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Varsity College Claim Double Gold at USSA Canoeing Champs

Written by Barry Lewin on . Posted in Racing

Students gathered from around the country to take part in the USSA Canoeing Championships at the Hansa Fish Canoe Marathon over the weekend, which also doubled as the National K1 Championship. The USSA championships happens on the great fish river every year in October, where student paddlers don their university colours for the iconic 84km canoe marathon from Grassridge Dam to Cradock.

tom-lovemore

Varsity College have been coming through the student canoeing ranks in recent years and showed their dominance this year by claiming the elusive double, winning the mens and ladies divisions for the USSA Canoeing Championships.

The Varsity College mens team, led by Tom Lovemore from the Durban North Campus, who finished an amazing 30th overall, took charge of the leader board from Day 1. This was backed up by a great second day performance by his Durban North team mate Irvin Dixon, finishing 46th overall. The VC team was rounded up with 49th place finish by Cape Town student and surfski star Dom Notten and 51rd place Stuart Bristow who is also an SA flat water sprinter.

With 4 very consistent scores, Varsity College edged out as strong challenge from UCT into 2nd and defending champions Stellenbosch University coming home 3rd, despite their captain Andrew Houston, having finished in 4th place overall.

The Varsity College ladies team of Dee Kotze (PE) and Kelly Billion (Durban North), had great races with very little issues on the challenging river, shooting the big rapids and weirs on their way to finishing 19th and 21st in the ladies race. It was Kotze’s flawless race that allowed her to be the first female student to Cradock and in turn claimed Varsity College their second win of the weekend.

A very proud Carole Adam from Varsity College commented on the team’s performance as they reached the top step of the podium, “It is great to see the student’s hard work come to fruition because they have been putting in long hours both on the river and in the lecture room. The sports life vision at VC is to encourage the students to strike a healthy work life balance and it is clearly evident in this result” said Carole Adam, Varsity College National Sports Manager.

This is the first time Varsity College has taken both the mens and ladies titles at the USSA Canoeing Champs. “I am really proud of the team for backing up their training with solid performances all round in the big water of the Fish River. I am sure this will motivate the team to come back and defend their title in 2017” said Varsity College ambassador and team captain Barry Lewin.

This win for the Varsity College Sports Club follows on from fantastic results at the recent USSA winter champs that took place in July this year; where VC won gold in both men and ladies divisions at surfing champs in Vic Bay, in addition to, the mens hockey team finishing in the top 4 of the USSA Hockey Champs knocking out UJ who are the Varsity Sports champions.

GoPro Video – Day in the Life of a Varsity College Student

Written by Barry Lewin on . Posted in Coaching

I just love this video, using GoPro’s to tell a cool story of what life is like as a Varsity College student. 8 students were given GoPro’s to film their average day and this is the result.

Varsity College students live the slogan “take life to the next level” in every way, from adding to their skill in the lecture rooms, living a balanced life with the SportsLife program and networking with their peers.

I love how the VC Sport Life Program is so prominent in the video, with students using sports like paddling and surfing to opens so many doors, keep healthy and meet like minded people.

Varsity College SportLife Practice Video

Written by Barry Lewin on . Posted in Coaching

Durban has a very strong water sports culture and it is no wonder that the paddling clubs on the Varsity College Campuses are really taking off. I have taken a number of sessions getting the surfski club going and it is awesome to see the current SportsLife captains continuing the fun of being active on their campuses today.

One of the Durban North Students Tom Lovemore put this video together of their surfski practice last week and it just inspires me to go paddling. Nice work Tom!

If you would like to get involved in the surfski club on a Varsity College Campus get hold of me on barry@barrylewin.co.za and I can point you in the right direction or check out www.varsitycollege.co.za

 

Fitting finale for majestic 2016 Marine Series

Written by Barry Lewin on . Posted in SurfSki Events

Durban – The 2016 Varsity College FNB Marine Surfski Series came to an end on Friday evening with the Varsity College FNB South African Schools Surfski Championships taking centre stage as the Mark Keeling and Kyeta Purchase became national champions whilst Hank McGregor took the overall spoils in the series.

2016R10Keeling

Keeling finished second the Bailey de Fondaumiere in 2015 however he was too strong for the rest of the schools field as he cantered to a win by just over a minute whilst Kyeta Purchase repeated her win of 2015 as she outgunned the other girls to take the national championship title.

The overall series title was up for grabs as Euro Steel/Epic Kayak’s Hank McGregor was chasing Matt Bouman for the spoils however it was the former who produced the goods to claim yet another Varsity College FNB Series title.

“It was a perfect evening for racing with a light westerly wind blowing,” McGregor said. “There was a great field there and I knew that I was under a bit of pressure because I needed this result if I was going to win.

“It was an awesome evening for racing and I am really glad that I have another title,” he added.

McGregor always knew that he had to finish at the front of the field if he wanted his sixth and final result to count in his favour so when he started the race he made sure that he got himself in front of the rest of the field early.

“I decided that I wanted to deliver the hurt from the beginning of the race as I needed to get myself away.

