Surfski: series belongs to McGregor and Winter

2011-07-11 00:00

DURBAN — Having already secured this year’s Dunlop Surfski World Cup title, Hank McGregor added the 2011 Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski Series yesterday to his hugely impressive list of paddling achievements, despite not being able to take part in the 10th and final leg of the series.

McGregor, currently in the Cape ahead of his title defence of the Windhoek Berg canoe marathon, which gets underway tomorrow, stamped his authority on the series when he won all five of the races he took part in and looked in sublime form throughout.

“I’m really chuffed to have been able to take the series and to have won both the Varsity College series and this one in the same year is really great!” said McGregor.

“I’m not able to take part in as many races as I would like to but every race I do participate in I give my all and fortunately Neptune was on my side this year and five races counted, which meant my five wins was enough,” he added.

With a couple of the other top paddlers also unavailable for this week’s HiQ Marine surfski race, many of the series’ next tier of paddlers were eager to earn themselves some crucial last-minute points and finish this year’s unusual series on a positive note.

Typical winter conditions made a welcome return to Durban bay and Grant van der Walt led the field around the 12km course from start to finish and showed just why he is held in such high regard by many in the paddling fraternity.

Despite Van der Walt’s recent absence due to sprint commitments, he finished comfortably ahead of the rest of the field with Mark Mulder narrowly edging out Oliver Burn from Amanzimtoti for second spot a little way behind.

Last year’s champion Matt Bouman’s consistently strong performances saw him claim the series’ runners-up prize whilst Umhlanga’s Barry Lewin claimed the bottom step on the podium overall.

While Donna Winter also missed the closing race her dominance throughout the series earned her the 2011 Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski Series title.

In the doubles section Brett Hadiaris and Ross Fountain won, while in the short course Tim Drummond beat Luke Steenkamp in the singles with Wayne and Eiljah Symington claiming the doubles.

— Sport 24.

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