The popular 2017 FNB Surfski Series concludes this Friday with its tenth and final race at the well-known Marine Surf Lifesaving Club with the final race once again playing host to the Varsity College Surfski Challenge and, more importantly, the Varsity College SA Schools Championships.
The SA Schools Championships has always attracted the cream of the junior ocean racing crop over the years and 2017 will be no different with paddlers coming from all across the South African coastline to fight it out for the honours on Friday evening.
FNB Surfski Series race organiser Barry Lewin has watched the SA Schools Championships grow, but has also been pleased to see how well paddlers that have graduated from the school’s system have done.
“The FNB Surfski Series is proud of the SA Schools legacy that has been created over the last eight years of the South African Schools Surfski Championships,” Lewin mentioned.
“We have seen a number of our past winners go on to successful sporting and academic careers.
“A prime example would be Kenny Rice, who studies at Varsity College in Cape Town, who has performed well on the international surfski stage and is studying towards a degree.”
The schools boys and girls racing will be as exciting as ever with a number of the top contenders returning in the Under 18 category after taking part in the Under 16 race in 2016.
SACS’ Uli Hart returns to KZN waters again to represent the Western Cape with the likes of the Selborne College duo of William Wood and Tayne Thompson representing the Eastern Cape.
In the KwaZulu-Natal corner, the likes of Hilton College’s Hamish Lovemore and his MACSquad team-mate Hamish Mackenzie will be leading the charge.
Lovemore has been in top form during the 2017 FNB Surfski Series with a few podium finishes through the nine legs.
Lovemore will go into the contest as the favourite considering he is familiar with the conditions off Marine SLC however there will also be a potential charge from Brendon Delport who is second in the junior overall category at the FNB Surfski Series behind Lovemore.
In the Under 18 girls division the champion should come from either Sabina Lawrie or the young Eastern Cape paddler Zara Wood.
Lawrie has taken part in a number of races throughout the 2017 FNB Surfski Series and will be familiar with all the different conditions that the race could serve up. These factors could give her a slight advantage over the 8km contest.
The Varsity College Surfski Challenge and Varsity College SA Schools Champs, Race Ten of the 2017 FNB Surfski Series, takes place at 17h30 on Friday, 10 March at Marine Surf Lifesaving Club, Addington Beach.