Skip to content
Team race brings down the curtain
29th July 2018
The popular four-leg Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Challenge drew to a close with an innovative team format race for the JD Sebenza Geriatskis race that saw Gene Prato become the only the second paddler to race onto the top step of the overall podium in the Sunday morning series. In a deliberate effort to shake up the hotly contested surfski racers and to focus on fun and a new tactical format, paddlers were able to race in teams of two singles, singles and doubles or two doubles, with the full team taking on the first and fourth laps, and individual boats alternating in the middle two laps. Prato partnered the on-form Luke Nisbet, and they blasted space between themselves and chasers Hamish Mackenzie and Brendon Delport on their solo laps to win by a cavernous four minute margin. “That was a great way to end the series,” said Prato. “It shakes things up a bit and makes it interesting.” “It would have been really interesting if Hank (McGregor) had been here,” he added. “The team format was great,” added Nisbet. “Initially it seemed to make sense to go flat out, but then the team legs were timed by the last paddler home so we worked together on those legs.” Third overall was the women’s team of surfski world champ Hayley Nixon and Olympic sprint medallist Bridgitte Hartley, winning the women’s title by over three minutes from the pairing of Jenna Ward and Donna Winter, who finished seventh overall. The outing was key training for Nixon and Hartley as they prepare for the marathon world championships in Portugal in early September. “The race felt good for me today and it was exciting to see how strong Bridgitte (Hartley) was today,” said Nixon. “Every time she gets onto the ocean she gets better and better.” “It was so exciting to see another very strong women’s field,” she added. The only other double winner of the series Andy Birkett enjoyed the outing with his wife Nikki, making her comeback to racing after the birth of their child, finishing sixth overall. The team of Jason Ekstrand and the doubles pairing of Alex Masina and Hamish Lovemore won the single and double format ahead of Richard Lowe and the double ski of youngsters Callam Davis and Stewart Little. Continuing their excellent run of form, the Bay Union development team of Umnini coach Mhlengi Mngadi and the crew of Minenhle Ntombela and Paulos Shozi raced into the top five once again, missing a spot on the podium by one place. The all doubles format race was won by Malcolm Pitt and Craig Greenland, partnering Greg Worthington and Michel De Rauville. The race was made up of four laps designed to make the most of the choppy onshore winds, giving the paddlers a downwind leg into the finish at Vetch’s Beach. SUMMARY OF RESULTS JD SEBENZA GERIATSKIS RACE LEG FOUR OF THE BAY UNION OPEN OCEAN SURFSKI CHALLENGE. SINGLES 1 Gene Prato/Luke Nisbet 1:01:36.49 2 Brendon Delport/Hamish Mackenzie 1:05:33.20 3 Bridgitte Hartley/Hayley Nixon 1:06:13.41 (1st women) 4 Steve Cohen/Brad Pearse 1:07:14.03 5 Herman Chalupsky/Colin Simpkins 1:07:22.85 6 Andy Birkett/Nikki Birkett 1:07:52.30 (1st MD) 7 Jenna Ward/Donna Winter 1:10:07.21 (2nd women) 8 Grant Fowlds/Gareth Miles 1:11:57.49 9 Stuart Carter/Gavin Botha 1:14:06.75 10 David Maehler/Jordan Maehler 1:14:49.26 11 Duncan Cartwright/Charl Massyn 1:15:05.93 12 Duane Taylor/Jody Taylor 1:18:19.59 13 Lunga Mngadi/Ayanda Dube 1:19:50.56 14 Cara Waud/Sabina Lawrie 1:20:01.68 (3rd women) 15 Wally Bodin/Lungelo Shange 1:21:26.03 16 Johann Terblanche/Reynard Van Antwerpen 1:21:56.29 17 Jarryd Walker/Ian Walker 1:22:41.34 18 Senzo Ngcobo/Mark Smith 1:22:56.40 19 Jacqui Boyd/Tracey Nuss 1:27:01.01 20 Tayla Gilmore/Alice Edward 1:28:10.47 21 Thea Van Der Westhuizen/Dave Macleod 1:29:03.41 DOUBLES 1 Malcolm Pitt/Craig Greenland Greg Worthington/Michel De Rauville 1:05:06.56 2 Steve Evans/Nigel Oxenham Trevor Vernes/Skye Prato 1:05:55.80 3 Richard Hogg/Craig Mcintosh Ian Marais/Bruce Glenday 1:07:19.29 4 Allan Hold/Paul Chalupsky Geoff Thompson/Anthony Scott 1:09:04.39 5 Gary Waud/Melissa Van Rooyen Emmi Wood/Gavin Dundas-Starr 1:10:09.96 6 John Dimmick/Keith Lyons Jorg Wellinger/Derek Hauptfleisch 1:12:14.04 7 Louisa Van Staden/Wilma Deyzel Debbie Gillet/Lyn Bennett 1:12:43.82 8 Murray Smith/Dylan Smith Lance Howarth/Lauren Howarth 1:13:24.78 9 Kyeta Purchase/Tamryn Mckie Bruce