“I had a great start and got a substantial lead quickly because I really didn’t want to leave it to the final lap because you never know what can happen.

“When I got ahead I just tried to chase down the doubles and the paddlers in the schools race so I always had a marker to chase.

“It was a fantastic win for me and I am glad that I could get another series win!” he added.

The series has become known for its strong field that it accumulates every week and Friday night’s racing was no different.

“It was good to have the likes of Kenny Rice here which just added the strength of the field.

“Being able to race against some of the best surfski paddlers in the world is such a privilege. Taking them on in my own back yard is something that I have always appreciated,” added a satisfied McGregor.

With the focus of the final race being on the SA School’s championships, Hayley Nixon managed to get her second win of the series despite the fact that Nicole Russell had already wrapped up the women’s series title.

The popular short course was won by Nic Riosa whilst the Wilkinson pair of Travis and Rachel were the quickest double across the line.

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

SUMMARY OF RESULTS – VARSITY COLLEGE SURFSKI CHALLENGE
RACE TEN OF THE 2016 VARSITY COLLEGE FNB MARINE SURFSKI SERIES

LONG COURSE
Overall
1.Hank McGregor 32.41
2.Matt Bouman 34.04
3.Kenneth Rice 34.43
4.Wade Krieger 34.47
5.Charl Massyn 34.49
6.Grant van der Walt 35.00
7.Steve Woods 35.19
8.Gene Prato 35.26
9.Darren Swales 36.30
10.Jean Luc Mauvis 36.56

Women
1.Hayley Nixon 38.29

Doubles
1.Thomas Lovemore/Lee McGregor 33.41

Mixed Doubles
1.Jason Ekstrand/Kerry Segal 35.16
2.Lee Furby/Pippa McGregor 37.07
3.Gareth Miles/Raquel Arcediano 38.22

SHORT COURSE
Singles
1.Nic Riosa 21.55
2.Dave Rees 22.08
3.Dylan Riddle 23.10

Doubles
1.Travis Wilkinson/Rachel Wilkinson 20.24
2.Philip Symons/Lauren Norton 20.31
3.Bruce Pender-Smith/Matthew Pender-Smith 21.40

SUPs
Men
1.Daryl Bartho 26.52
2.Brandon Read 27.45
3.Grantley Read 29.16

VARSITY COLLEGE FNB SOUTH AFRICAN SCHOOLS SURFSKI CHAMPIONSHIPS
Under 18 Boys
1.Mark Keeling 35.00
2.Bailey de Fondaumiere 36.01
3.Zachery Preyser 36.23
4.William Wood 37.32
5.Emanuel Zaloumis 39.04

Under Girls
1.Kyeta Purchase 40.45
2.Teegan Hardwick 49.20
Keli Reynolds 58.34

Under 16 Boys
1.Uli Hast 39.16
2.Hamish Mckenzie 42.43
3.Dante Lahore 45.03

Under 16 Girls
1.Tayla Gilmore 48.09

SA’s young surfski stars ready for national schools champs

Written by Barry Lewin on . Posted in SurfSki Events

Durban – The 2016 Varsity College FNB South African Schools Surfski Championships take place this Friday, 11 March at Marine Surf Lifesaving Club in Durban with talented youngsters from throughout the country eager to stake a claim for this year’s spoils.

2015R10deFondaumiereKeeling

Adding to the hype of the final race of the ten leg 2016 Varsity College FNB Marine Surfski Series, the national schools champs are set to be a ding-dong battle across both the Under-18 and Under-16 age groups.

Durban’s Bailey de Fondaumiere narrowly edged out Cape Town’s Mark Keeling last year and many expect the pair, now both in their final year of school, to once again go head to head for the title.

Carbonology’s De Fondaumiere has been in fine form throughout this year’s Marine Surfski Series, mixing it up with some of the country’s top senior men and clinching multiple top ten finishes along the way.

Meanwhile, Orka Squad’s Keeling focused much of his recent efforts on his Under-18 boys FNB Dusi title winning effort with his partner Mpilo Zondi (Computershare Change a Life Academy) but has shown great form on the ocean as well, often pushing the likes of Kenny Rice, Brandon van der Walt and Stu Maclaren in the Cape’s weekly ADT SeaDog Paddle Series races.

Keeling’s fellow Western Cape ace Zach Preyser is better known for his flat water sprinting abilities but is another to have strong great for in his surfski of late and represents somewhat of a dark horse contender.

East London’s William Wood finished second in the Under-16 clash in 2015 and, having now graduated into the Under-18 age group, is another out-of-towner eager to take on Durban’s local stars of tomorrow for a place on the podium.

Junior girls flyer Kyeta Purchase (Fenn Kayaks), who claimed the Under-16 girls title in 2014 and Under-18 girls crown last year, goes into this year’s championships as favourite to defend her title and walk away national champion.

The Our Lady of Fatima Convent pupil has been in such strong form throughout this year’s Marine Surfski Series that she is currently locked in a battle for second place overall, despite Durban’s wealth of talented senior women’s competitors, and is likely to push some her male junior counterparts this Friday.

