McGregor on form in SA series race

Sunday, 05 June 2011 15:14 | Written by  Gameplan Media
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Thumping surf in today's Discovery Sunglass Hut series race in Durban, South Africa Thumping surf in today's Discovery Sunglass Hut series race in Durban, South Africa Credits: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media

Durban – With the south coast providing challenging conditions for the Discovery Winkle Surfski race, race five of the Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski Series, it was Hank McGregor’s experience and class which saw him power his way to victory.

The presence of McGregor’s nearest rival, Matt Bouman, as well as Western Cape paddler Sean Rice, coupled with the difficult, exciting course layout meant it was by no means a done deal for the series leader, however a thoroughly professional display from the paddling ace saw him finish almost a minute and a half ahead of Bouman and the rest of the field.

Hank McGregor

Hank McGregor cleaned up in the challenging conditions...

Big Surf

“It’s great to be down the coast again and to take on some really tough surf,” said McGregor. “I got away pretty cleanly but the portage at Warner was really tricky and we had to fight our way in through some pretty big surf and all the fishing lines.”

“Matt (Bouman) almost caught me as we came past the buoy at Winkle and then we really got nailed on the way out again. We took a couple really big ones on the head but finally got out and it was that I tried to put the hammer down a bit and Matt didn’t seem to have too much left after that,” he added.

Sean Rice may have got the better of McGregor in the recent past but McGregor was adamant this would not be the case in his own backyard.

“Sean (Rice) is a great competitor and is always strong. He beat me in Spain a couple of weeks ago so it was great to have him here today and the Durban boys showed him a thing or two,” beamed McGregor.

Despite putting in a solid effort last week’s winner Matt Bouman had to settle for a hard earned second place.

"…space game out there…"

“I struggled to get into any kind of a rhythm for the majority of the first half of the race. It was a bit like a space game out there with things just happening around you all the time out there. Hank (McGregor) was just in a class of his own today though,” said an appreciative Bouman.

“It’s great to be back down the coast again. The sea’s just alive down here and there’s always something to keep you interested. I loved being out there today,” he added.

Sean Rice

With the Dunlop Surfski World Cup just three weeks a way now, Western Cape star Sean Rice got some valuable time on unfamiliar KZN waters in.

“I’ve been training here all week because I’ve always struggled a bit up here and I really want to work on that, especially ahead of the World Cup,” said Rice.

“I didn’t quite get what I was hoping for out of today’s race, I was obviously hoping to have been in the mix at the top but the sea here is quite different to home so it was really good to spend some more time out there,” he added.

Women’s Race

After missing out last week due to work commitments Donna Winter reclaimed her crown in the ladies race, relegating last week’s winner, Danica Vorster, to the second step on the podium.

Donna Winter

Donna Winter

“The surf was cooking this morning and so I just wanted to ensure I got out alright but then it just at big at Warner beach!” said Winter. “I got caught on a massive wave on the way in there and I had to try ride it out. I just leant as far back as I could and luckily for me I came out fine.”

“It was great having Danica out there again and it was brilliant to see so many other ladies getting stuck in today. It’s fantastic that more and more ladies are prepared to give these bigger conditions a bash instead of just sitting back and waiting for the races in the shelter of the bay,” she added.

Discovery Sunglass Hut Series

Doubles Action!

In the doubles section Brett Hadiaris and Ross Fountain added another win to their tally for the series after another strong performance from the pair.

“Some of the guys are going well at the moment and it wasn’t easy today. We had to work hard but it was great to have won, it was just a pity Hank (McGregor) caught us towards the end there!” Hadiaris grinned sheepishly.

Luke Steenkamp’s dominance of the short course singles section was upstaged slightly this time round as Malec Odendaal claimed the win which saw Steenkamp having to settle for second and Mark Stewart third, whilst Mark and Cruz Barber took home the spoils in the short course doubles race.

Race six of the series, the CMH Toyota Pirates Umhlanga Pirates surfski race, takes place on Sunday 12 June at 07h00 at Pirates SLC.

More information can be found at www.surfski.co.za

Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski Series

Results Summary - Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski Series Leg 5

Long Course - Men

  1. Hank McGregor 1:03.59
  2. Matt Bouman 1:05.18
  3. Sean Rice 1:06.38
  4. Brandon van der Walt 1:08.308
  5. Clint Pretorius 1:09.29
  6. Oliver Burn 1:09.34
  7. Quinton Rutherford 1:10.41
  8. Adam Nisbet 1:10.50
  9. Luke Nisbet 1:13.56
  10. Mike Stevens 1:14.41

Long Course – Women

  1. Donna Winter 1:21.12
  2. Danica Vorster 1:24.38
  3. Cecylia Karcz 1:42.30

Long Course – Juniors

  1. Calvin McKie 1:22.06

Long Course – Doubles

  1. Brett Hadiaris/Ross Fountain 1:09.12
  2. Sean Wisedale/Trevor Vernes 1:10.40
  3. Wayne Wilson/Tristan Wilson 1:11.19

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