Race three of the 2017 Illovo Suncoast Pirates Wall and Back Surfski Series saw first wins for Wade Krieger and Hayley Nixon on Friday night.
It was another tight race as the three-way shoot-out between Krieger, Gene Prato and Luke Nisbet became a two-man race between Krieger and Prato before the contest took an exciting twist at the death as a tactical error from Prato gave Krieger the win by over a minute.
The win was Krieger’s first for 2017 as he tries to defend the overall series crown that he won in 2016 and beating the likes of Prato and Luke Nisbet to the win stands him in good stead going into the final three races of the series.
A tight finish was the order of the day in the ladies race with Euro Steel/Carbonology Sports’ Nixon pipping race one winner Michelle Burn to the race win as she builds up to the Ocean Racing World Championships in Hong Kong in the middle of November.
“It was great to be back at the Wall and Back series after focusing on my training over the past few weeks,” Nixon mentioned.
“Getting some race simulation was really important and having the Wall and Back on our door step gave me a good opportunity to flex the race muscles again.
“We had quite a strong south-wester on our way to the wall which meant that we had to work really hard and then got some good downwind on the way back.
“Friday’s conditions were quite similar to what we will have in Hong Kong at the World Championships so to be able to race like that was great.”
Nixon and Burn paired up for the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in the K2 so to be racing against each other was a slightly different feeling to what they have experienced this year.
“Michelle is super talented in downwind conditions and we both knew that we weren’t going to give each other the win easily.
“We have spent so much time training and racing together this year so be up against each other was something different,” she added.
The race for the ladies crown was a tightly-contest affair with Nixon sneaking the win by just over 15 seconds and she appreciated the chance to get out and race on a Friday night.
“Pirates put on a great show and the conditions weren’t too bad and it was great to be out racing once again.”
In the doubles race it was Matt Bouman and Keren Warlock who took the race honours ahead of Barry Lewin and Wesley Bench-Capon in second with Nigel Oxenham and Steve Evans in third.
In the Malibu Board section Connor Botha was far too strong for the rest of the field as he finished a minute and a half ahead of George Edward in second and William Pearce in third.
The fourth race of the 2017 Illovo Suncoast Pirates Wall and Back Surfski Series takes place at 17h17 on Friday 3 November. More information can be found at www.wallandback.co.za.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – Illovo Suncoast Pirates Wall and Back Surfski Series Race Two
1.Wade Krieger 34:49
2.Gene Prato 35:15
3.Luke Nisbet 25:58
4.Tyron Maher 36:00
5.Steve Woods 36:55
6.Zoog Haynes 38:00
7.Irvin Dixon 38:10
8.Michel de Rauville 38:22
9.Oliver Burn 38:57
10.Brad Pearse 39:21
1.Hayley Nixon 39:31
2.Michelle Burn 39:49
3.Siobhan Sharp 54:00
1.Matthew Bouman/Keren Worlock 34:50
2.Barry Lewin/Wesley Bench-Capon 36:33
3.Nigel Oxenham/Steve Evans 41:50
1.Connor Botha 37:53
2.George Edward 39:23
3.William Pearce 39:41
photo: Matt Bouman and Keren Worlock took home the doubles honours at race three of the Illovo Suncoast Pirates Wall and Back Surfski Series on Friday evening (Top photo)