Van der Walt siblings star in tough conditions

Durban – a reunion of brothers Grant and Brandon van der Walt stole the limelight at the Funky Pants Race, the fourth leg of the popular Friday night Marine Surfski Series, by winning the highly competitive double ski dice in tough conditions.

The siblings outlasted perennial doubles race title contenders Jason Eckstrand and Richard Lowe on an evening remembered for a tough slog back to the finish into the teeth of the South Westerly wind.

“It was so cool jumping into a boat with my brother again!” enthused Brandon van der Walt.

“The last time we paddled together was at the marathon champs in 2014 in Joburg, so it was nice to dust him off and get him back into a boat.”

The big field of long and short course paddlers started in the shelter of the harbour wall before heading out into the southerly swell to enjoy the runs down to the northern turn can off Pirates SLC, and then faced up to the demanding return leg into the swell and wind.

“From the start the doubles race was between ourselves and Nic Burden and Paul Rabinowitz and the crew of Jason Eckstrand and Richard Lowe,” said van der Walt.

“Once we started the downwind section to Pirates we struggled a little bit but we managed to stay in front with Eckstrand and Lowe, but it was a cat-and-mouse dice.

“We managed to get one little run just before the turn which broke the elastic band, and then worked really hard at the start of the return leg into the wind to get a bit of a lead.

“It was in the back of both of our minds that we had to beat Hank McGregor singles time!” He added.

HTML clipboard McGregor added another single ski win to his unblemished record at this year’s series in another absorbing contest with Matt Bouman, but unlike last weeks race, he was also able post the fastest time overall.

Michelle Burn revelled in the runs and posted another series win in conditions tailor made for her ocean skill set to beat Jenna Ward in the women’s race.

Race Five takes place this coming Friday night 12 March at 5:30pm.

Updated: March 6, 2021 — 3:13 pm
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