Christie MacKenzie and Sabine Lawrie may well battle it out for the remaining Under-18 girls podium positions while the Under-16 age group is likely to see Oli Hart from Cape town feature strongly together with Durban’s Hamish MacKenzie and Dante Lahore.

The 2016 Varsity College FNB South African Schools Surfski Championships take place over an eight kilometer course that starts and finishes in front of Marine SLC at Durban’s Addington Beach on Friday, 11 March. Racing gets underway at 17h30 and more information can be found at www.marineseries.co.za

Maiden win for Nixon, McGregor revives Marine Surfski Series title hunt

Written by Barry Lewin on . Posted in SurfSki Events

Durban – The Indian Ocean along KwaZulu-Natal’s East Coast was as flat as a mill pond on Friday evening for the Hi-Q Surfski Challenge, race nine of the 2016 Varsity College FNB Marine Surfski Series, with Hayley Nixon’s unrivalled power handing her a maiden race surfski race victory while Hank McGregor’s fourth victory of the series keeps his title hopes alive.

2016R9Hayley

With no wave or swell in sight and hot, humid and windless conditions to contend with, the clash took on a flat water marathon-like facade with Carbonology’s Nixon (nee Arthur) drawing on the strength and power from both her former national rowing days as well as the endless hours of hard work she has put in during her training of late.

Despite some sublime form already having seen her wrap up the women’s 2016 Varsity College FNB Marine Surfski Series title, Fenn Kayaks’ Nicole Russell had no answer to Arthur’s relentless attacks and intensity, ultimately having to settle for second place with Euro Steel/Fenn Kayaks junior star Kyeta Purchase claiming third.

While the series title race may already be over, Arthur and Purchase find themselves locked in a titanic battle for second place with Friday’s result aiding significantly in Arthur’s claim.

Despite there being just one race left in the series, the men’s series spoils are still very much up for grabs with Euro Steel/Epic Kayaks’ McGregor and Epic Kayaks’ Matthew Bouman once again squaring off for this year’s silverware.

A race win earns paddlers’ 100 points while there are 99 points for second place and 98 for third with competitors’ best six results contributing towards their series points total.

McGregor, having only taken part in five races thus far, goes to 499 points after his most recent win while Bouman, having already achieved the minimum six race scores, has an aggregate of 598 points.

A win for McGregor this coming Friday would see him finish on 599 points while if Bouman were to clinch the final race spoils and McGregor finish second, Bouman would claim the title with a final tally of 599 points with McGregor finishing with one point less.

The doubles racing was no less interesting as Zoog Haynes and Linton Hope clinched yet another race win, edging out Shaun Burgin and Lee Muir while junior boys clash went the way of Luke Criticos who held off Bailey de Fondaumiere.

While Friday 11 March sees the curtain come down on the 2016 Varsity College FNB Marine Surfski Series with the mouthwatering action of the Varsity College Surfski Challenge, the day’s programme will also see some of the country’s finest junior talent go head to head during the 2016 South African Schools Surfski Championships.

Both events take place from 17h30 at Marine Surf Lifesaving Club, Addington Beach. More information can be found at www.marineseries.co.za

SUMMARY OF RESULTS – HI-Q SURFSKI CHALLENGE
RACE NINE OF THE 2016 VARSITY COLLEGE FNB MARINE SURFSKI SERIES

LONG COURSE
Overall
1.Hank McGregor 36.21
2.Matthew Bouman 36.34
3.Grant van der Walt 38.05
4.Steve Woods 38.16
5.Wade Krieger 39.41

Women
1.Hayley Nixon 42.37
2.Nicole Russell 42.53
3.Kyeta Purchase (U18) 43.53
4.Jenna Ward 45.04
5.Donna Tutton 46.47

Doubles
1.Zoog Haynes/Linton Hope 38.29
2.Shaun Burgin/Lee Muir 38.48
3.Warren Valentine/Marc 40.42

Mixed Doubles
1.Lee Furby/Pippa McGregor 42.18
2.Sharon Armstrong/Carl 44.50
3.Keith Bennett/Lyn Bennett

Junior Boys
1.Luke Criticos 40.01
2.Bailey de Fondaumiere 40.02
3.Hamish MacKenzie (U16) 46.49

Junior Girls
1.Kyeta Purchase 43.53
2.Christie MacKenzie 51.41

SHORT COURSE
Singles
1.Malec Odendaal 23.26
2.Keaton Riddle 24.54
3.Rochard Hogg 25.18

Doubles
1.Mark Lewin/Keli Reynolds 23.49
2.Philip Symons/Lauren Norton 24.10
3.Graeme Johnston/Alastair 25.07

SUPs
Men
1.Nick Park-Ross 28.42
2.Daryl Bartho 28.49
3.Grantley Read 29.51

Women
1.Danica Bartho 33.07
2.Bianca Groeneveld 37.16
3.Karisa Grace (U16) 38.34

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