McGregor and Nixon dominate Pirates Umhlanga Pirates

2018-06-19 06:01
PHOTO: supplied Euro Steel/Carbonology’s Hayley Nixon was in a dominant mood as she took home the ladies title at the 2018 Pirates Umhlanga Pirates surfski race on Saturday.

PHOTO: supplied Euro Steel/Carbonology’s Hayley Nixon was in a dominant mood as she took home the ladies title at the 2018 Pirates Umhlanga Pirates surfski race on Saturday.

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THE world’s oldest surfski race, the Pirates Umhlanga Pirates, dished up some kind conditions as Hank McGregor and Hayley Nixon trounced their respective men’s and ladies fields on Saturday, June 9 in Durban.

It was a typically dominant display from Euro Steel/Fenn Kayaks’ McGregor who paddled away from the field in the opening kilometres and was never threatened.

The fight was for second position with a bunch of paddlers battling it out for the two other podium spots.

On the return leg from Umhlanga back to Pirates, Luke Nisbet took control of second position and Gene Prato managed to hold on to third a minute behind Nisbet.

The ladies race was a one-paddler contest as Hayley Nixon continued her impressive form to claim victory four minutes ahead of Sabina Lawrie.

Women’s winner, Hayley Nixon, said they had some pretty awesome conditions for an out and back race.

“The conditions at Pirates were manageable on the way out and with a mild bump it made for a great race.

“It was a great paddle and the conditions were perfect. We saw a few dolphins as well which was special,” said Nixon.

Conditions were not conducive to catching long runs and paddlers had to slog it out on the flat water to the Umhlanga lighthouse and back, racing conditions that Nixon thrived in. She added that it was pretty tough and honest racing. “You had to dig deep to catch those little runs, but it was beautiful and we had a nice clean wave coming into the finish line.

“I think there was a bit of carnage in the surf at the finish and I nearly became one of the victims but I managed to stay in my boat luckily,” she exclaimed.

She said it was an awesome day and also congratulated Dave Harker and Pirates for putting on a great event. In the doubles race it was the evergreen Lee McGregor and Richard Lowe who dominated the rest of the field to take the two-man race title.

Murray Smith and Steve Cohen finished in second place while Stretch Struwig and Mike Stevens took home third spot in the doubles race. — Supplied.


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