An incredibly strong wind from the south west provided tough conditions for all paddlers on Friday evening at Race Four, the Thule Surfski Challenge, of the 2018 FNB Surfski Series.
The small field of paddlers that braved the surf, on an altered course for safety purposes, would have enjoyed the testing conditions and the front of the field smacked of quality with SMG/Epic Kayaks’ Matt Bouman claiming his second win in as many weeks.
The fight at the sharp end of the contest was a common one with Bouman battling it out with Wade Kriger for the race honours. The former showed his class to take another win and put him comfortably at the top of the series standings.
“It’s really tough for Barry (Lewin) with the conditions that we have had over the past four weeks,” Bouman mentioned.
“Trying to balance the event between safety and competition with such a wide spectrum of paddler must be seriously difficult.
“With that said it was tough out there, tough but fun to race against such a strong field.”
The top five finishers was going to be a difficult order to predict with a handful of paddlers eyeing a podium, but déjà vu ensued with Bouman finishing ahead of Krieger for the second time this series.
“Shame I think I must have the mental edge over Wade,” Bouman quipped.
“It must be like that big brother, little brother thing! But seriously, when I race Wade I have to get into the pain zone to beat him which shows how strong a competitor he is.
“He always keeps me on my toes and that’s how you want to race.”
Despite claiming the Grand Masters age category prize, Lee McGregor showed many of the younger paddlers how strong he still is by finishing in an astounding fourth overall.
“What age is Lee? Well into his 60’s? I’ve never ever seen anything like that before!
“To come fourth overall is incredible!” Bouman added.
The Durban surfski community continues to support the series despite the difficult conditions that have been experienced over the past few weeks, something that Bouman loves about their paddling group.
“The people that make up the Durban surfski community are awesome!
“It’s great to see people still coming out and racing even though the conditions were tough.”
Taking third in the singles showdown was Gene Prato with Lee McGregor and William Wood finishing fourth and fifth.
With a second in the doubles last week, the pair of Travis Kruger and Brent Chiazzari went one better to claim the doubles win with Tyron and Trevor Maher finishing just behind them in second and the mixed pair of Tamryn and Calvin Mckie in third.
Lyn Bennett was the only lady to brave the long course and she finished in just over 42 minutes.
The mixed crew of Nic Horn and Sasha Corris-Nadangen were the winners of the short course ahead of the single of Siobhan Sharp and Kenny Beukes in third.
Race five of the 2018 FNB Surfski Series takes place on Friday, 9 February at the Gara Surfski Challenge.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – THULE SURFSKI CHALLENGE
1.Matt Bouman 30:08
2.Wade Krieger 31:12
3.Gene Prato 31:31
4.Lee McGregor 32:19
5.William Wood 32:31
1.Travis Kruger/Brent Chiazzari 30:49
2.Tyron Maher/Trevor Maher 30:57
3.Tamryn Mckie/Calvin Mckie 35:25
1.Lyn Bennett 42:13
1.Nic Horn/Sasha Corris-Nadengen 22:58
2.Siobhan Sharp 23:46
3.Kenny Beukes 24:36