Pender-Smith/Sarah-Anne Pender-Smith 1:16:13.89 10 Eugene Swanepoel/Monique Boshoff Siobhan Sharp/Darren Stone 1:17:16.19 SINGLE and DOUBLE 1 Jason Ekstrand/Alex Masina/Hamish Lovemore 1:00:43.72 2 Richard Lowe/Callam Davis/Stewart Little 1:01:45.16 3 Grant Smith/Nicholas Horn/Gavin Searle 1:06:22.20 4 Mhlengi Mngadi/Minenhle Ntombela/Paulos Shozi 1:09:18.10 5 Dave Fraser/Peter Manning/Richard Strickland 1:12:00.81 6 Stuart Roberts/Lance Benn/Brad Cooper 1:12:28.06 7 Claudio Manfron/Craig Bruton/James Tutton 1:13:28.88 8 Marcel Gerhard/Solly Segal/Brett Hancocks 1:14:27.66 9 Jonty Dobrowsky/Kelly Biljoen/Jon Ivins 1:17:22.19 10 Warren Lancaster/Stuart Hancocks/Trevor Hellens 1:25:31.23...
Doubles highlights race three
22nd July 2018
After their recent announcement that they will be racing the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships together, Hank McGregor and Andy Birkett took on their first surfski race together when they won race three of the Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Challenge, the Geriatskis Doubles Race, while Donna Winter and Jenna Ward won the ladies race on Sunday. The Euro Steel duo, who won the FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon in February, are a devastating combination in a boat and to see them in a surfski together is another intimidating sight for any would-be challengers. “It was great to be in a double ski for the first time with Andy and we had a great day out, awesome conditions for surfski paddling,” McGregor commented. “We managed to get ourselves a slight lead going out to the buoy and then we milked the bumps coming back.” Birkett echoed McGregor’s comments about their day on the ocean and they were both happy with a win in their debut race together. “I think that the conditions were a lot better for doubles skis and we had a good race. I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to another paddle together soon,” Birkett said. The dream team were in control of proceedings when they manged to maintain their early lead throughout and win the race by 30 seconds over Luke Nisbett and Gene Prato in second place, while Matt Bouman and Andre Pohl finished in third. The ladies race was won by another impressive duo. Jenna Ward and Donna Winter won the ladies race in convincing fashion when they dominated the rest of the ladies field. “Conditions were great!” Winter said after the race. “It was pretty flat but we paddled in a north easterly which meant it was quite a difficult paddle to the turn buoy but the way back there was a nice little bump with a few runs. “Jenna and I were chuffed to take the win and overall it was a great race for us!” It was a terrific effort from the winning pair of Ward and Winter as they powered to a ninth place overall finish and a win of over four minutes ahead of Bridgitte Hartley and Melissa van Rooyen. Lyn Bennett and Debbie Gillet rounded out the ladies podium. Taking the mixed category was the young pair of Cameron Hudson and Sabina Lawrie. The pair were also in fine form as they rounded out the top ten and took the mixed category by over four minutes. Experienced ocean racer Herman Chalupsky took home the singles honours ahead of Stuart Roberts and Sam Butcher. Over the short course it was an exciting shootout for the top spot on the podium that was eventually won by Jody and Duane Taylor ahead of Murray and Dylan Smith by just five seconds. Finishing third over the short course was under 18 girls pair of Alice Edward and Tayla Gilmore. SUMMARY OF RESULTS – RACE FOUR BAY UNION OPEN OCEAN SURFSKI SERIES LONG COURSE Overall 1.Hank McGregoe/Andy Birkett 43:21 2.Luke Nisbett/Gene Prato 43:51 3.Matt Bouman/Andre Pohl 44:15 4.Jason Ekstrand/Hamish Lovemore 45:48 5.Tyron Maher/Clinton Cook 46:03 6.Richard Lowe/Callam Davis 48:33 7.Stewart Little/Hamish Mackenzie (U23) 48:55 8.Grant Smith/Paulos Shozi 49:05 9.Jenna Ward/Donna Winter 49:40 10.Sabina Lawrie/Cameron Hudson 49:51 Women 1.Jenna Ward/Donna Winter 49:40 2.Bridgitte Hartley/Melissa van Rooyen 54:09 3.Lyn Bennett/Debbie Gillet 54:57 Singles 1.Herman Chalupsky 52:24 2.Stuart Roberts 56:39 3.Sam Butcher 57:13 SHORT COURSE Overall 1.Jody Taylor/Duane Taylor 36:11 2.Murray Smith/Dylan Smith 36:16 3.Alice Edward/Tayla Gilmore 36:40 (U18) 36:40 4.Sharon Armstrong/Carl Elkington 36:49 5.Luke Taylor/Bryan Taylor 36:56 Singles 1.Cameron White (U23) 38:56 2.Lunga Mngadi 40:25 3.Lungelo Shange 40:45...
