King of the Bay – Race 3

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The race will be remembered for a huge field, with paddlers coming from as far asJohannesburg, East London and a large contingent fromRichardsBay.

In the single ski race, Hank McGregor had a narrow win over Mathew Bouman, but seemed to be in control of his race tactically. Barry Lewinhad a solid 4th place finish behind Brandon van der Walt in conditions that suitedBrandon’s canoeing background. The two other regular top 10 performers on our ski’s have both been sick and were not in the shake down. One or two others were away at a high performance training camp. I must mention a great performance by under 21 paddler, Jabin Lyons on a BULLET, in winning the short course race. It is going to interesting to see if there is any major shift in the line up in the top 10 singles from now on, as the racing moves to the open ocean of theKZNSouthCoast.

In the double ski race, having won last week, the stakes were going to be much higher in this higher profile race. A few other very good masters’ combinations were there to threaten us and a line up of much stronger senior combinations. The 8km in the Harbour did nothing to assist us with the regular surges from strong senior combinations leaving us scratching to stay in touch with a large front group of about 8 double ski’s. I was happy that with about 3km to go we were still in there in the top 5 overall, having pulled away from our opposition in the master’s category. A gutsy win for Jean luc Mauvice and Devon Thompson by about 30m from a chasing pack of 4 ski’s which saw us finish 5th overall in the scramble up the beach, and a solid win in the masters race.

All in all, a tough race in awesome Durban Winter weather.

It is off to theSouthCoastnext week for some real ocean surfski racing. For me personally I have to look ahead to the Scottburgh to Brighton Marathon, (always my main focus), in about 8 weeks time, knowing that I am not nearly ready to sit on my butt for up to 3-4 hours in a surfski. It is a singles race this year, so I have to forsake good results in the series and get in some serious mileage on the weekends.

See you on the water.

MARK

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