After a brief break from the surf on the Durban beach front, paddlers returned to take on the first race of the winter and it was stalwarts Matt Bouman and Michelle Burn who claimed wins at the Hansa Surfski Challenge at Dairy Beach on the Worker’s Day public holiday on Monday.
Despite the long weekend, Durban’s surfski community showed how much they have missed ocean racing as the women’s field attracted some of the top paddlers in the region with Michelle Burn showing that her hard work is paying dividends.
“I tried to use the FNB Surfski Series as a point to get back into paddling and then build on that through the winter,” the Fenn Kayaks’ star said.
“I have been working hard since the summer series and Monday was a great way for me to see whether I have improved – which I think I have.”
The 12km Hansa Surfski Challenge took place on a two-lap, 6km out-and-back course that tested paddlers of all abilities and Burn was happy that she was able to hold off the other women through the two laps.
“On the first lap I was able to hold on to Bridgitte (Hartley) out to the turn can and when we turned I got some good runs and opened up a gap.
“It was vital that I was able to hold them off on the final paddle to the turn can into the wind, and I managed that.
“I was proud of my effort and it was a good example of my improvements that I have made, especially with Bridgitte, Jenna (Ward) and Kyeta (Purchase) on the water,” she added.
The race for second in the women’s race threatened to be an exciting one, however, young Euro Steel ace Kyeta Purchase got a gap on her team mate Bridgitte Hartley and beat her by 40 seconds.
In the men’s race it was SMG/Epic Kayaks’ Bouman who showed his class to claim the overall win ahead of young Bailey de Fondaumiere with Bay Union/Fenn Kayaks’ Luke Nisbet in third place overall.
Bouman was a class apart and managed and mastered the conditions better than anyone else as he finished 25 second ahead of De Fondaumiere with a procession of paddlers following them home.
The doubles racing is always a hard-fought affair and the Hansa Surfski Challenge was no surprise. Shaun Burgin and partner Lee Muir ended up taking the overall win just under a minute ahead of Bruce Wenke and Linton Hope with Eugene Swanepoel and Johann Terblanche in third.
The race also offered a one-lap 6km race and that saw Jasper Gaylard outstrip the rest of the field to win by a mammoth two-and-a-half minutes ahead of Patrick Addis and overall women’s winner Siobhan Sharp third.
In the stand-up paddleboard category, Thomas King was far too strong for the other competitors and finished the 6km course in 40 minutes and 54 seconds. His win was more impressive as he beat Matt Swemmer by five minutes while Jaqueline le Court De Billot took third.
The next race of the winter season is the opening race of the Bay Union Surfski Series – the Bay Union Singles Surfski Challenge on 7 May 2017.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – Hansa Surfski Challenge
RACE FIVE OF THE 2016 BAY UNION SURFSKI SERIES
1.Matthew Bouman 50:52
2.Bailey de Fondaumiere 51:17
3.Luke Nisbet 51:30
4.Wade Krieger 51:52
5.Barry Lewin 52:14
6.Gene Prato 52:14
7.Tyron Maher 53:29
8.Clinton Cook 53:33
9.Richard Burn 54:31
10.Zoog Haynes 55:14
1.Michelle Burn 56:20
2.Kyeta Purchase 57:55
3.Bridgitte Hartley 58:35
4.Jenna Ward 58:44
5.Donna Tutton 1:02:36
1.Brendon Delport 59:08
1.Shaun Burgin/Lee Muir 51:43
2.Bruce Wenke/Linton Hope 52:49
3.Eugene Swanepoel/Johann Terblanche 54:47
4.Skye Prato/Marc Descoins 55:54
5.Mark Lewin/Allan Hold 56:15
1.Jasper Gaylard 35:29
2.Patrick Addis 38:00
3.Siobhan Sharp 38:01
1.Sean Chater/Dylan Riddle 33:30
2.Dean Maclean/Catherine Addis 34:19
3.Stuart Riddle/Gary Bowler 38:25
1.Thomas King 40:54
2.Matthew Swemmer 46:16
3.Jaqueline le Court De Billot 47:04