As the traditional opening of the annual surfski calendar, the 2022 Chalupsky Properties Marine Surfski Series gets underway at the Marine Surf Lifesaving Club on Friday night with race one in a seven race series.
The series that was started by Marine Surf Lifesaving Club in 1992 is recognised as the world’s longest running unbroken surfski series, and offers elite and recreational surfski paddlers a chance to enjoy a short or long course race in the Durban bay on a Friday evening to kick-start their weekend.
This year is the 30th year of the series and once again it will showcase the abundance of ocean racing talent that KwaZulu-Natal has to offer over the seven races which promise to be exciting affairs across both the men’s and women’s categories.
The usual suspects like the series’ most decorated paddler Hank McGregor are expected to be involved again this year along with the likes of Durban stars Matt Bouman, Gene Prato, Brandon van der Walt as well as youngsters Joshua Simpkins and Matthew Coetzer.
From a women’s perspective it’s almost safe to say that surfski paddling in KZN is the strongest it has ever been with world champion Michelle Burn, Jenna Ward, Saskia Hockly and potentially a returning Hayley Nixon in the running.
“To have some of the country’s best elite paddlers as well as novices taking on our long and short courses every Friday is brilliant to see,” series organiser Trevor Martin said.
“The series has always been a great way for people to kick-start their surfski career because the conditions are often great for newcomers to the sport.
“At the sharp end it’s always exciting to see how the best of the best fight it out for the weekly honours and we are looking forward to another exciting edition of the series.”
The series will continue to adhere to all the Covid-19 protocol and this year entries will be taken by Canoeing South Africa up until half an hour before the race starts.
This gives paddlers the chance to get to the beach and take the decision if they want to paddle.