“Sleep deprivation was the biggest one,” he said of the challenges he faced in 2007. “Obviously you have to be very fit. You start hallucinating, there is tendonitis in your wrists, sore bums from sitting down the whole time. “The river is quite dangerous,” he added. “You can’t go too close to the bank. Branches and massive trees fall out, so they are 30 metres into the river and you can’t see the branches and the river is flowing really fast, and you get hooked up in those. The water temperature is four or five degrees.”A bigger boat Due to the nature of the race, it is entirely possible that, apart from the start, they might not see any of their fellow competitors at all along the route. The vast distance and the tough requirements of the test that lies in weight means the Dung Beetles have to use a bigger boat than usual. “It’s a sea kayak,” Paul explained , “bigger than our kayaks because you’ve got a long list of mandatory things you have to take, like tents, sleeping bags, two stoves, three weeks of food, bear spray, flares. It has two hatches, so you are taking a lot of kit. “The boat will weight from 80 to 100 kilograms by the time we are packed up and ready to start. It’s an expedition.”Spot devices The duo will also carry two Spot devices with them, in case one of the tracking gadgets breaks down. The devices allow them to be tracked by satellite. Every day, they must stop paddling by 23:00, when it gets dark, and within 15 minutes they must press their device. The competitors are allowed to start paddling the next morning at 05:00, when it becomes light again. They must press the Spot device every six hours. In case of an emergency, the Spot devices contain a rescue mechanism, which would alert the Coast Guard on the United States side of the border and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Canada.Goal Paul and Boshoff have spent six months preparing for the Yukon 1 000, putting in training sessions of up to 100 kilometres a day. They’re planning to finish the distance in eight days, although seven days would be something they would be very pleased with, said Paul. The race record is six-and-a-half days. Keeping up their energy will be vital to achieving their goals and finishing the race, he added. Food “We both trained by going to a dietician. Our intake is all based on calories and what you are burning up every day, so we have balanced that out,” Paul said. “You can’t replace the calories as fast as you are burning them. We eat every half- hour, or at least every hour. A lot of that comes from energy drinks, probably 75 percent. You have to drink about half-a-litre every hour. You have to drink at least eight litres every day. That’s what we plan to do.” Paul’s and Boshoff’s progress can be tracked on their blog – The South African Dung Beetles Blog 17 July 2014 Only 12 teams have been brave enough to enter this year’s edition of the longest canoe race in the world, the Yukon 1 000 – meaning 1 000 miles (1 600 kilometres) – and they include the “South African Dung Beetles”, Duncan Paul and Donovan Boshoff of the Natal Canoe Club. The event starts in Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon, in Alaska, and concludes at the Alaska Pipeline/Dalton Highway after seven to 12 days of paddling for 18 hours a day. Clearly, it is not for the faint of heart.Unsupported As an unsupported race, the contestants have to look out for their own wellbeing and that means carrying three weeks of food supplies. “You have to take three weeks of food with you because if you have bad weather conditions or someone gets injured there is no way you can be helped out there,” Paul said at a send-off function in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he and Boshoff jetted off on their way to Canada for the start of the Yukon 1 000, which takes place from Monday, 21 July. Paul previously took part in the Yukon River Quest in 2007, completing the mammoth 740 kilometre journey with fellow Natal Canoe Club member Colin Burden in 50 hours, while taking only one seven-hour and one three-hour break along the way.Useful knowledge Thanks to that previous experience, Paul explained, he learned some useful things, like the kinds of trials he and Boshoff can expect to face in the even longer Yukon 1 000.
Sachin Tendulkar has for the first time admitted that the match-fixing episodes in 1999-2000 had initially affected his game and the Indian team had to go through a difficult and painful phase as “spectators looked at us with suspicion”.Tendulkar said he was not in the right frame of mind during India’s disastrous tour of Australia where they were thrashed 0-3 in 1999-2000.”I can tell you that I was never approached by anyone, neither we had any discussions about the same in the team meeting,” Tendulkar told former South African Board President Dr Ali Bacher in an interview for Super Sport Channel.”I remember that there was a stage in 1999-2000 when it was very difficult as we were to play Australia. Before the series these things started making rounds. As a cricketer that’s the last thing I want.”You want your beloved game to be as clean as possible. I wanted the spectators to enjoy the contest and not look at us with suspicion. To play well, players need to be in right frame of mind and I can tell you that I was not in that frame of mind,” Tendulkar said, recollecting the disastrous series.The pain in his voice was evident as he gave the interview. “Every match you play and people pass on loose comments. This was really hurting me and the whole team,” said the maestro.Tendulkar felt that their historic 2-1 series win over Australia at home was the turning point. “I was sure that we needed to put up a very special performance against Aussies so that cricket lovers forget what has happened in the past and start enjoying the game again and move on. With grace of God we managed to do that.advertisement”We lost the first match at Mumbai. But in the next match at Kolkata we fought back from very bad position and won that match to level the series. Last match was even harder. At Chennai while chasing small total we lost eight wickets but won that Test match and series too.”I was happy for the fact we forced cricket lovers to forget about that bad chapter and start following cricket again.”Recollecting the horror days of match fixing, Bacher revealed that the South African Board was indeed approached by bookmakers.”We were directly approached by bookmakers to take their offer to the players through team meeting. Those were days when in couple of ICC meetings, I had raised this issue,” he said.With inputs from PTI
Maruti S-CrossIndia’s largest car maker Maruti has never really tasted phenomenal success with its Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs). Neither the Grand Vitara nor the Gypsy have been able to set the sales chart on fire. In order to capitalise on the SUV segment, Maruti plans to launch two new products by 2016, which includes the highly anticipated XA Alpha.Seen at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo, the XA Alpha Concept is a futuristic compact SUV, expected to be launched sometime this year. The Maruti SX4 S-Cross is a crossover SUV, which should be launched before the XA Alpha. Testing of the S-Cross has already started in the country and at present, it is on offer in global markets. In its segment, this vehicle will compete against the likes of Volkswagen Cross Polo, Toyota Etios Cross and the Fiat Avventura. XA Alpha, in turn, will primarily rival the hugely successful Ford EcoSport. At the recent Tata Zest launch, it was revealed that Tata Motors also plans to bring in a new compact SUV called Nexon. In addition, Maruti will also be closely monitoring Renault Duster AWD to understand the demand for a 4?4 SUV.