Newsletter #2

19 December 2016

Hi Paddler!

With just under a month till the FNB Surfski Series kicks off in early January we would like to share what you can expect when popping down to the Marine Surf Lifesaving club to do one of the races.

The Marine Surfski Series is an annual set of 10 surfski races that use the light of the Durban summer every Friday night from the first week of January to the middle of March. Imagine offloading your boat on a warm summers Durban evening with the excitement of the race in the air. Walking into the club at Marine you overhear your paddling fiends start the banter of who has done the most training over Xmas and which of your arch rivals are doing well. The conversation swings to the the conditions as you go through the easy entry process getting a race number put on your hand, paying your entry fee and collecting your gift from FNB. Soon the gun goes and you are rushing into the warm water of the Indian Ocean for the race with a couple hundred likeminded paddlers, all out to better their last performance. It has to be one of the best ways to kick off your weekend after a long hard week, as nothing beats smashing out a paddle and a couple of beers with your mates!

Known for its user-friendly course, the FNB Marine Surfski Series takes place in the protection of the Durban Bay and caters for every type of paddler. Through the inclusion of a very achievable Short Course of only 4km (1 lap), together with an easy launch through the surf, really caters well for novice paddlers. At the sharp end of the racing, the series also attracts some of the best surfski paddlers in the world in a weekly showdown of surfski skills and fitness over the 8km Long Course. All this, along with the family friendly environment at the club with a jumping castle for the kids, means there is something for everyone.

The 2017 FNB Surfski Series starts with registration on Thursday 5 January at Robsons Brewery in the Point from 1600-19h00 while all ten races start at 17h30 weekly on the following dates:
January: 6, 13, 20, 27
February: 3, 10, 17 (Tues), 24
March: 3, 10

In 2017 the series sees FNB take over the title sponsorship. With their input, each paddler taking part in the series will enjoy great value each week as FNB looks to make sure the series stays the biggest of it’s kind in the world. The goal for 2017 is to maximise the value to the paddler, which involves taking away things that get in the way of people popping down to a race on a Friday and keeping the cost to the paddler down as much as possible.

The Series will also be rewarding our awesome paddling community who loyally support out fantastic series with not one but TWO exciting gifts and a Early Entry Special!

Gift 1 – FNB Surfski Series T-shirt
The first 250 paddlers to enter Race 1 will receive a cracker moisture management race t-shirt absolutely FREE! 


Gift 2 – Loyalty Program
The series will also be running a loyalty program whereby any paddler who does 8 or more races of the 2017 series will receive a paddle cover (see right) courtesy of FNB!
Early Entry Special
Paddlers can pre-enter all 10 of the series’ races for just R800! Those who take advantage of this early entry special will also automatically qualify for the series’ loyalty programme’s great gift – an awesome FNB Paddle Cover! This special is only available at the series registration at Robsons Brewery and at Race Entry on Race 1.

Series Points and Prize Money
The racing is always tight with the series coming down to the wire in the mens at Race 10 for the last couple of years running while the ladies field grows in strength every year to be the most competitive field ever seen in women paddling. As in previous years the series will use a points table with six races scores out of the ten count for the overall series positions. The prize money template for the races and series can be found here.

Final Prize Giving
The series’ final prize giving will also be hosted at Robsons Brewery on 13 March where tons of lucky draw prizes including a Fenn Swordfish S up for grabs.

Varsity College SA Schools Champs
The last race of the series on 10 March will again double as the Varsity College SA Schools Surfski Championships. The series partners with the Surfskischool and runs school clinics in Durban, introducing kids to the sport with the goal to grow the schools paddling base in South Africa. Invited juniors are then invited from around the country to take part in this national schools paddling showcase which sees the U18 competitors have a separate start in the 8km long course and battle it our for the year’s national schools crown! True grass roots development, building the youth of our sport and the next champions! For more info email us on

As more exciting news continues to be unveiled regularly, stay in touch with the series’ latest happenings though the following channels:  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  YouTube  |  Website

In the meantime – while we eagerly await the start of next year’s series!

Have a wonderful festive period with your friends and family, enjoy your training this December and we look forward to seeing you on the water at race one on Friday, 6 January 2017!

Spot you on the water!


Barry Lewin
Race Organiser

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