Big field revels in Easterly challenges in summer surfski series opener

Surfski paddlers turned out in numbers to celebrate the return of the popular Marine Surfski Series at Addington Beach on Friday night, with the onshore Easterly winds providing an entertaining offshore challenge.

The double ski duo of Bevan Manson and Brett Hadiaris took line honours at the end of a thrilling duel with former series champion Matt Bouman, decided in the unforgiving midbreak off Marine SLC  that saw Bouman spun sideways and eventually dunked out of his single ski, leaving the door open for the doubles crew to scamper to the beach finish.

Nic Burden and Paul Rabinowitz took third from Richard Lowe and Jason Ekstrand and the single ski of Brandon van der Walt, who was another to take a pounding in the surf at the finish.

Michelle Burn used her years of accumulated ocean racing skills to get away from Jenna Ward in the women’s race, with teenager Saskia Hockly snapping at their heels throughout the race.

The race was started with a deep water start, one of a number of protocols required by Canoeing South Africa to ensure the race was fully Covid-19 lockdown compliant and held in a safe and responsible manner.

The overzealous paddlers, perhaps rusty after their long layoff, fell back into their old bad habits and crept off the startline three minutes before the scheduled start and the entire field had to be called back to restart the race.

Once racing again on the two lap triangular course, Bouman was the dominant force in amongst four double skis, as they bounced through the two meter swell driven by the onshore Easterly wind.

Bouman was the canniest of the lead group at the turn-can at the end of the first lap and scampered away to take the lead alone, putting pressure on the double skis in the vanguard.

With a hefty mid-break and shore break crunching onto the sandbank in the final few metres of the paddle, Bouman came into the surfline and was caught by a wave, and despite valiantly trying to stay in his ski while being hammered in the surf, he eventually capsized and could only watch in frustration as the double ski crew of Manson and Hadriaris, on a different line, powered to the beach and ran up to the finish line.

Women’s race winner Michelle Burn said that the onshore swell had made for testing conditions, but that the elite racers had relished the opportunity to compete again.

“It’s been a long year of training for nothing! I was just glad to get the heart-rate up again and see how we are doing against each other,” she said.

“You keep setting a goal and then it gets cancelled, so we have had to focus on other things like building strength and working on your weaknesses.

“The East was just strong enough to make it technical and you had to read the ocean,” she added. “There were also some reverse runs so there was a lot of skill involved there.

“It was really nice to race the guys. They are quite brutal and don’t really like having a woman in the mix!” she quipped.

Race Two takes place this coming Friday night 19 February at 5:30pm.

1 Bevan Manson/Brett Hadiaris 0:30:47.17
2 Matthew Bouman 0:31:06.35
3 Nic Burden/Paul Rabinowitz 0:31:07.67
4 Richard Lowe/Jason Ekstrand 0:31:23.86
5 Brandon Van Der Walt 0:31:52.27
6 Gene Prato 0:33:16.65
7 Barry Lewin/Brad Allen 0:33:44.05
8 Wade Krieger 0:33:57.29
9 Jean Luc Mauvis 0:33:59.77
10 Hamish Lovemore 0:34:46.10
1 Michelle Burn 0:34:49.48
2 Jenna Ward 0:36:33.81
3 Saskia Hockly 0:37:21.40
4 Tannah Smith 0:40:06.30
5 Valmajean Hockly 0:40:42.41

1 Kwanele Banda 0:22:33.52
2 Kyeta Purchase/Kendra Robinson 0:23:03.58
3 Matthew Allen 0:23:34.59
4 Byron Mc Kie/Nikki Aitken 0:23:47.16
5 Jordan Deeble 0:23:59.44
6 Andrew Atkinson/David Douglas 0:24:18.15
7 Reece Tredoux Truter 0:24:21.40
8 Keith Storey 0:24:40.16
9 Wandile Dube 0:24:46.37
10 Chelsey O’Brien 0:24:55.70

Updated: February 13, 2021 — 9:09 am
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