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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.

hansa 1

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

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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Purchase wins tough ladies Marine head-to-head

Written by Barry Lewin on . Posted in SurfSki Events

Durban – Young paddling sensation Kyeta Purchase showed her temperament in difficult conditions after she took advantage of a Nicole Russel blunder to take her second win of the 2016 Varsity College FNB Marine Surfski Series with victory at the Hansa Surfski Challenge on Friday evening.


The north-easterly wind reared its head providing some testing conditions for the big field that turned up however a mistake from Fenn Kayak’s Russell on the way in paved the way from Purchase to sneak home and secure another win.

“The race was quite difficult and I was a bit tired going into it but it went well which was good,” the Euro Steel star mentioned.

“I didn’t see Nicole coming in and I saw a break so I went hard and then I saw her swimming so I knew that I had to go hard to get up the beach and across the line first.

“Conditions were good, quite rough and a bit up and down getting to the third buoy but I enjoyed it,” Purchase explained.

Despite a swim when the race was in her grasp, Russell was very diplomatic about the outcome.

“The finish was a bit of a disaster for me because after my swim I lost my boat which meant that Kyeta passed me in the surf but it happens in paddling, I guess,” she mentioned.

The men’s race was won by Durban paddling stalwart Wade Krieger who managed to pull away from Barry Lewin on the second lap to give himself his first win of the series.

Despite a watered down field Krieger was still happy with the win and with that he has opened his account for 2016 with six of your best results to count.

“Very stoked to get my first win of the series ,” Krieger said. “Even if a few guys are absent and the field is a little bit weaker it is still good to get a win.”

The race at the front was tight as Jeep Team’s Barry Lewin managed to reign in Krieger however the latter put in a good surge to pull clear of Lewin on the second lap handing him an advantage that he would not relinquish.

“I had a great start and was in the right place off the start with the water being a little bit deeper and got out first.

“I managed to work the runners well across the beach and then Barry managed to catch me on the first lap and on the last lap I decided to focus on myself and put my head down,” he added.

Despite his win and the chance of an overall title Krieger does not see the overall title as his main priority with getting back to top form being a major goal of his and the series win would be a positive by-product.

“ think that I am in with a shout at the overall title but n even higher priority is to try and get that spark back – I wasn’t feeling 100% today and I know that if I get that spark back then I will be happy,” mentioned Krieger.

The Thule Surfski Challenge, race four of the 2016 Varsity College FNB Marine Surfski Series, takes place at 17h30 on Friday 29 January Marine SLC, Addington Beach. More information can be found at www.marineseries.co.za


1.Wade Krieger 35.42
2.Barry Lewin 36.35
3.Luke Nisbet 36.50
4.Jason Ekstrand 37.29
5.Brett Bartho 38.41
6.Oliver Burn 39.01
7.Nic Burden 39.28
8.Paul Rabinonitz 40.05
9.Jordan Clauson 40.07
10.Richard Lowe 40.46

1.Kyeta Purchase 41.59
2.Nicole Russell 42.14
3.Vanessa Mayhew 54.04

Junior Boys
1.Luke Criticos 41.11

Junior Girls
1.Kyeta Purchase 41.59

1.Zoog Haynes/Linton Hope 36.07
2.Shaun Burgin/Lee Muir 36.58
3.Brice Hatton/Marc Stanton 36.59

Mixed Doubles
1.Lee McGregor/Sabina Lawrie 38.05
2.Ian Marais/Taneal Marais 43.44
3.Mark Xantho/Lyn Bennett 44.03

1.Keaton Riddle 25.10
2.Brendan Sharp 25.26
3.Jeffrey Maingard 25.33

1.Calvin Mckie/Tamryn Mckie 23.15
2.Bruce Pender-Smith/Matthew Pender-Smith 26.01
3.Patrick Palmer/Brandon Palmer 28.34

1.Daryl Bartho 31.26
2.Brandon Read 31.28
3.Nick Pack-Ross 32.47

1.Jackie de Billot 35.28
2.Lande Williamson 45.35
3.Angela Whittle 53.29

Durban’s paddlers take on rough sea at Varsity College FNB Surfski Series

Written by Barry Lewin on . Posted in SurfSki Events

Durban – With some tough conditions being the order of the day on Friday evening paddlers had to be keep their wits about them as they took on some rough seas but it was the calm heads of Hank McGregor and the impressive Michelle Burn who manage the sea the best to record wins and with that Burns first win of the series at the Hansa Surfski Challenge.

