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FNB Durban Downwind thriller crowns new champions

Written by Barry Lewin on . Posted in SurfSki Events

Durban – Jasper Mocké hit a triple jackpot in Durban on Saturday afternoon, winning a thrilling dice with Hank McGregor to win the FNB Durban Downwind, and with it he took the SA Single Surfski crown as well as a place in the national team to the ICF Surfski World Champs in Hong Kong later in the year.

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The Capetonian rounded off a tactically astute race that saw him opt for a deep water line with his older brother Dawid and Kenny Rice, while McGregor led the local charge closer inshore, hoping to set a straight line course in the steady North Easterly wind.

McGregor floundered in the surf coming in and had to beach earlier than expected and run to the finish line along the beach while Mocké (Euro Steel/Mocké Paddling) nailed the line in and carefully picked his way through the tricky surf at the finish.

McGregor (Euro Steel/Epic Kayaks) cantered home in second and sealed the other senior men’s slot in the World Champs team, with Dawid Mocké rounding out the podium with an end sprint with Kenny Rice.

“It is such an honour to win the national title against a field like this,” said Jasper Mocké at the finish.

“A week ago when we knew it was going to be an East my brother and I decided that we would go deep, and when we get into a zone racing each other I know we are going fast. I never even thought about the guys on the inside.”

“With about ten kays to go, off Moses Mabhida, I was feeling good, and I decided to set my sights on Addington. I felt that the runs were lining up where I wanted to go and I could surf right into the finish,” he said.

Mocké added that he hadn’t been aware of where defending champ Hank McGregor was until the dying minutes of the race.

“About two kays to go I saw that red cap pop up and I knew I had to race my buddy to the finish. I was happy where I was. I could see Hank running with his ski on the beach and that’s just awkward,” he added.

After winning the SA K1 River title on the Pink Lady Drakenstein race last weekend Jasper Mocké joins a very small group of athletes to hold a river marathon and surfski national title in the same season.

The women’s title race proved to be just as enthralling as Michelle Burn (Fenn Kayaks) needed all her accumulated downwind experience to stave off the challenge from the reigning Surfski World Series champ Hayley Nixon (Euro Steel/Carbonology), with Nikki Russell completing the women’s podium.

“Just after Umhlanga I decided to go deeper, so I waited for Hayley (Nixon) and Nikki (Russell) to go past and I went out to sea. I did notice that Hayley decided to follow me.”

“About six kays from the finish I started to feel tired, but I just put my head down and tried to milk the last few runs into the finish. I wasn’t actually sure that I had won it when I got to the beach,” she added.

The race started with a backline start at La Mercy, where the huge surf made life very difficult for the paddlers trying to get out to the start line.

Nineteen paddlers were forced to withdraw, most of them after breaking their skis in the crunching backline break, including the pedigree likes of Dusi champ Andy Birkett.

Jenna Ward was another casualty of the angry surf, dubbed “No Mercy” by Hank McGregor. Her new ski was damaged and she was forced to swim it ashore. After repairing it with duct tape she got a fellow male paddler to paddle it out through the surf while she took a ride in a rubber duck and rejoined the rest of the field for the deep water start.
“It’s fantastic to see the unbelievable turnout of the competing paddlers and spectators enjoying the incredible experience of taking part in this competition,” said Michael Honeywell, FNB Business Regional Head KZN Coastal.

“Congratulations to all the paddlers for displaying breathtaking and adrenaline packed performances and the supporters who made the event even more electrifying,” he added.

