The women’s series honours have been thrust into the spotlight as the race heats up with Michelle Burn registering her second win of the series at the FNB Surfski Challenge, one adrift of Hayley Nixon and Bridgette Hartley, with just two races left in the popular 10-leg series.
With Hank McGregor having wrapped up the men’s title last week with his sixth win of the series, the focus shifted to the ladies title showdown with a three-way sprint for the overall honours with Nixon holding a slight advantage over the chasing pair.
“I thought the North-Easter was going to die down a bit but it didn’t so I battled a bit paddling into the headwind and my arms got pretty tired!” race winner Fenn Kayaks’ Michelle Burn commented. “When we turned at the top can Hayley probably had a about two runs on me but on the downwind section I managed to get some good runs and get ahead of her. She then caught me again on the paddle to the can on the second lap so it was such a good race between the two of us, I just made sure that she didn’t get too far ahead of me.”
Conditions have varied over the eight weeks of racing however they have steered towards the benign and for Burn having some choppy conditions played right into her hands. “I always knew that I was going to be able to link some good runs together over the downwind leg of the race and get the lead but it wasn’t as easy as I was hoping it was going to be! Luckily I was able to get a few really steep and awesome runs and I was even more lucky to hold on a small swim at the finish! When I fell out I hoped that my ski would be facing the shore and it was so I was able to just beat Hayley to the line,” a smiling Burn added.
The men’s race was a one-sided affair as SMG/Epic Kayaks’ Matt Bouman showed his class to take his second singles win of the series ahead of series stalwart Wade Krieger in second and Grant van der Walt in third. Men’s series winner Hank McGregor swapped his single for a double as he and Lee Furby powered their way home to a doubles win in front of Quinton Rutherford and Brian Taylor in second and the Mckie pair of Calvin and Byron in third.
The Euro Steel/Fenn Kayaks’ ladies pair of Jenna Ward and Kyeta Purchase rekindled their partnership to dominate the ladies race, both singles and doubles, to finish 13th overall on Friday. Donna Winter and Shaun Burgin were the fastest mixed double home with Hamish Mackenzie taking the first junior title away with him.
On the 4km short course it was Warrick Mac Nicol and Dwayne Powel who were the fastest across the line ahead of Jason Ward and junior Matthew Mouron in third. Carmel Billson was the strongest lady in the short course race as she finished just under two minutes ahead of Tracey Nuss in second with Siobhan Sharp finishing third. After missing the last race of the series Nick Park-Ross showwed his class to come back and take another win in the stand-up paddle boarding category ahead of Matt Swemmer and Danica Bartho in third.
The Hi-Q Surfski Challenge, Race Nine of the 2017 FNB Surfski Series, takes place at 17h30 on Friday, 24 February at Marine Surf Lifesaving Club, Addington Beach.
images: Anthony Grote
1.Matt Bouman 37:25
2.Wade Krieger 38:28
3.Grant van der Walt 39:04
4.Gene Prato 39:27
5.Bailey de Fondaumiere 40:07
1.Jenna Ward/Kyeta Purchase 42:25
2.Michelle Burn 43:35
3.Hayley Nixon 43:43
4.Pippa McGregor 55:14
5.Christie Mackenzie 58:44
1.Hank McGregor/Lee Furby 38:27
2.Quinton Rutherford/Brian Taylor 41:07
3.Calvin Mckie/Byron Mckie 41:39
1.Donna Winter/Shaun Burgin 42:04
2.Raquel Arcediano/Gareth Miles 44:23
3.Mark Lewin/Anna Clifford-Arwidi 47:02
1.Jenna Ward/Kyeta Purchase 42:25
1.Hamish Mackenzie 44:50
1.Warrick Mac Nicol/Dwayne Powell 20:59
2.Jason Ward 24:26
3.Matthew Maroun 26:23
1.Carmel Billson 32:41
2.Tracey Nuss 34:04
3.Siobhan Sharp 35:21
1.Nick Park-Ross 48:44
2.Matthew Swemmer 52:40
3.Shayne Chipps 1:05:12
1.Danica Bartho 54:35