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.
The series has been going since the 90’s and has grown tremendously over the last couple years through the involvement of sponsors who so generously back the sport of surfski paddling, as well as the building of a new club house at Marine Surf Lifesaving Club which the paddlers thoroughly enjoyed for the first time in 2011.
In 2017 the series sees First Nnational Bank (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 series’ races all take place on Friday evenings in the protection of the Durban bay and cater for every type of paddler. 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 is primed for a bumper season once more in 2017, especially with the recent growth of surfski paddling in the novice ranks. Through the inclusion of a very achievable short course of only 4km (1 lap), together with an easy launch through the surf, the series looks to accommodate the novices in the field as best it can.
All this, along with the family friendly environment at the club with jumping castles for the kids, means there is something for everyone and it really is great to see so many new people taking on the races each week.
The 2017 FNB Marine 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
The series’ final prize giving will also be hosted at Robsons Brewery on 13 March where tons of lucky draw prizes – including a Fenn single surfski – will be up for grabs!!!
In the traditional 8km (2 lap) long course clashes weekly we expect to see some of Durban’s finest paddlers smash out some close, hard-fought racing. The racing is always tight with everyone well aware that six races out of the ten count for the overall series positions.
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!
With lots of lucky draws and age group prizes to be won weekly, the series has something for everyone. If you just want to kick start your weekend with some fun in a surfski, race your mate or take on a world champ then come on down and join us in early January.
The goal for 2017 is to maximize 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.
This value also includes and race shirt at Race 1 and a series loyalty program where paddlers who enter all the races through the ‘series special’, or any paddler who completes eight races or more, gets themselves an awesome FNB Surfski Series Paddle Cover.
We look forward to seeing you all this season!