Durban Surfski Scene Rises at Wall & Back Race Two

The second race of the 2015 Illovo Suncoast Pirates Wall and Back Surfski Series saw the best of the Durban surfski scene slug it out in technical conditions as decorated paddler Hank McGregor won a tight men’s race whilst Michelle Burn claimed her first win of the series at Suncoast Pirates on Friday evening.

The strong field were greeted to an onshore wind that made the conditions challenging with McGregor misjudging his line to the first turning can which meant that he was under pressure on the return leg with two experienced paddlers in front of him.

“It was a really close race on Friday!” an animated McGregor said. “I tried to take a deeper line into the turn can which meant that I lost a bit of time on Matthew (Bouman) and Wade (Krieger) and I was third at the turn can.

“I managed to get myself close to Matt and got past him but only just got passed Wade at the end to take a close win!

“It is a good start to the series for me result wise so I’m happy with how I went.”

In what was an eight second difference at the end of the day the Euro Steel/Epic Kayak’s star understands the importance of being in form every Friday as the field is always strong and there is a very small margin for error.

“I have taken my foot off the peddle a bit recently after the Hansa Fish due to the schedule that I had and I am now starting to get back into it slowly but the guys are racing so well every weekend so you need to be right up there every race.

“I’m not sure how hard the other guys have been training but to be able to come out here and have such intense races every Friday is great for me as I build up to another big period of racing.

“We are really privileged to have such great paddlers in Durban and to be able to race them every Friday is only good for the sport,” a positive McGregor added.

The ladies field was also laden with talent as defending champion and recent World Under 23 Ocean Racing champion Jenna Ward had her work cut out for as she could only manage to end in fourth position with fellow Fenn Kayak’s paddler and experienced campaigner Michelle Burn sneaking the win in the ladies singles.

Having won the Bay Union Surfski Series in the winter Nikki Russell had to settle for second place just behind Burn with Race one winner Donna Tutton rounding out the podium with an exciting third race of the series expected next Friday.

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1.Hank McGregor 33.47
2.Wade Krieger 33.55
3.Matthew Bowman 34.44
4.Gene Prato 35.46
5.Luke Nisbet 36.38

1.Michelle Burn 39.12
2.Nikki Russell 39.34
3.Donna Tutton 41.46

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