Doubles action highlights open ocean series race

HANK McGregor and Andy Birkett took on their first surfski race as a pair when they won race three of the Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Challenge, the Geriatskis Doubles Race, while Donna Winter and Jenna Ward won the ladies race on Sunday.

The Euro Steel duo, who won the FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon in February, are a devastating combination in a boat and to see them in a surfski together is another intimidating sight for any would-be challengers.

“It was great to be in a double ski for the first time with Andy and we had a great day out, awesome conditions for surfski paddling. We managed to get ourselves a slight lead going out to the buoy and then we milked the bumps coming back,” McGregor commented.

Luke Nisbett and Gene Prato were in second place, while Matt Bouman and Andre Pohl finished in third.

ALSO READ: McGregor and Nixon taste success at surfski series

The ladies race was won by another impressive duo. Jenna Ward and Donna Winter won the ladies race in convincing fashion when they dominated the rest of the ladies field.

“Conditions were great! It was pretty flat but we paddled in a north easterly which meant it was quite a difficult paddle to the turn buoy but the way back there was a nice little bump with a few runs. Jenna and I were chuffed to take the win and overall it was a great race for us!” Winter said after the race.

Bridgitte Hartley and Melissa van Rooyen were second and Lyn Bennett and Debbie Gillet rounded out the ladies podium.

Taking the mixed category was the young pair of Cameron Hudson and Sabina Lawrie. Experienced ocean racer Herman Chalupsky took home the singles honours ahead of Stuart Roberts and Sam Butcher.

Over the short course it was an exciting shootout for the top spot on the podium that was eventually won by Jody and Duane Taylor ahead of Murray and Dylan Smith by just five seconds. Finishing third over the short course was under 18 girls pair of Alice Edward and Tayla Gilmore.


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