Another dose of crystal clear, flat conditions greeted paddlers on an unusual Tuesday evening for the Lettie Paddle Surfski Challenge, Race 7 of the 2017 FNB Surfski Series which saw another polished performance from Hank McGregor to take his sixth win of the series and the overall series spoils.
The race is moved from its traditional Friday slot due to this week’s FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon, however hundreds of avid surfski paddlers came out to show support for the Lettie Fund, which supports those currently in a fight against cancer and remembering those who have lost their battle to the disease.
Having only missed one of the opening seven races of the 10-leg series, McGregor knew what was on the line at the Lettie Paddle Surfski Challenge and the Euro Steel/Epic Kayaks’ star took no prisoners over the 8km course.
“The race went a lot better than last week for me and it’s great to cap off my sixth win of the series with an overall series title,” McGregor said.
“I got myself a good lead early on and just managed to build on that but I didn’t want to do too much with the Dusi starting just 48 hours after the race. “I did just enough to get the win and really chuffed with the series win!”
The men’s race podium was rounded out by the series’ runner-up Matt Bouman, and junior Hamish Lovemore was in really good form to bag his second third place finish of the series.
The ladies series quest took another exciting twist on Tuesday evening when Euro Steel/Carbonology Sport’s Hayley Nixon claimed her third win to move into a tie with Bridgitte Hartley with three wins apiece.
The flat conditions were going to test the athletes to the full at the seventh race of the series and for Nixon she was satisfied that she managed the conditions well and got another vital win. “It was a bit unusual to come out on a Tuesday night for the race but it was another great race in some gruelling conditions.
“I missed having Bridgitte (Hartley) because she really ramps up the racing but it was great to be out there again and taking on the men so it was interesting to see the times,” Nixon mentioned. Euro Steel’s Kyeta Purchase rounded out the ladies podium with another solid showing at the Lettie Paddle Surfski Challenge.
The leading double was the Capetonian pair of Dawid Mocké and Ian Black who pipped Jason Ekstrand and Sweden’s Emil Torstensson in second and Joseph Williams and Phillip Smith rounding out the podium.
Luke Nisbet and Jenna Ward were once again in imperious form as they wrapped up another mixed doubles win and an impressive third place overall finish.
Jody Taylor won the short course ahead of Chester Foster and Alan Beukes while the strongest double went to the family pair of Zoog and Ty Haynes. Matthew Swemmer bagged a victory in the stand-up paddleboarding category ahead of Shayne Chipps and Brandon Read with Jackie de Billot winning the ladies SUP category.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – Lettie Paddle Surfski Challenge
RACE SEVEN OF THE 2017 FNB SURFSKI SERIES
1.Hank McGregor 30:40
2.Matt Bouman 31:04
3.Hamish Lovemore 32:19
1.Hayley Nixon 35:40
2.Kyeta Purchase 37:06
3.Michelle Burn 37:15
1.Dawid Mocké/Ian Black 30:42
2.Jason Ekstrand/Emil Torstensson 31:04
3.Joseph Williams/Phillip Smith 32:09
1.Luke Nesbit/Jenna Ward 30:58
2.Raquel Arcediano/Gareth Miles 34:57
3.Derek Hauptfleisch/Lynn Hauptfleisch 38:12
1.Louisa van Staden/Wilma Deyzel 38:01
1.Hamish Lovemore 32:19
2.Brendon Delport 36:12
3.Sabine Lawrie 39:09
1.Jody Taylor 19:48
2.Chester Foster 21:20
3.Alan Beukes 21:36
4.Carmel Billson 21:54
5.Kevin Oliver 21:58
1.Carmel Billson 21:54
2.Siobhan Sharp 22:36
3.Alice Ward 23:31
1.Zoog Haynes/Ty Haynes 19:44
2.Dean Smith/Keaton Riddle 19:59
3.Billy Harker/Tracy Harker 20:09
1.Matthew Swemmer 24:18
2.Shayne Chipps 24:51
3.Brandon Read 25:43
1.Jackie de Billot 26:37
2.Charlotte Atherton 27:27
3.Danica Bartho 28:58
all images Anthony Grote