A warm evening greeted participants of Friday’s second race of the 2016 Illovo Suncoast Pirates Wall and Back Surfski Series at Suncoast Pirates Lifesaving Club on Durban’s beachfront, a clash ultimately won by Wade Krieger and Jenna Ward respectively.
With another richly talented field on the start line, race one winners Krieger and Ward were in for a tough tussle at the front of the men’s and women’s race respectively, however the pair overcame the conditions and their rivals to each claim their second victories of the six-leg series.
“I’m really happy with the way I’m paddling at the moment and I felt really good on the day, so it was nice to get another win and it’s been pleasing to start the Wall and Back series strongly,” said Gravity Sports/Epic Kayaks’ Krieger.
In the testing conditions, Krieger edged out evergreen powerhouse and regular top performer, Epic Kayaks’ Matt Bouman while Pirates local lad and Bay Union/Fenn Kayaks athlete Luke Nisbet charged home to collect third place.
“The surf was up so you had to be really focused and pick your line through the wavezone quite carefully,” explained Krieger. “Fortunately I managed to get out first, about twenty metres ahead of Matt.”
“He then closed that gap on the leg down to the harbour wall and it was even as we turned.
“As we went around the buoy though, Matt got stuck on the buoy’s rope and fell out, so I stopped to help him get his paddle back.
“On the way home we had the wind behind us and I knew Matt would be dominant in those conditions, but I managed to keep up with him.
“When we came around the last can before the finish, Matt got onto a wave first and so I committed to a pretty big wave, which helped me catch back up to Matt.”
While the vastly experienced trio of lifesaving and surfski stars battled it out up front for the podium places, two talented young juniors were locked in a race of their own a little further back.
Carbonology Sport’s Bailey de Fondaumiere went on to clinch the Junior Boys’ spoils and fourth place overall while second place Junior, Hamish Lovemore followed him home in fifth position nineteen seconds later.
Having spent much of her year focusing on the river and flatwater marathon scenes, Euro Steel/Fenn Kayaks’ Ward recently made a welcome return to her surfski and is relishing being back in the sea’s salty water once more.
“After the Fish River Canoe Marathon I got back into my ski and it has been great to be back on the ocean again!
“I’ve been spending as much time as I can trying to get used to the surf and catching runs again so its nice that some of that has paid off at these first two Wall and Back races while it was also great to have Kyeta (Purchase) and Donna (Tutton) on the water again too!
“Wall and Back is all part of my build up to the upcoming SA Surfski Champs at Pete Marlin in the Eastern Cape on the first weekend of November as well as the Dragon Run in Hong Kong the weekend after that, so in that sense its nice that things are going well for me at the moment too.”
Ward’s Euro Steel/Fenn Kayaks team mate, Kyeta Purchase finished second while Donna Tutton claimed third place.
In the double clash Clinton Cook and Tom Lovemore raced home ahead of Irvin Dixon and Byron McKie while Shaun Dias and Kerry were the first mixed double across the line and Savannah van Rooyen and Siobhan Sharp claimed the women’s doubles spoils.
Race three of the 2016 Illovo Suncoast Pirates Wall and Back Surfski Series takes place at 15h15 at Suncoast Pirates on Friday 28 October. More information can be found at www.wallandback.co.za
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
RACE TWO – ILLOVO SUNCOAST PIRATES WALL AND BACK SURFSKI SERIES
1.Wade Krieger 36.22
2.Matthew Bouman 36.45
3.Luke Nisbet 38.08
1.Jenna Ward 44.20
2.Kyeta Purchase (U18) 46.45
3.Donna Tutton 53.33
1.Bailey de Fondaumiere 39.08
2.Hamish Lovemore 39.50
3.Emanuel Zaloumis 45.53
1.Kyeta Purchase 46.45
1.Clinton Cook/Tom Lovemore 37.06
2.Irvin Dixon/Byron McKie 37.20
3.Travis Wilson/Tyler Wilson 38.53
1.Shaun Dias/Kerry Segal 40.04
2.Lee Furby/Pippa McGregor 41.57
3.Jordon Clauson/Vanessa Mayhew 43.11
1.Savannah van Rooyen/Siobhan Sharp 56.10
Images: Kevin Sawyer/Gameplan Media