Many of the elite paddlers will now turn their attention to international events in Mauritius, Portugal, Canada and the USA in the coming weeks, while the local seasons shifts to the popular Open Ocean Surfski Challenge series based at Durban Underwater Club, starting on 9 July.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS
FNB DURBAN DOWNWIND
Overall
1 Jasper Mocké 1:29:18.54
2 Hank McGregor 1:29:19.13
3 Dawid Mocké 1:29:55.32
4 Kenneth Rice 1:29:55.99 (U23)
5 Hynard Mackenzie (AUS) 1:31:36.76 (U23)
6 Matthew Bouman 1:31:46.62
7 Kyle Friedenstein 1:31:49.92
8 Zoog Haynes/Lance Howarth 1:32:48.69
9 Stuart Maclaren 1:33:54.56
10 Mark Keeling 1:34:16.64 (U23)
11 Gene Prato 1:34:17.62 (U23)
12 Mark Anderson (AUS) 1:34:19.38
13 Grant Van Der Walt 1:34:36.30
14 Steve Woods 1:34:43.13
15 Bailey De Fondaumiere 1:34:59.55 (U23)
16 Bevan Manson 1:35:16.58
17 Ian Black 1:35:32.40
18 Joshua Fenn 1:36:49.35 (U18)
19 Luke Nisbet 1:36:50.37
20 Tyron Maher 1:36:51.31 (U23)

Double ski
1 Zoog Haynes/Lance Howarth 1:32:48.69
2 Donna Winter/Shaun Burgin 1:37:18.48
3 Bruce Wenke/Justin Wenke 1:42:56.54

Women.
1 Michelle Burn 1:42:58.20
2 Hayley Nixon 1:44:05.68
3 Nikki Russell 1:45:07.59
4 Kyeta Purchase 1:49:13.37 (U23)
5 Bridgitte Hartley 1:54:10.89

More information can be found at www.durbandownwind.co.za.

HANSA Surfski Challenge – Dairy Beach – 5th

Written by Barry Lewin on . Posted in Racing

Looking back at 2017 so far, I haven’t put pen to paper on the blog at all. This isn’t like me, so here I go at getting back to sharing my padding journey. This year hasn’t been one of great results yet, so there hasn’t been much to talk about. It has however been one of my most fun paddling years so far, sharing a lot of my time on the water with my Fiancé Carly.

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This weekend marked the start of the winter races in Durban, with the HANSA Surfski Challenge at Dairy Beach. I helped put the race together and set a course straight out into the NE wind that had been blowing for over a week.

Durban’s top paddlers turned out with a strong men’s and ladies field, all keen to kick off the season with a bang. The race was a lot of fun with the different course giving the paddlers a fresh new challenge.

Everyone got away cleanly from the backline start and soon a big front bunch of 7 paddlers formed on the way out to the first turn can on lap 1. Matthew Bouman hit the front and made his presence felt, making everyone (especially me sitting on the back of the bunch) work really hard to stay in contact. Matthew was too strong and opened a solid lead on the first downwind leg, taking the event in fine style.

The rest were left to fight for scraps. A long train of paddlers turned the final turn can 3km from the finish, eager to take the remaining podium spots. The youngest of the group, Bailey De Fondaumiere got the jump on the bunch getting into the runs first and opening up a gap he held to take 2nd, (watch this kid this season, he is training hard) with Luke Nesbit 3rd, Wade Krieger 4th, Myself 5th and Gene Prato 6th. I had a great dice for the line with Gene, who knew I could run? The depth in Durban is always strong and it’s going to be a great season with everyone so close.

In the ladies race the seasoned Michelle Burn came out on top of a strong ladies field, followed by Kyeta Purchase in 2nd and Bridgitte Harley in 3rd.

I have a lot to improve on and looking forward to being more competitive in the bunch in the coming weeks, especially if we see the return of my Jeep Team South Africa, team mate Hank McGregor. Hank will surely lift the pace to another level.

It was the first race outing for my Epic Kayaks V12 and I am certainly getting used to the new boat. It consistently amazes me with its stability and responsiveness. I am lucky to have great kit to race with this season!

Watch out for some video footage from the race later in the week.

Next up is the Bay Union Single Challenge on the 7th of May at Marine SLC, see you there!

Pics by Anthony Grote and Sharon Armstrong

Paddler, Barry Lewin celebrates 13 years with Jeep Team South Africa

Written by Barry Lewin on . Posted in Racing

Press Release by Jeep Team South Africa, Pic By Anthony Grote

Founded in 2001, Jeep Team South Africa is the most consistent, longest-running Sports, Wellness and Lifestyle Team in South Africa.