Umnini development paddlers star
19th July 2018
As the popular Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Challenge reaches its halfway mark, the progress and attitude of the young men and women from the series’ development programme has been a major talking point of the series. The Sunday morning 12km and 6km races feature some of the best surfski racers in the world, but there is strong drive, supported by the sponsors, to train and encourage the next generation of the sport’s stars. In the build-up the the four race series there is frenzy of activity in the development squad, which is made up of young boys and girls from communities of Umgababa and Umnini, coached by Mhlengi Mngadi. The youngsters, who have been identified by Canoeing South Africa’s development co-ordinator Janet Simpkins, started training for surfski paddling last year, visiting the Vetch’s Reef-based club once a week. By the end of their maiden series, the passionate young paddlers were regular visitors to the podium in the short course races, and eager to extend their skills and endurance test to the more competitive long course races. In the first two races of the 2018 series Paulos Shozi has raced into very impressive long course top ten positions, in races won by world class paddlers Andy Birkett and Hank McGregor. With Bay Union backing the successful programme, the eleven-strong squad, ranging from 11 to 25 years of age, has set it’s sights on lofty goals of getting half of their paddlers into the top ten in the tougher long course events. Their progress this season has been all the more remarkable because their regular training base on the river at Umgababa has been hampered because of damage suffered to the Umgababa River estuary by the last floods. “Instead of being able to train four or five times a week, they have been relying on their one day a week at PWC with Point Watersports Club coach Mitchell Tees, which makes their results really impressive,” said PWC’s Jacqui Boyd. “Having witnessed the paddlers in action on the water over the past two Sundays as part of the Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Challenge, both their enthusiasm and the way that they have embraced the sport is amazing and heart-warming in equal measures,” said Dave Pearse CEO of Bay Union. The Umgababa development squad was founded by Swelihle Ndlovu in 2007, when he was a member of the Amanzimtoti Canoe Club, with the help of local Mike Chiazzari and the KZN Canoe Union. When Ndlovu moved on to become the swimming coach at the Sharks Board Mngadi took over as coach of the squad....
McGregor and Nixon taste success
15th July 2018
Just a week after their victories in Mauritius Hank McGregor and Hayley Nixon tasted success at this years Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Challenge when they won the men’s and women’s title at the twelve kilometre Citadel Race at Vetch’s Beach on Sunday, opening their accounts at the popular four-race winter series. With Durban being buffeted by an icy cold front, the race was shifted to a lap from Vetch’s Beach to a turn-can off the uMngeni River Mouth and back instead of the standard course that takes the paddlers offshore in front of the Bluff. McGregor (Fenn Kayaks/Euro Steel) mastered the big windswept conditions superbly and cantered home more than a minute clear of Gene Prato, Luke Nisbet and Tyron Maher to claim his first win in the Sunday morning series. Hayley Nixon (Carbonology/Euro Steel/Vaikobi) revelled in the tough conditions to post an impressive win over last weeks winner Jenna Ward and Donna Winter. The Molokai champion said that the decision to revert to a course inside the shelter of the bay had been a good one, but the conditions had still been tough to master. “It was freezing out there! It was so unlike typical Durban conditions,” said Nixon. “The downwind leg down to the river mouth was great fun and really competitive. “It was great that all the singles started together so that we could race with the men,” she added. “After the turn at the can coming back into the weather was a real grit and a grind. It was bumpy conditions and the wind was blowing, which made for really good training,” said Nixon. The double ski field revelled in the stormy conditions, with the duo of Jason Ekstrand and Hamish Lovemore banking the win with the fastest time of the day, with the minor placings going to Brendon Delport and Richard Lowe, and the crew of Gavin Searle and Grant Smith. The next race, the Geriatskis Race, Race three of the Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Series takes place at Vetch’s Beach on Sunday, 22 July. More information can be found at www.oosc.co.za SUMMARY OF RESULTS – Citadel Open Ocean Challenge Race Two of the Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Series Long Course Singles 1 Hank McGregor 0:58:47.05 2 Gene Prato 1:00:25.07 3 Luke Nisbet 1:00:48.16 4 Tyron Maher 1:00:57.04 5 Herman Chalupsky 1:02:41.29 6 Stewart Little 1:03:00.56 7 Quinton Rutherford 1:03:11.76 8 Hayley Nixon 1:06:05.00 9 Hamish Mackenzie 1:07:27.35 10 Paulos Shozi 1:08:28.07 11 Jenna Ward 1:08:31.71 12 Malcolm Pitt 1:08:34.67 13 Donna Winter 1:08:45.67 14 Colin Simpkins 1:08:55.06 15 Craig Greenland 1:09:43.27 16 Mark Lewin 1:11:27.68 17 Ross Fountain 1:11:49.33 18 Grant Fowlds 1:11:52.78 19 Jasper Gaylard 1:12:39.30 20 Michel De Rauville 1:12:56.47 Women 1.Hayley Nixon 1:06:05.00 2.Jenna Ward 1:08:31.71 3.Donna Winter 1:08:45.67 4.Christie Mackenzie 1:15:55.21 Doubles 1 Jason Ekstrand/Hamish Lovemore 0:58:34.49 2 Brendon Delport/Richard Lowe 1:01:51.73 3 Gavin Searle/Grant Smith 1:02:59.73 4 Allan Hold/Geoff Thompson 1:05:05.49 5 Claudio Manfron/Craig Bruton 1:06:06.40 6 Trevor Vernes/Skye Prato 1:06:40.75 7 Buckey Symons/Dave Fraser 1:06:47.80 8 Steve Evans/Nigel Oxenham 1:07:33.53 9 David Aikins/Wally Bodin 1:07:42.75 10 Derek Hauptfleisch/Jorg Wellinger 1:09:57.16...
Exciting first leg of 2018 Series
8th July 2018
Vetch’s Beach was a hive of activity on Sunday as the 2018 Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Series got underway with an excited feel to both the long and the short course as Andy Birkett and Jenna Ward took home wins in the men’s and women’s long course race respectively. A strong turn-out of paddlers in some manageable conditions saw Birkett and Matt Bouman fight it out for the win over the course that took the paddlers to the Umngeni River mouth and back to Vetch’s Beach. The tough grind with a small bump meant that Birkett’s flat-water marathon skills would have been highlighted towards the end of the race. “It was a great day racing in some fairly flat conditions,” Euro Steel’s Birkett said. “I thought that I would just play it safe and just stick next to Matt the whole way out to the river mouth. “Then coming back I stayed on his slip and managed to pip him just before the beach! “It was great racing and I really enjoyed and look forward to the next race.” Taking third overall was Gene Prato who was just under two minutes off the pace, however he had a good tussle with Luke Nisbett for the last podium spot. With a number of the top surfski paddlers in town in Mauritius for an international surfski race, the field gathered in Durban was still a formidable one with Jenna Ward, Sabina Lawrie and Donna Winter fighting it out for the ladies win. “It was a great turn out and it was such a good race against Donna and Sabina,” Euro Steel’s Ward said. “From the beginning of the race it was flat out and I managed to get a little break. “It was a flat out sprint all the way to the end where I managed to just get ahead of Sabina at the end.” Rounding out the top three in the women’s race was Donna Winter who finished just over a minute behind Lawrie. Richard Lowe and Callam Davis won the doubles race in an exciting showdown with Brendon Delport and Jason Ekstrand while Alan Hold and Geoff Thompson finished third in the doubles race. The popular short course saw Murray and Dylan Smith finish the race first ahead of Lance and Lauren Howarth in second and Barry and Pauline Painting in third. Gary Waud, Gerrie Moolman and Minenhle Ntombela made up one, two and three respectively of the short course podium. The next race, the Citadel Race, Race Two of the Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Series takes place at Vetch’s Beach on Sunday, 15 July. More information can be found at www.oosc.co.za SUMMARY OF RESULTS – RACE ONE BAY UNION OPEN OCEAN SURFSKI SERIES Long Course Singles 1.Andy Birkett 55:15 2.Matt Bouman 55:19 3.Gene Prato 57:43 4.Luke Nisbet 57:49 5.Tyron Maher 59:34 Women 1.Jenna Ward 1:04:16 2.Sabina Lawrie 1:04:21 3.Donna Winter 1:05:33 4.Melissa van Rooyen 1:14:22 5.Teegan Hardwick 1:19:41 Doubles 1.Richard Lowe/Callam Davis 57:40 2.Brendon Delport/Jason Ekstrand 57:44 3.Alan Hold/Geoff Thompson 1:01:43 4.Grant Smith/Nicholas Horn 1:02:25 Short Course Overall 1.Murray Smith/Dylan Smith 36:41 2.Lance Howarth/Lauren Howarth 36:43 3.Barry Painting/Pauline Painting 37:16 Singles 1.Gary Waud 39:21 2.Gerrie Moolman 39:23 3.Minenhle Ntombela 39:24...
Comments are closed