The curtain came down on the well-supported Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Challenge on Sunday morning with change the order of the day as the annual JD Sebenza BuildIt Geriatskis relay race was decided at the Durban Undersea Club.
With paddlers getting the option of racing in one of three team options – two single skis, two double skis or a single and double ski team – the elite paddlers were spread across a variety of contests on the day.
Gene Prato and Tyron Maher won the key single/single ski race, though they were predictably a minute slower than the double ski team winners Shaine McAlister/Marc Descoins and Dave Harker/Justin Swart.
Prato and Maher were set to go toe-to-toe with Maher’s partner to victory in the recent Berg River Canoe Marathon Hamish Lovemore and his partner Jason Eckstrand, but that ended when Lovemore was forced to withdraw after injuring his arm in a freak deep water collision.
That coming-together was as a result of some confusion over the location of the turning buoy on the first of four laps on the long course as paddler struggled to locate the buoy which was some distance further and closer inshore than expected.
With Lovemore nursing a badly swollen forearm after the collision, that left the door ajar for Prato and Maher to race away to claim the prize, with Eckstrand opting to gallantly paddle the remainder of the team event on his own to hang onto second place.
The potent combination of Stewart Little, Caitlin Mackenzie and Cameron Hudson took the honours in the single ski/double ski competition ahead of the team of Grant Smith, Nicholas Horn and Gavin Searle.
The women’s race also proved to be an interesting outing for the pre-race favourites Jenna Ward and Kyeta Purchase. With their main focus being on their K2 challenge at the World Marathon Championships in China in October, the Sunday morning series has been a key part of their base training phase.
“We wanted to get in twenty kilometres training today and we landed up getting 23,5 kilometres done, so that my marathon done for today,” said Purchase, as the race ended up being longer than advertised due to the confusion of the siting of the turning buoy.
“It was more that we were expecting but in this training phase every mile counts,” she added. “Paddling in the sea just makes you fitter and stronger.”
“It was such a fun format and to do a relay race like this to end the series was cool,” said Ward, as the Euro Steel duo once again ended up testing themselves against some of the elite men’s crews.
“Kyeta and I got onto the water before the race and did ten kilometres, and when we realised the race was turning out to be longer than we expected, it was more than we bargained for but it was good training,” she added.
The K2 partners will have to do battle against each other in the upcoming Bay Union King of the Bay next weekend and the Gara Dolphin Coast Challenge as both are single ski format races, before they turn their attention as a unit to the Hansa Fish in September that will decide the SA K2 titles.
The short course honours fell to the double ski team of Alice Edward/Paige Horn and George Edward/William Pearse, while the SUP laurels went to the trio of Jaqueline Lecourt De Billot, Matthew Swemmer and Lande Williamson.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
JD SEBENZA BUILDIT RELAY RACE
1 Shaine McAlister/Marc Descoins/Dave Harker/Justin Swart 1:36:15.00
2 Gene Prato/Tyron Maher 1:37:16.90
3 Gary Waud/James Tutton/Don Gobey/Skye Prato 1:38:01.44
4 Stewart Little/Caitlin Mackenzie/Cameron Hudson 1:38:20.42
5 Lyn Bennett/Quintus Van Der Merwe/Ian Walker/Jarryd Walker 1:39:03.47
6 Grant Smith/Nicholas Horn/Gavin Searle 1:39:24.52
7 Jason Ekstrand/Hamish Lovemore 1:39:28.68
8 Allan Hold/Geoff Thompson/David Aikins/Wally Bodin 1:41:15.34
9 Brendon Delport/Richard Lowe 1:42:11.24
10 Barry Lewin/Bradley Allen 1:42:53.66
11 Max Howard/Georgina Howard/Bryce Lawson 1:42:57.16
12 Colin Simpkins/Stretch Struwig 1:43:20.50
13 Gustav Kriese/Neil Evans 1:44:08.41
14 Charl Massyn/Vanessa Mayhew/Duncan Cartwright/Tracey Nuss 1:44:13.47
15 Joe Terblanche/Reynard Van Antwerpen 1:44:31.91
16 Jason Ward/Bryce Maher/Trevor Maher 1:45:32.21
17 Jenna Ward/Kyeta Purchase 1:47:02.87
18 Trevor Vernes/Jorg Wellinger/Derek Hauptfleisch/Joshua Hauptfleisch 1:48:50.34
19 Gavin Botha/Grant Fowlds 1:50:14.87
20 Terry Henebrey/Debbie Gillet/Michel De Rauville 1:51:24.15
21 Dave Fraser/Ted Waldburger/Lynn Combrink 1:51:57.15
22 Lungelo Shange/Brad Pearse 1:53:14.88
23 Jade Dundas-Starr/Emmi Wood/Gavin Dundas-Starr 1:54:24.05
24 Stuart Carter/Daryn Brown 1:54:59.50
25 Allan Lawrie/Clive Hockly 1:55:08.13
26 Jacqui Boyd/Louisa Van Staden/Wilma Deyzel/Debbie Lewis 1:55:16.92
27 Cara Waud/Amy Peckett/Shannon Parker-Dennison 1:58:09.06
28 David Button/Jacquie Button/Robert Strachan/Sally Strachan 1:58:21.66
29 John Dimmick/Pieter Botha 1:58:25.67
30 Sabina Lawrie/Saskia Hockly 1:59:04.95
31 Clint Lawson/Bruce Mcdonald Brian Goble 2:02:43.17
32 Mark Johnson/Russell Solomon/Jacqui Moynihan 2:07:33.21
33 Siobhan Sharp/Monique Boshoff 2:07:56.31
34 Thubelihle Banda/Senzo Ngcobo 2:11:13.33
35 Benjamin Maehler/Jonathan Maehler 2:12:25.73
1 Alice Edward/Paige Horn/George Edward/William Pearse 1:19:03.44
2 Matthew Doyle/James Law/Matthew Petzer/Luke Achmad 1:21:44.18
3 Tamryn McKie/Carmel Billson/Byron McKie/Nikki Aitken 1:27:36.14
4 Ciarda Sharp/Brendan Sharp/Darren Stone 1:29:28.78
5 Stuart Roberts/Raymond Strover 1:35:32.46
6 Mhlengi Mngadi/Ethan Fuller 1:37:36.79
7 Peter Gilmore/Roy Carty 1:38:02.24
8 Graham Boys/William Trotter 1:39:41.65
9 Kwanele Banda/Kwanele Mngoma 1:42:00.04
10 Jeff Schaller/Diana Rietz 1:43:46.66
1 Jaqueline Lecourt De Billot/Matthew Swemmer/Lande Williamson 2:05:47.46
2 Jon Ivins/Niel Oets 2:12:28.87
3 Karisa Grace/Jeanne Grace 2:23:53.3