, SPCA and DUCT (Dusi Umgeni Conservancy Trust).
The charity batch online auction has already received nearly R80,000 in bids with four weeks to go before the start of the race on Thursday, 14 February 2013. K3 paddling partners Donovan and Matthew Baney and Etienne Nel currently hold the leading bid of R19,300.
Almost 1700 paddlers are expected to start each day of the three-day event setting off in staggered start batches of 60 paddlers from 6am. Paddlers in the last batch could start as late as 11am, when the heat and humidity in the Valley of a 1000 Hills will definitely take its toll.
Fifth batch for charity
Race organisers have made the fifth batch, which starts at 6.30am daily, available for the charity batch auction. The top sixty bidders will secure their places in this batch, which could prove to be a huge competitive advantage.
When the charity auction concept was first launched in 2003, R60,000 was raised for the race charities. This has grown incrementally year on year and in 2012 the total reached over R300,000. The organisers are hoping that the fundraising efforts will exceed R400,000 this year.
All the proceeds of the charity batch auction go to non-government organisations working in the areas surrounding the race route, such as early childhood development intervention group The Unlimited Child. This non-profit agency has touched the lives of over 22,000 children by providing educational toys and training more than 900 caregivers at 310 crèches in the region.
5fm sport presenter Sias du Plessis has again pledged his support to the charity and will be racing in the colours of The Unlimited Child to raise awareness for the cause. He will be fighting off the challenge from other celeb entrants Liesel van der Westhuizen of kfm, Damon Beard of East Coast Radio and Metro FM presenter and Idols judge Unathi Msengana.
Competitors can now bid online at the official race website to secure an early daily start. The hammer will go down for final bids on Friday 1 February 2013.
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