Durban - The winter surfski season comes to a head on Saturday with the gruelling 46km Discovery Scottburgh to Brighton ultra marathon, which has been given added intensity by the certainty that the field of paddlers will race through the sardine run, and with it will be close to the marine bonanza that follows the sardine migration up the coast.
Durban, South Africa - Star paddler Matt Bouman claimed his fifth win in the current Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski Series at the KwaZulu Downwind to Toti in "hectic" surf conditions which ultimately changed the race to a strong "upwind" paddle.
[Editor: The paddlers in the Southern Shamaal PE to EL International Relay... take note of how not to come in through surf!]
If you can imagine a perfect "surfski" day then 28 November was that day, blue sunny skies and one of those surprise swells that 'pop' up out of nowhere greeted the field for Port Elizabeth's last series race for 2009.
Sedgefield, South Africa: The Eastern Cape 2008 SA Men's
Surf Ski Champion, Richard von Wildemann claimed this year's 22km Hansa
Victoria Bay-Sedgefield race which forms part of the Discovery Men's Health
Surf Ski Series in a nerve-wrecking and risky finish through monstrous 5 metre
swells, finishing a mere 20 seconds clear of Durban legend Herman Chalupsky on
Saturday afternoon, 14th November 2009.
The day before the Discovery Downwind Race, Pete Cole and a group of highly experienced paddlers set off for a "Reverse Buffels" run - the same route that the race would follow the next day.About 8km from the finish at Buffels Bay, they were suddenly hit by 35-40kt gusts blowing directly offshore.Cole and two others aborted the run, turning shore-wards to grind head on into the sheets of spray being blasted off the surface of the sea.
For the three Fish Hoek Surf Lifesaving Clubmates, DawidMocke, Jasper Mocke and Tom Schilperoort it was home territory and they wereout to dominate from the start of the third race in the Cape Town Discovery Men'sHealth Series.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Ace paddler Richard von Wildemann managed to hold on to his top position in the Eastern Cape series by claiming his third title in the popular Discovery Men's Health Surf Ski Series in the Kings Beach Harbour Challenge.