Fitting finale for majestic 2016 Marine Series

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The 2016 Varsity College FNB Marine Surfski Series came to an end on Friday evening with the Varsity College FNB South African Schools Surfski Championships taking centre stage as the Mark Keeling and Kyeta Purchase became national champions whilst Hank McGregor took the overall spoils in the series.

Keeling finished second the Bailey de Fondaumiere in 2015 however he was too strong for the rest of the schools field as he cantered to a win by just over a minute whilst Kyeta Purchase repeated her win of 2015 as she outgunned the other girls to take the national championship title.

The overall series title was up for grabs as Euro Steel/Epic Kayak’s Hank McGregor was chasing Matt Bouman for the spoils however it was the former who produced the goods to claim yet another Varsity College Marine Series title.

“It was a perfect evening for racing with a light westerly wind blowing,” McGregor said. “There was a great field there and I knew that I was under a bit of pressure because I needed this result if I was going to win.

“It was an awesome evening for racing and I am really glad that I have another title,” he added.

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Some great conditions meant that paddlers could make the most of the Varsity College Surfski Challenge

McGregor always knew that he had to finish at the front of the field if he wanted his sixth and final result to count in his favour so when he started the race he made sure that he got himself in front of the rest of the field early.

“I decided that I wanted to deliver the hurt from the beginning of the race as I needed to get myself away.

“I had a great start and got a substantial lead quickly because I really didn’t want to leave it to the final lap because you never know what can happen.

“When I got ahead I just tried to chase down the doubles and the paddlers in the schools race so I always had a marker to chase.

“It was a fantastic win for me and I am glad that I could get another series win!” he added.

The series has become known for its strong field that it accumulates every week and Friday night’s racing was no different.

“It was good to have the likes of Kenny Rice here which just added the strength of the field.

“Being able to race against some of the best surfski paddlers in the world is such a privilege. Taking them on in my own back yard is something that I have always appreciated,” added a satisfied McGregor.

With the focus of the final race being on the SA School’s championships, Hayley Nixon managed to get her second win of the series despite the fact that Nicole Russell had already wrapped up the women’s series title.

The popular short course was won by Nic Riosa whilst the Wilkinson pair of Travis and Rachel were the quickest double across the line.

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With one win needed to claim another overall title, Euro Steel/Epic Kayak’s Hank McGregor produced another fine display to clinch another win and the title at the Varsity College Surfski Challenge, the tenth and final race of the 2016 series.


 Overall Women Doubles
 1.Hank McGregor 32.41  1.Hayley Nixon 38.29  1.Conraad Purchase/Richard Mckie 27.17
 2.Matt Bouman 34.04  2.Harry Browne/Anthony Theunissen 30.33
 3.Kenneth Rice 34.43  3.Thomas Lovemore/Lee McGregor 33.41
 4.Wade Krieger 34.47
 5.Charl Massyn 34.49
Mixed Doubles
 1.Jason Ekstrand/Kerry Segal 35.16
 2.Lee Furby/Pippa McGregor 37.07
 3.Gareth Miles/Raquel Arcediano 38.22
 Singles  Doubles SUPs
 1.Nic Riosa 21.55  1.Travis Wilkinson/Rachel Wilkinson 20.24 1.Daryl Bartho 26.52
 2.Dave Rees 22.08  2.Philip Symons/Lauren Norton 20.31   2.Brandon Read 27.45
 3.Dylan Riddle 23.10  3.Bruce Pender-Smith/Matthew Pender-Smith 21.40 3.Grantley Read 29.16


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Stand-up paddleboarders enjoyed some good conditions at the Varsity College Surfski Challenge


Under 18 Boys Under 18 Girls  Under 16 Boys Under 16 Girls
 1.Mark Keeling 35.00  1.Kyeta Purchase 40.45  1.Uli Hast 39.16  1.Tayla Gilmore 48.09
 2.Bailey de Fondaumiere 36.01  2.Teegan Hardwick 49.20  2.Hamish Mckenzie 42.43
 3.Zachery Preyser 36.23  3. Keli Reynolds 58.34  3.Dante Lahore 45.03

Images Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media

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