It was a welcome return to winning way for seven-time series winner Michelle Burn who has been moving up the results sheet over the past few weeks and the surfski star felt that the conditions on Friday were great for her and she exploited them well.

“Coming in and going out was always going to be quite hectic that is why I was quite glad we had a backline start,” Burn said. “With that said when we got out there the wind died down a bit and the conditions were really good with some massive runs coming back!

“The conditions suited me better I think, I enjoy the rougher conditions out there and I think I managed them pretty well,” she added.

Having been on the wrong end of the top two last week Burn was able to turn the tide on her closest rival Jenna Ward on Friday and the race was a reciprocal of the previous Friday as Burn was able to get in front of her young counterpart and stay in front.

“I managed to get ahead of Jen after the first half a lap and then it was a case of keeping myself in front of her and I managed to do that and I knew that I needed to be careful coming in and keep it stable which I did and I’m really happy with my paddle,” a satisfied Burn mentioned.

With a number of Marine Series titles under her belt Burn came into the 2015 series with very little expectation and has not been putting any pressure on herself to get into the contention but after a number of solid performances and a win she might be entertaining the idea of another series win.

“I’ve been trying to take the series one race at a time and every week as it comes because we have been served up with some interesting conditions throughout the series!

“A series win would be great but I am not really looking that far ahead although I do realise that I am in contention to win the overall title. I’m just enjoying my paddling and trying to do the best I can week in and week out.

“With my record and being the defending champion keeping the title would be great but let’s just see how the next couple of races go,” a wary Burn added.

The men’s race was won by Hank McGregor who was pushed hard by Wade Krieger as he claimed the win by only a couple of seconds but with that win the Epic Kayak/Jeep Team star takes the lead in the series log over Matt Bouman who was not at the race on Friday.

With the surf being tricky McGregor knew that the playing field was going to be level with the backline start and it was a ding dong battle for the current marathon world champion against Krieger as he battled with a couple of issues.

“I managed to get away quite early but I got caught up on the shark nets which meant I had to get off my ski and untangle myself and in that time I saw Wade go past me so I had to work to get back to him.

“I got back ahead of Wade but got caught by a wave about 800 metres out that knocked me off my ski and as I was scrambling to get back on Wade went passed me again so it was again a case of working to get ahead!

“After that I managed to regain my thoughts and get back in front where I just maintained and had a solid second lap so I kept ahead of Wade all the way home,” a relieved McGregor mentioned.

With the tough conditions McGregor was questioning his luck but he knew that it was going to be a difficult outing and was able to show his skills in those sorts of conditions.

“I am stoked that I got the win after the race that I had and the sea was in quite an angry mood and it tested us, it really tested all of our skills,” he added.

The top three in the men’s race was rounded out by event organiser Barry Lewin as the Jeep Team/Varsity College athlete just pipped youngster gene Prato to the line on Friday evening.

The Lettie Paddle Surfski Challenge, race seven of the 2015 Varsity College FNB Marine Surfski Series, takes place at 17h30 on Tuesday, 17 February at Addington Beach. More information can be found at www.marineseries.co.za


Long Course
1. Hank McGregor 34.16
2. Wade Krieger 34.44
3. Barry Lewin 35.42
4. Gene Prato 35.42
5. Oliver Burn 37.19

1. Michelle Burn 40.18
2. Jenna Ward 42.32
3. Lauren Coleby 50.14

Junior Boys
1. Tristan Wilson 41.15
2. Brett Evans 41.57

1. Wayne Wilson/Charles Heinse 35.19
2. Jason Ekstrand/Richard Lowe 35.42
3. Jasper Mocké/Grant Walker 37.08

1. Gareth Hazell 22.08
2. Thoman Lovemore 22.41
3. Kevin Oliver 32.48

1. Jody Taylor/Matthew Elliot 20.27
2. Wise Mvubu/Nhlanhla Ncayiya 21.20
3. Keaton Riddle/William William Dowsett 28.57