Maiden win for Nixon, McGregor revives Marine Surfski Series title hunt
Durban – The Indian Ocean along KwaZulu-Natal’s East Coast was as flat as a mill pond on Friday evening for the Hi-Q Surfski Challenge, race nine of the 2016 Varsity College FNB Marine Surfski Series, with Hayley Nixon’s unrivalled power handing her a maiden race surfski race victory while Hank McGregor’s fourth victory of the series keeps his title hopes alive.
With no wave or swell in sight and hot, humid and windless conditions to contend with, the clash took on a flat water marathon-like facade with Carbonology’s Nixon (nee Arthur) drawing on the strength and power from both her former national rowing days as well as the endless hours of hard work she has put in during her training of late.
Despite some sublime form already having seen her wrap up the women’s 2016 Varsity College FNB Marine Surfski Series title, Fenn Kayaks’ Nicole Russell had no answer to Arthur’s relentless attacks and intensity, ultimately having to settle for second place with Euro Steel/Fenn Kayaks junior star Kyeta Purchase claiming third.
While the series title race may already be over, Arthur and Purchase find themselves locked in a titanic battle for second place with Friday’s result aiding significantly in Arthur’s claim.
Despite there being just one race left in the series, the men’s series spoils are still very much up for grabs with Euro Steel/Epic Kayaks’ McGregor and Epic Kayaks’ Matthew Bouman once again squaring off for this year’s silverware.
A race win earns paddlers’ 100 points while there are 99 points for second place and 98 for third with competitors’ best six results contributing towards their series points total.
McGregor, having only taken part in five races thus far, goes to 499 points after his most recent win while Bouman, having already achieved the minimum six race scores, has an aggregate of 598 points.
A win for McGregor this coming Friday would see him finish on 599 points while if Bouman were to clinch the final race spoils and McGregor finish second, Bouman would claim the title with a final tally of 599 points with McGregor finishing with one point less.
The doubles racing was no less interesting as Zoog Haynes and Linton Hope clinched yet another race win, edging out Shaun Burgin and Lee Muir while junior boys clash went the way of Luke Criticos who held off Bailey de Fondaumiere.
While Friday 11 March sees the curtain come down on the 2016 Varsity College FNB Marine Surfski Series with the mouthwatering action of the Varsity College Surfski Challenge, the day’s programme will also see some of the country’s finest junior talent go head to head during the 2016 South African Schools Surfski Championships.
Both events take place from 17h30 at Marine Surf Lifesaving Club, Addington Beach.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – HI-Q SURFSKI CHALLENGE
RACE NINE OF THE 2016 VARSITY COLLEGE FNB MARINE SURFSKI SERIES
|1.Hank McGregor 36.21||1.Hayley Nixon 42.37||1.Zoog Haynes/Linton Hope 38.29|
|2.Matthew Bouman 36.34||2.Nicole Russell 42.53||2.Shaun Burgin/Lee Muir 38.48|
|3.Grant van der Walt 38.05||3.Kyeta Purchase (U18) 43.53||3.Warren Valentine/Marc 40.42|
|Mixed Doubles||Junior Boys||Junior Girls|
|1.Lee Furby/Pippa McGregor 42.18||1.Luke Criticos 40.01||1.Kyeta Purchase 43.53|
|2.Sharon Armstrong/Carl 44.50||2.Bailey de Fondaumiere 40.02||2.Christie MacKenzie 51.41|
|3.Keith Bennett/Lyn Bennett||3.Hamish MacKenzie (U16) 46.49|
|1.Malec Odendaal 23.26||1.Mark Lewin/Keli Reynolds 23.49|
|2.Keaton Riddle 24.54||2.Philip Symons/Lauren Norton 24.10|
|3.Rochard Hogg 25.18||3.Graeme Johnston/Alastair 25.07|
|1.Nick Park-Ross 28.42||1.Danica Bartho 33.07|
|2.Daryl Bartho 28.49||2.Bianca Groeneveld 37.16|
|3.Grantley Read 29.51||3.Karisa Grace (U16) 38.34|
All images: Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media