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With around 300 athletes moving through the team over the past 16 years, Jeep Team SA provides a highly educational, support and motivational platform for athletes to grow, develop and mature into national and International stars.Barry Lewin

International and National paddling star and coach, Barry Lewin, is the longest-standing member of the team, and is an important compass to all new athletes to the team.

With Jeep Team at the helm, international sports events have presented significant opportunities for rising South African athletes to compete on a global stage. These opportunities have proven that local athletes are able to hold their own in the international sporting arena. However, without structures such as Jeep team SA, this newfound success is often curtailed by a lack of effective guidance and management.

Lewin, who joined the team in 2004, now has several local and international titles to his name. Some of his more notable achievements include winning the Liffey Descent in Ireland on his first attempt in 2007, as well as breaking the 25-year-old K1 record a year later at Australia’s Avon Descent.

Says Lewin, “In 2004, I was a student at Varsity College eager to take my sport to the next level. I wanted to race against the best in the world, and in as many places as the sport would take me. With the support of Jeep Team South Africa, I got opportunities to race, firstly, around South Africa, and, in time, around the world, testing myself against some of the best paddlers on the planet. My first breakthrough came in 2005, winning the grading race in Cape Town as the first person to break an hour on the course in a new record time. I also finished 3rd at the Fish River Canoe Marathon in the same year.”

Since joining the team some 13 years ago, Lewin has developed a profound understanding of Jeep Team’s culture, and plays an active role in leading this ethos and the team ethic to both old and new members of the team.

“My highlights have been the amazing places I have paddled and the friends I have made long the way. The results have been a bonus, with wins in South Africa, Ireland, USA, Australia, and the Caribbean. My proudest achievement was captaining the SA National Team to a win at the Southern Shamaal over the strong, favoured Aussie side,” says Lewin.Barry Lewin

Max Cluer, Manager of Jeep Team South Africa says, “The goal of the team has been to encourage, support and assist athletes on their journey as racing athletes. Jeep Team SA also has huge aspirational value by educating athletes on social media, cross-sport socialisation, brand building and the opportunity to be the best and race against the best in the world, on the world stage.”

Jeep Team South Africa, home to a group of top athletes, all at the top of their game, across different sporting disciplines, is driven to become the most successful all-round sports team.

Says Lewin, an accomplished river marathon and Surfski paddler, “Jeep Team SA is quite unique in that it poses a full-service support system to the athletes. They don’t put a couple of stickers on your kit and say good luck. They play an integral part in the athletes’ careers. I have been involved with the team for a long time and understand the family culture. The management of the team has always had the athletes’ best interests at heart, and ensures they are mentored, guided and supported. This will be further supported in 2017 with the addition of SARTORITM Brand Managers to the team.”Barry Lewin

Concludes Max Cluer, “With the current crop of massively-talented Jeep Team athletes, which include the likes of World Champion, Hank McGregor, ‘The Beast’, Thomas Van Tonder, and the newly added trail running champion Christiaan Greyling, combined with the support of the team, they can only go from strength to strength in the future.”

Says Lewin on his future, “I have a new boat sponsor, Epic Kayaks, and will be racing their boats here in SA, as well as in Mauritius, Europe and Hong Kong this year. I’m hoping to retain my top 10 world series ranking. The Jeep Team is a special family of extraordinary people of whom I am proud to be a part of. I am always extremely proud to pull on my Jeep Team kit and represent this awesome group.”

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Bouman and Burn kick-start winter surfski season with wins

Written by Barry Lewin on . Posted in SurfSki Events

Durban – After a brief break from the surf on the Durban beach front, paddlers returned to take on the first race of the winter and it was stalwarts Matt Bouman and Michelle Burn who claimed wins at the Hansa Surfski Challenge at Dairy Beach on the Worker’s Day public holiday on Monday.

