Stalwart surfski paddler Gene Prato bagged his first win of the Marine Surfski Series in benign ocean conditions on Friday night while Kyeta Purchase made a statement with an solid win in the women’s race at the Funky Pants Surfski Challenge.
With the series pacesetter Hank McGregor taking a breather after a tough FNB Dusi week and the nuggety Matt Bouman opting to paddle in the doubles race, the door was open for Prato to upgrade his regular podium finishes to the top step.
Racing in very flat ocean conditions with very little surf off the race base at Marine SLC, Prato took full advantage of the opportunity to canter away in what turned into a tough grind of a race to win by a full minute from Wade Krieger and Tyrone Maher, who diced up the beach side-by-side in the race for second.
In the women’s race Purchase juggled her race plan when she learned that Jenna Ward was paddling doubles and opted to turn the flat, two-lap affair into a tough training session, and took off alone at the front at a relentless pace, with Sabina Lawrie chasing in second in her series debut.
“The flat conditions worked in my favour,” she added. “Sabina (Lawrie) was really strong because she has been doing a lot more surfski paddling, but I came into my own and felt really good throughout the race.”
The doubles racing proved to be thrilling, with several of the experienced paddlers opting to partner up for the race, many of them eager to be part of the Funky Pants Family Feud that aimed to get newer paddlers into surfski racing by getting parents to paddle with their children.
Bouman co-opted young lifesaver Matt Howard to race his first series race and powered away to win the title overall, with Gary and Cara Waud taking the mixed doubles title with an impressive seventh overall.
The doubles race included the Austrian pair of Marcel Bloder and Simon Honc who flew in to be part of the FNB Dusi marathon last week, and enjoyed their first ever surfski race.
Race 8 of the 2019 Marine Surfski Series is the Gara Paddles Surfski Challenge on 1 March.
More information can be found at www.marineseries.co.za.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – Funky Pants Surfski Challenge – Race Seven of Marine Surfski Series
1 Gene Prato 0:36:45
2 Wade Krieger 0:37:47
3 Tyron Maher 0:37:47
4 Clyde Barendse 0:39:15
5 Brendon Delport 0:39:23
6 Richard Lowe 0:39:27
7 Steve Cohen 0:40:05
8 Andrew Neal 0:40:27
9 Matt Gunning 0:40:42
10 Colin Simpkins 0:41:44
1 Kyeta Purchase 0:41:51
2 Sabina Lawrie 0:42:20
3 Lyn Bennett 0:45:25
4 Carmel Billson 0:46:57
5 Alice Edward 0:47:51
1 Matthew Bouman/Matt Howard 0:36:20
2 M De Rauville/Luke Simons 0:36:23
3 Skye Prato/Mat Carlisle 0:38:00
4 Mark Lewin/Gordon Spalding 0:39:12
5 Shawn Dias/Jason Carlson 0:40:08
6 S MacDonald/Gary Brummer 0:40:19
7 Gary Waud/Cara Waud 0:40:33
8 Simon Honc/Marcel Bloder 0:40:46
9 Sipho Luthuli/Perfect Nhlanhla 0:40:48
10 Craig Mcintosh/Richard Hogg 0:40:50
1 Lance Howarth/Gabi Howarth 0:22:06
2 Reynard Van Antwerpen/Kendra Robinson 0:22:27
3 Shaun Bwgin/Amy Dennison 0:22:49
4 Zoog Haynes/Lia Haynes 0:22:55
5 Grant Smith/Christina Smith 0:23:11
6 Malcolm Pitt/Kaiden Pitt 0:23:23
7 Barry Painting/Joshua Painting 0:23:52
8 Bradley Allen/Jasper Gaylard 0:23:58
9 Bradley Allen/Connor Allen 0:23:58
10 Wandile/Mhlengi 0:24:08
1 William Dowsett 0:23:40
2 Ryan Roberts 0:24:30
3 Saskia Johanna Hockly 0:25:03
4 Soibhan Sharp 0:25:09
5 Bongani Mathe 0:25:20
6 Monique Boshoff 0:25:31
7 William Trotter 0:25:38
8 Waldo Bekker 0:26:10
9 Raquel Gomes Robbins 0:26:13
10 Glen Robbins 0:26:27
1 Brendon Germaine 0:31:24
Marine Surfski Series 2019 Calendar:
Race 8 – 1 March – Gara Surfski Challenge
Race 9 – 8 March – HiQ Surfski Challenge
Race 10 – 15 March – Race 10