Following two freak weeks of uncontrollable weather, the 2018 FNB Surfski Series got underway at Addington Beach on Friday with the Funky Pants Surfski Challenge which saw Durban’s surfski community come out in support of the popular series.
The first two races of the 2018 series had to be cancelled due to large swells, but paddlers could finally enjoy a Friday evening hit out at the well supported Marine Surf Lifesaving Club based event.
“It’s great to see the Durban surfski community coming out and taking on some tricky conditions on Friday,” series organiser Barry Lewin mentioned.
“We saw a number of the stalwart competitors paddling with newcomers to the surfski scene which is brilliant to see.
“It was manageable surf but the paddlers showed some great skills with some big runs.
“Having people taking part and introducing others to the sport of surfski paddling is what we love to see and hopefully it can continue.”
In some big surf paddlers showed their true skill and the likes of Bouman and Krieger’s class shon through as they battled it out for the top spot on the podium.
“It’s great to see Matt (Bouman) coming out here and battling it out with lifesaving legend Wade Krieger.
“Also seeing Grant van der Walt racing hard sets a great tone for the rest of the series,” Lewin added.
Current ICF Ocean Racing World Champion Hayley Nixon was in the first all-ladies boat across the line. The defending ladies series champion teamed up with lifesaving star Carmell Bilson to finish 14th overall.
In the trying conditions Kaylee Smit was the only ladies single to finish the long course and having only been paddling for under a year it was a very impressive effort from the Amanzimtoti raised paddler.
“I got in a surfski in February last year and I have fallen in love with the sport,” Smit mentioned.
“Although the conditions on Friday were crazy, I absolutely loved every minute of the race and will definitely be back for more!”
It is becoming a common sight to see Luke Nisbet and Jenna Ward in a boat together. The pair were the first mixed double to cross the line in an impressive third overall.
Kyeta Purchase and Josh Simpkins were the second mixed double with Gareth Miles and Raquel Arcediano finishing in third.
The first all-men’s double across the line was the pair of Travis Kruger and Brent Chiazzari with Tyron and Tevor Maher in second with Dave Harker and Justin Swart finishing in third.
Robbie de Billot was the only stand-up paddleboard to brave the testing conditions on Friday evening.
Race two of the 2018 FNB Surfski Series takes place on Friday, 2 February at the Thule Surfski Challenge.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – FUNKY PANTS SURFSKI CHALLENGE
1.Matt Bouman 32:57
2.Wade Krieger 33:29
3.Luke Nisbet/Jenna Ward 34:08
4.Grant van der Walt 34:09
5.Gene Prato 34:28
6.Jordan Clauson 34:44
7.Tyron Maher/Trevo Maher 35:55
8.Dave Harker/Justin Swart 36:51
9.William Wood 37:00
10.Zoog Haynes 37:06
1.Luke Nisbet/Jenna Ward 34:08
2.Travis Kruger/Brent Chizari 35:04
3.Tyron Maher/Trevo Maher 35:55
1.Hayley Nixon/Carmel Billson 40:17
2.Kaylee Smit 58:29
1.Steve Woods/Jordan Pinnoy 21:17
2.Wise Mvubu 21:42
3.Jason Ward 22:21
4.Jon Ivins 22:35
5.Sebastian Garreau 23:09
1.Steve Woods/Jordan Pinnoy 21:17
2.Michelle Burn/Megan 24:40
3.Kevin Atkinson/Jared Atkinson 34:58
1.Jenna Nel 47:24
1.Robbie de Billot 46:51