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Despite the long weekend, Durban’s surfski community showed how much they have missed ocean racing as the women’s field attracted some of the top paddlers in the region with Michelle Burn showing that her hard work is paying dividends.

“I tried to use the FNB Surfski Series as a point to get back into paddling and then build on that through the winter,” the Fenn Kayaks’ star said.

“I have been working hard since the summer series and Monday was a great way for me to see whether I have improved – which I think I have.”

The 12km Hansa Surfski Challenge took place on a two-lap, 6km out-and-back course that tested paddlers of all abilities and Burn was happy that she was able to hold off the other women through the two laps.

“On the first lap I was able to hold on to Bridgitte (Hartley) out to the turn can and when we turned I got some good runs and opened up a gap.

“It was vital that I was able to hold them off on the final paddle to the turn can into the wind, and I managed that.

“I was proud of my effort and it was a good example of my improvements that I have made, especially with Bridgitte, Jenna (Ward) and Kyeta (Purchase) on the water,” she added.

The race for second in the women’s race threatened to be an exciting one, however, young Euro Steel ace Kyeta Purchase got a gap on her team mate Bridgitte Hartley and beat her by 40 seconds.

In the men’s race it was SMG/Epic Kayaks’ Bouman who showed his class to claim the overall win ahead of young Bailey de Fondaumiere with Bay Union/Fenn Kayaks’ Luke Nisbet in third place overall.

Bouman was a class apart and managed and mastered the conditions better than anyone else as he finished 25 second ahead of De Fondaumiere with a procession of paddlers following them home.

The doubles racing is always a hard-fought affair and the Hansa Surfski Challenge was no surprise. Shaun Burgin and partner Lee Muir ended up taking the overall win just under a minute ahead of Bruce Wenke and Linton Hope with Eugene Swanepoel and Johann Terblanche in third.

The race also offered a one-lap 6km race and that saw Jasper Gaylard outstrip the rest of the field to win by a mammoth two-and-a-half minutes ahead of Patrick Addis and overall women’s winner Siobhan Sharp third.

In the stand-up paddleboard category, Thomas King was far too strong for the other competitors and finished the 6km course in 40 minutes and 54 seconds. His win was more impressive as he beat Matt Swemmer by five minutes while Jaqueline le Court De Billot took third.

The next race of the winter season is the opening race of the Bay Union Surfski Series – the Bay Union Singles Surfski Challenge on 7 May 2017.

More information can be found at www.pitchandpaddle.co.za.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS – Hansa Surfski Challenge
RACE FIVE OF THE 2016 BAY UNION SURFSKI SERIES

LONG COURSE
Singles
1.Matthew Bouman 50:52
2.Bailey de Fondaumiere 51:17
3.Luke Nisbet 51:30
4.Wade Krieger 51:52
5.Barry Lewin 52:14
6.Gene Prato 52:14
7.Tyron Maher 53:29
8.Clinton Cook 53:33
9.Richard Burn 54:31
10.Zoog Haynes 55:14

Women
1.Michelle Burn 56:20
2.Kyeta Purchase 57:55
3.Bridgitte Hartley 58:35
4.Jenna Ward 58:44
5.Donna Tutton 1:02:36

Junior Boys
1.Brendon Delport 59:08

Doubles
1.Shaun Burgin/Lee Muir 51:43
2.Bruce Wenke/Linton Hope 52:49
3.Eugene Swanepoel/Johann Terblanche 54:47
4.Skye Prato/Marc Descoins 55:54
5.Mark Lewin/Allan Hold 56:15

SHORT COURSE
Singles
1.Jasper Gaylard 35:29
2.Patrick Addis 38:00
3.Siobhan Sharp 38:01

Doubles
1.Sean Chater/Dylan Riddle 33:30
2.Dean Maclean/Catherine Addis 34:19
3.Stuart Riddle/Gary Bowler 38:25

SUP
1.Thomas King 40:54
2.Matthew Swemmer 46:16
3.Jaqueline le Court De Billot 47:04

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