Mother nature always has the last say. Massive close out surf pounded the entire KZN coastline during the weekend, forcing race 4 back into the shelter of Durban Bay, putting off the long awaited move into some real surfski racing again this Winter season. It meant another flat 14km race that does not really give us an indication of form for the upcoming big races and how our new range of surfski’s will shape up in proper open ocean paddling.
Mathew Bouman ground out another solid win in the single ski race. The procession of paddlers chasing him seem to shuffle in order quite regularly, with Barry Lewin and Brandon van der Walt, showing the most consistency. Positions 4 – 10 is quite a dog fight at the moment, but again I think form will only start to tell when we get some open ocean paddling. (Hopefully this week in the Winkle Classic, but it is still usually an out and back course race, which does always expose paddlers to surf skills and conditions). (Watch this space.) A number of paddlers in the top 10 regularly, Barry Lewin, Luke Nesbit and Mark Mulder, on the BULLET single ski.
The good thing though, is a consistent number of new paddlers up there on our BULLET single ski. A number of the new up and coming paddlers on the scene, Jabin Lyons, Irvin Dixon, Cody McKittrick, Sthembiso Mbatha and Devon Thompson all in their first racing season on the BULLET and improving every day. Noticeably Jabin Lyons, having won the short course race last week, finishing in the top 20 in his first long course race this season. Amongst the ladies, Jenna Ward is still dominating, winning both the junior and senior girls short course race on her BULLET in a remarkable 6th place overall.
A good result in the double ski race for Sharon Armstrong and Sally Anne Rowan, moving up from the short course race, to complete the full course on their new APEX 2 double ski.
After two good results including one win on our APEX 2 double ski, I have moved over to doing the single ski races. A reality check for me revealed that the Scottburgh to Brighton Marathon is only about 7 weeks away. It is a single ski major race this year, and my backside has not sat in a surfski for over 2 hours for over 6 months at least, let alone sit for up to 3.5 hours that you can expect in the S-B. Despite the flat conditions, I enjoyed getting out there in a single ski again, in amazing warm sunny weather, (our Durban winter blessing). I chipped away at the top 10 singles ski’s for a while turning in 8th place at the halfway mark, but lack of fitness, and age saw me slip out to 11th overall grinding the 7km back into the breeze. I get no paddling in during the week so I have to make do with the races on the weekends, or skip the shorter races and get in some long prep for the Scottburgh to Brighton Marathon. I have a proud record in the Scottburgh to Brighton Marathon of over 30 finishes. I know from experience that if you do not respect the 46km distance and often difficult conditions, it comes back to bite you.
DEVELOPMENT SQUAD – So proud of these guy’s. They all finished the race once again and are really delighted to be out there.
SHOP TALK – We have just packed off the latest in our new carbon construction BULLET’s to the Mauritius World Cup ski race. At under 12kgs, in a tough imported carbon core construction, with full safety and structural buoyancy throughout, these new ski’s will compete in weight vs strength and durability with any product in the World at the moment. Having mastered new epoxy colour techniques we can also offer the epoxy lay up in funky mixed stand out colours not offered by other manufacturers. We are having so much fun making this new range of boats.
Watch out for a video in a another post.
See you on the water